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What Would Have Happened If Linkin Park...?


HybridT
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I just want to share something that came to my mind today.

 

I always loved and preferred the experimental side of the band. I think they could showed us they were capable of doing more than "just" writting, for example, the early nu metal/rap-rock songs everyone already knows by now. And notice that I typed "just", because I already know the work and knowledge it takes to compose those kind of songs. There are a lot of nu metal or alternative rock tracks out there, but it's hard to find something so well executed like Linkin Park did. By now, I hope I made myself clear that I value and recognize all the work the band has done through the years (since Hybrid Theory to One More Light). Also, I am aware my english is not that good, sorry if I make some grammatical mistakes lol...

 

So, I will get to the point, my favorite album from Linkin Park is A Thousand Suns. I am a huge fan of concept albums, and while it's true that the band may not did this "concept" intentionally, I still see a clear theme through all the entire thing. They went out of the box, scaped their "comfort zone" by doing something so unfamiliar for them. You can clearly see their frustration and discussions in the Making of A Thousand Suns, but I consider all that "suffering" was worth it. They came up with a beautiful yet risking and challenging album... I know there are some flaws here and there, but it was undeniable that the band was growing musically. But then Living Things was released, and don't get me wrong I still love LT, but I have to admit I've felt disappointed with it. I am sure I was not the only one hoping for something as challenging and complex as ATS or even more! So after Living Things, The Hunting Party and One More Light came out, and while I enjoy those albums, I was always waiting for something more.

 

Just imagine what would have happened if the band would've followed the same route of A Thousand Suns... I mean, we would probably be talking about a whole new different band. I don't know if the pressure of the ATS recording sessions was what made the band change their mind, or if it was just for the sake of doing something else. I personally think that Linkin Park would be so much more respected as bands such as Radiohead for instance... still LP are one of the most respectable rock bands of the 21th century.

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I agree that they definitely would have been way more respected and probably much bigger if they had continued making albums like ATS. Would have been on a level like Radiohead, Muse, etc., bands like those. LT really was a big step back in a lot of ways. They went back to usual song structures, similar styles that were seen on their earliest albums, albeit differently done, but still. They did go for a way more mainstream appeal with that album for sure. People always used to say that they hated the first 6 songs on LT but liked the other 6, the ones that were more experimental. LT could have been a much different album but they chose to not really follow the folk sound ultimately and it only seeped it's way into the album very mildly on a few songs. If they had gone that direction in full and kept the writing style of ATS, they would have done much more. After that they did the Steve Aoki stuff (1 of the 2 tracks not coming out until 2015 but still was created at the same time), which was super mainstream at the time because EDM was huge in 2012/2013. They then did THP which was so far out of left field, people say it was like a metal version of ATS, but it's not IMO. It was bland and forgettable and I feel most people in the scope of music agree. The only people that probably ever think about the album nowadays are hardcore LP fans. They once again could have done more but it didn't happen, and coming after LT, I'm not sure if it even would have worked. By 2015, LP was really fading in the U.S. public eye (they will always be huge in Europe despite everything) and they probably wanted to gain it back, so they decided to write a commercially appealing album with a sound that was huge on radio at the time, even working with song writers and stuff to ensure that the songs would be hits. Keep in mind, it's all my opinion here. After the album was released, I feel like many fans saw through it and even though it hit #1, it faded from the public eye pretty quickly in the U.S. (Heavy was starting to fade from the radio). I think that if Chester hadn't killed himself, the album would have definitely faded away with 2017 and I don't think they would be the kind of legacy act they are considered right now in 2020. Chester's death kind of catapulted that, shocking the music world, with resulted in almost all of their singles becoming Gold or higher in the months following his death. I think if LP continues on in the years to come, they COULD potentially gain back the status they had during the ATS era, if they craft it very carefully. But they'll likely now always be remembered for their huge 2000's hit singles and remain a sort of legacy act that they are now, I don't think this would have been the case if Chester hadn't killed himself but he kind of cemented them by doing it.

Edited by Garret
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I think now is the moment for the band to go full experimental if we take in consideration the stuff mike is doing right now (Fine and the beats/remixes he is doing) it has that dark edge to it similar to ATS without sounding force or cringe, thats the style that fits the band right now. we don't need more pop songs, it was ok in 2017 but is time to move on and i don't want the band to become a Chester tribute for the rest of the days, but that doesn't mean i don't wanna see Looking For An Answer getting relesead.

 

And yeah maybe ATS just worn out the band. i don't know about the sells of that album but maybe it didn't sold that well compared to rest or their catalog so they went with a more "commercial" style for the next ones, and there is nothing wrong with that is the job of the band if you don't sold enough the label is gonna give you troubles

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7 hours ago, sordomuda said:

I agree so much with your last part of the post @Garret. Unfortunately it was the death of Chaz that made the legendary status for them. 

To an extent, yes Chester's passing did cause a lot of casual/lapsed fans to check out their latest albums rather than only listening to Hybrid Theory and Meteora forever, but LP were already regarded as legends by many people in the music industry. It's not like Chester's death put them on the map. They had already been there and done it all as far as being on top of the music world. Their first 6 studio albums, plus Live in Texas, Reanimation, and Collision Course all went platinum (HT is diamond certified!), so it's not like they wouldn't have been considered legendary already.

 

My point is that 20 years from now, LP won't be remembered for an increase in popularity after Chester passed. They weren't a young band like Nirvana, who really broke out only 3 years before Kurt Cobain died. LP was a force for 17 years straight.

 

Honestly, the situation in the aftermath of Chester's passing is more similar to John Lennon than anything. John Lennon, already an established legend, was getting pretty bad reviews for his final album by mainstream critics. After his death, the album was viewed in a different light, and a lot of subsequent reviews were not only less negative, they were actually positive. That somewhat mirrors what happened with OML.

 

15 hours ago, Garret said:

I think if LP continues on in the years to come, they COULD potentially gain back the status they had during the ATS era, if they craft it very carefully. But they'll likely now always be remembered for their huge 2000's hit singles and remain a sort of legacy act that they are now, I don't think this would have been the case if Chester hadn't killed himself but he kind of cemented them by doing it.

 

I get your point, but LP was already being viewed as a legacy act by a lot of people. Not by us, of course, but even in 2014 they got a spot at Download because they agreed to play Hybrid Theory in full. As awesome as that was for us and everyone to see, that was a novelty show when they had a new album released the day before.

 

LP never accepted becoming a legacy act, and they continued to innovate and take different directions as they always did, but the public perception of them was becoming "The band that made ITE, Crawling, Numb, Numb/Encore, WID, and ND".

Edited by Justin
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I get your point. They were an established act. But not many people treated them „the Beatles like” status. I think it all comes with time especially after someone from a band dies. They had some legendary and iconic hits though that even non-rock fans know well, like ITE, NUMB and WID. ND and BID were massive as well imo. 

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Meteora is the album that solidifies the name LINKIN PARK. Numb, Faint, Somewhere I Belong, you name it. It's the album that put LINKIN PARK to mainstream audience. Okay, let's say, what if the band released a different Meteora back in the day? Like in line to all the 2002 demos we've got like Unfortunate, Halo? Do you think LP will wind out as one-hit wonder act of 2000s?

 

Majority from the fanbase, Meteora was like a gift and a curse for the band. A gift since it staples their legacy to be the biggest rock band of the world. A curse because everything after that album people are still wanting the band to return to that sound. The stigma that post-Meteora materials are perceived underappreciated, inferior products to both HT and Meteora. 

 

This is where A Thousand Suns fits in, They want to de-linkin park-ify the LP sound (the derivative sound). MTM was like the testing ground, a first step for them to shift their sound from the traditional HT & M sound. ATS was a full force that shook the world when it came out, all the HT & M purists were gone mad because it's not HYBRID THEORY. I admit it took months for me to absorb ATS because I always compare it to New Divide because of my expectation that ATS could be New Divide sonically. ATS ended up to be my favourite LP record. It's still my top 1 record from the band. I am truly grateful that the band was able to produce a complex record that defy all our expectations. It's not Hybrid Theory, not Meteora. It's LINKIN PARK. 

 

I know that the band still have the creative, innovative energy to make a record that was challenging as ATS. It took 10 years for them to surpassed Hybrid Theory and now ATS is turning 10, is this a sign for a new groundbreaking record after 10 years? We'll see. 

 

#LP2020

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6 minutes ago, Garret said:

Another big problem that I have with albums after ATS is the tracklistings. They could have been great albums if better songs were chosen. Each album after ATS has some songs that great and some that are poopy. 

 

True. UNTIL IT BREAKS could be separated into 4 awesome tracks with Delson on vocals on Three Band Terror. I mean they can remove LGM and replace with some other decent tracks from the session but there's nothing we can do. 

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15 minutes ago, RYG4R said:

 

True. UNTIL IT BREAKS could be separated into 4 awesome tracks with Delson on vocals on Three Band Terror. I mean they can remove LGM and replace with some other decent tracks from the session but there's nothing we can do. 


Well I just think some tracks on the 3 albums after ATS could have been replaced with better songs that they had. They have like 3-5 fully done songs for each record that are cut. Some I don’t even understand why they were developed so far to the point of making the album. THP for example could have been way better if they removed like 4 of the tracks for better ones. OML should have had TTM, Invisible and Heavy taken off for better songs. 

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15 hours ago, Garret said:


Well I just think some tracks on the 3 albums after ATS could have been replaced with better songs that they had. They have like 3-5 fully done songs for each record that are cut. Some I don’t even understand why they were developed so far to the point of making the album. THP for example could have been way better if they removed like 4 of the tracks for better ones. OML should have had TTM, Invisible and Heavy taken off for better songs. 

 

With Heavy, I remember initially being disappointed at how short it was, and how much more of the spotlight Kiiara's vocals got compared to Chester. I mean once Kiiara comes in for the second verse, the rest of the song is basically her on lead vocals and Chester doing background vocals. If I didn't know it was the first single from OML when I heard it, I would have thought it was Kiiara featuring Chester.

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29 minutes ago, Justin said:

 

With Heavy, I remember initially being disappointed at how short it was, and how much more of the spotlight Kiiara's vocals got compared to Chester. I mean once Kiiara comes in for the second verse, the rest of the song is basically her on lead vocals and Chester doing background vocals. If I didn't know it was the first single from OML when I heard it, I would have thought it was Kiiara featuring Chester.


Yeah. I hate the song because of her large feature. Should have been just Chester, especially since the song meant something to him in his final days.

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