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"She Couldn't" Official Release

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As everyone saw on August 13th, Linkin Park released "She Couldn't" as the first official instant grat track from the Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition). "She Couldn't" is a demo from the 1999 recording sessions for Hybrid Theory that didn't end up making it on the album.

 

From Linkinpedia

 

"She Couldn't" is very differently stylistically from other Linkin Park material at the time. It is over five minutes in length and features an extended instrumental breakdown. "She Couldn't" also one of the softest songs the band has produced, particularly from the Hybrid Theory era.

 

This is also an extremely rare case of a Linkin Park song sampling music from another artist. "She Couldn't" samples Mos Def's vocals from "B-Boy Document '99" by High & Mighty where he says, "won't be long 'til everybody knows."

 

Although the demo CD was advertised as being from 1998, "B-Boy Document '99" was released on August 24, 1999, on High & Mighty's album Home Field Advantage, meaning the song had to have been written around that date at the earliest. The track was also present on The Urban Network's 1999 compilation Rapology Sixteen which featured illustrations by Mike Shinoda.[2] It's possible this CD is where he first heard the song.

 

On July 3, 2009, after LPLive released the full CD for free download, Mike posted on his blog about the song, "Many of you have asked about an old demo that is floating around. The song is called “She Couldn’t.” We recorded it in 1999 during the making of Hybrid Theory, but it never made an album and was never released by us. For legal reasons, that’s all I can say about the song, but I hope this clears things up!"

 

The leaked version of the song on the demo CD features static throughout the song as the initial pressing of the CD was faulty.

 

 

Yesterday, Mike Shinoda talked about the song at length, more than any time in the song's history.

 

On Twitch, he said, "Before we get to the box set, let me say something about "She Couldn't", which I know was floating out there on the Internet and never had an official release. A lot of people are going to be hearing it for the first time. Here's a thing about that song. And I didn't pick that, I don't know who picked that for the first track. It's not a single, we're not doing singles. But in terms of having a track come out with the announcement, that song was one of the first songs we wrote with Chester. It was one of the really early ones we wrote from scratch with that configuration of the band.

 

And here's some things that are in it - not really any distorted guitars. It's got the beats, it's got the electronic sounds, it's got a sample of Mos Def from a High & Mighty "Rawkus" release. Which by the way, shout out to Yasiin Bey, to Mos, for clearing the sample. So, it's got those things in it and the theme of the song, lyrically, the song is about the outsider and being there for somebody. Do you know what I'm saying? Like, I feel like that song is a foreshadowing of not just of Hybrid Theory, it's the foreshadowing of the next ten to fifteen years of the band. Like, we had everything we were from the very beginning, right? Think about that. Everybody knew us for the Hybrid Theory sound. Even before we released that, we had that song. And we had other songs like that. So that's the thing I thought was so dope. I didn't choose that song to come out first but that's something that I thought was so dope about that song."

 

Later that day on Twitter, he added, "Glad you like it! We didn’t re “mix” the audio, we just mastered it. That basically means we preserved the integrity of the original mix, but mostly adjusted EQ and overall volume." The song was mixed by Mike Shinoda and mastered by Brian Gardner.

 

Finally, that night, Mike posted a photo of Chester from the album photo shoot and said, ""She Couldn’t” is one of the earliest demos we made when Chester joined the band. Two things stand out about the song, to me: 1.) The programmed beat and focus on synth sounds and vocal loops (rather than heavy guitars) foreshadowed a future of the band many years after Hybrid Theory. In searching for our “first sound,” we set the groundwork for our later evolution. 2.) The softly-sung “you’re not alone” refrain reminded me that, although we debuted with a song screaming “shut up,” what most fans came to find out was that empathy and community were just as integral a part of LP’s DNA from the very beginning. Sincerely, thank you for the excitement about the #hybridtheory20 package. We’re so grateful to have had you with us all these years."

 

The track today, August 14th, has made rock headlines across the world. 

 

Kerrang did a "First Reaction" article about the track and had this to say:

"It’s very Hybrid Theory, isn’t it? Well, obviously, given that She Couldn’t is a song taken from the recording sessions from that album. But despite its softness and lack of the heavy guitars of One Step Closer or Crawling, despite its length and willingness to run at its own pace, rather than the no-second-wasted efficiency of the rest of that album, you could slot this anywhere in the album’s second half and it wouldn’t jar. It may be the one that got away, but it doesn’t sound like something that didn’t work, or of a band still finding its feet. By this point – basically the start of the story – Linkin Park already knew damned well who they were.

 

If She Couldn’t tells us anything, it’s that in that time, Linkin Park were so creatively fecund and focussed that they could make anything fit within their world, even at a stage before they’d sold a single record. It’s a reminder that, when they exploded, suddenly and enormously, it was because their music already had personality and identity, expertly crafted until it was exactly how its creators wanted it. And as She Couldn’t amply demonstrates, while Hybrid Theory is nu-metal perfectly formed and distilled, it also had its fingers reaching out into so many other sounds, not just as embellishment, but strong roots that fed nourishingly into the Linkin Park machine."

 

It's great to finally have the song in such awesome quality! Shout out to the visual creators at Warner who did the video for the song, which is really cool as it shows the photo shoot of making the album in sync with the music.

 

"She Couldn't" has truly come full circle.

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I've listened to/ sung this song about 20 times with my newborn son in the last 24 hours. Just great that we have a clean mastered track after all these years. Would've been amazing if they had played this one live.

 

They just have too many good tracks that didn't make studio albums. Geniuses from the very beginning.

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6 minutes ago, plesh88 said:

I've listened to/ sung this song about 20 times with my newborn son in the last 24 hours. Just great that we have a clean mastered track after all these years. Would've been amazing if they had played this one live.

 

They just have too many good tracks that didn't make studio albums. Geniuses from the very beginning.

 

Agreed, have listened to the song so many times over the past day. The mastering really makes it sound so big. Such a unique song from the band.

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4 minutes ago, LPLStaff said:

 

Agreed, have listened to the song so many times over the past day. The mastering really makes it sound so big. Such a unique song from the band.

 

Especially for that era. Shows off their depth starting from even the late 90s. Can't believe it took over 20 years to officially release.

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It’s a song against all those hates saying, they went soft with MTM and the follow ups while She Couldn’t is one of the softest and poppiest songs in the LP Catalog...and it’s from even before they exploded internationally 

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, LinkInThePark said:

It’s a song against all those hates saying, they went soft with MTM and the follow ups while She Couldn’t is one of the softest and poppiest songs in the LP Catalog...and it’s from even before they exploded internationally 

Yeah the had She couldn’t and My December so... 

THEY GOT SOFT WITH MTM!!!11!! And.... My December and She Couldn’t are softer than half of the songs on MTM lol 

Edited by PurpleFlinstoneVitamins92

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She Couldn't has always been one of my favorite unreleased songs. It feels really good to finally be able to listen to it in high quality.

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When they said that they were going for a more poppy sound on OML, this and My December was what I hoped they would gravitate towards. Still have no idea what they were thinking on that record. Really nice to have a good mix of this song.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, LinkInThePark said:

My December and She Couldn't in 2017 would sound outdated as hell...those songs perfectly fit in their respected time period 

Yeah I like the fact that they showed their soft side even in their prime with those soft songs, but agree on the fact that in terms of sound, not talking about Chester’s performance, My December and She Could’t would have sounded dated as hell in 2017, and I think it’s one of the reasons why the band, as an example, started playing Pushing me away piano version instead of the original one. 
I remember Mike reacting to “kids react to LP” 3 years ago and saying (referring to OSC or ITE video or stuff like that): “you guys should understand that this in 2000 was cool, but this in 2017 would be dated and pathetic/ridiculous” or something along the lines of this, and he was 100% right. 

Edited by PurpleFlinstoneVitamins92

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2 hours ago, PurpleFlinstoneVitamins92 said:

Yeah I like the fact that they showed their soft side even in their prime with those soft songs, but agree on the fact that in terms of sound, not talking about Chester’s performance, My December and She Could’t would have sounded dated as hell in 2017, and I think it’s one of the reasons why the band, as an example, started playing Pushing me away piano version instead of the original one. 
I remember Mike reacting to “kids react to LP” 3 years ago and saying (referring to OSC or ITE video or stuff like that): “you guys should understand that this in 2000 was cool, but this in 2017 would be dated and pathetic/ridiculous” or something along the lines of this, and he was 100% right. 

The "sound" of those songs would sound dated in 2017... if it's made with 1999 gear.

 

However, the "atmosphere" of those songs would not sound dated one bit, I'd argue. If you take that kind of musical composition, but apply it the craftmanship and gear of 2017, it shouldn't sound dated.  After all, many artists are making a career nowadays  by updating the sound of the 60's, 70's, 80's.  

 

I would have prefered that kind of composition over something like "Sharp Edges", which has too much of 2010's radio-pop sensibilities for me to enjoy. Of course, only a matter of tastes here.

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34 minutes ago, Qwerty18 said:

The "sound" of those songs would sound dated in 2017... if it's made with 1999 gear.

 

However, the "atmosphere" of those songs would not sound dated one bit, I'd argue. If you take that kind of musical composition, but apply it the craftmanship and gear of 2017, it shouldn't sound dated.  After all, many artists are making a career nowadays  by updating the sound of the 60's, 70's, 80's.  

 

I would have prefered that kind of composition over something like "Sharp Edges", which has too much of 2010's radio-pop sensibilities for me to enjoy. Of course, only a matter of tastes here.

Yeah it’s a matter of taste, I think She Couldn’t  gives us a good Chester performance but sounds a bit dated now. As I said, I’d enjoy it more without the sample and mayyyyybe even without Mike’s Little rapping, as much as I enjoy the acoustic 2017 Crawling more than the studio version now. 

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3 hours ago, LinkInThePark said:

My December and She Couldn't in 2017 would sound outdated as hell...those songs perfectly fit in their respected time period 

Don't mean exactly like this, more tonally.

 

And ironically, the EDM pop garbage that was much of OML was also outdated since that shit went out of favour in 2014-ish.

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The only reason for "She Couldn't" sounding outdated today is because it is a demo from 1999. The song itself with a bit more polishing and better equipment would be a great song today by any standards. Im with "Qwerty18" on this one. Even in its current form the song creates a mesmerizing atmosphere. It's probably one of my favorites from the HT era.

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5 hours ago, Qwerty18 said:

The "sound" of those songs would sound dated in 2017... if it's made with 1999 gear.

 

However, the "atmosphere" of those songs would not sound dated one bit, I'd argue. If you take that kind of musical composition, but apply it the craftmanship and gear of 2017, it shouldn't sound dated.  After all, many artists are making a career nowadays  by updating the sound of the 60's, 70's, 80's.  

 

I would have prefered that kind of composition over something like "Sharp Edges", which has too much of 2010's radio-pop sensibilities for me to enjoy. Of course, only a matter of tastes here.

 

That is a good point. It would sound dated only in the same way that "Blinding Lights" by the weekend sounds dated. But ti would be harder for most people to accept because we're really deep in the 80s revival stuff, but scratching and sampling from the likes of She Couldn't hasn't really been brought back in the same way yet. 

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