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Are there other Pre-HT fans like me?


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I feel so odd when I listen to Linkin Park. I like everything just like everyone else on here, but one thing I always go back to is the demos and tracks before the album Hybrid Theory came out. Ranging from the Xero tape to the Hybrid Theory EP to the 8 and 9 track Chester demos to the 1998 LPU11 demos, I love them all so much. I even have a playlist exclusively for this era.

 

I just feel like the freshness and the somewhat lo-fi sound they gave out was great. They had 90s anger. Not early 2000s "my parents hate me" anger. Genuine anger that Kurt Cobain and company gave out.

 

Maybe it is just me because I am such a big 90s grunge fan besides Linkin Park, and yes, I also love Grey Daze with all my heart. And maybe because I am looking at the date of the songs and say "THIS OWNS".

 

But stuff like She Couldn't, Slip, Blue, Reading My Eyes, Fuse, Stick N' Move, Carousel, and Crawling just sounds so good to me when I listen to it. And I pray that whenever they release Underground, that there is some 90s stuff on there. And this year there was 4 tracks and I ate those up very fast. ^^

 

Am I the only one who might consider this their favorite era of Linkin Park?

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This is a fascinating perspective that I don't think I've seen very often, if at all. And I certainly understand where you're coming from - the pre-2000 body of work is a quite different beast from the 2000-2007 work that it's often grouped into. The music has a much more raw feel to it, probably because of the tiny budget the band had to work with due to not being on a major label. There's also a...quality to Mike's rapping that's different, as well. I've talked before about how Mike's rapping on Hybrid Theory through Collision Course has this robotic, emotionless feel to it, like he's just reciting the words from a piece of paper taped up in front of his face. However, on the demo tape, the HTEP, the post-EP demos even, it's different. There's more energy there, the vocals have a more "live" feel, almost. The subject matter tended to be different for Mike as well, particularly on the demo tape, with more references to the hip-hop scene and rapping in general, as opposed to the more universal topics in most LP songs.

 

And the "anger"...oh, your point is so very valid here. Hybrid Theory and Meteora were extremely whiny at times, whereas Xero and the EP were more "Fuck you and fuck everything about you" that reminded me of metal quite a bit more than the later material.

 

Overall, your interest is pretty understandable, and it's an interest I share, to an extent.

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Chester's aggressive vocals in their early stuff are so much better than at any time later. Kinda suggests to me that Warner made him tone down the edge in his voice, which is a shame 'cause the early stuff sounds so much more aggressive because of it.

The lack of polish on it certainly makes it sound more raw and organic, which is definitely very exciting. I'm not as much a fan of the more hip-hop tracks as I'm not a big hip hop fan, but the rest of that era is extremely good music.

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I love the Pre-LP era also, Demos are fantastic and I must say that most of them to bring out that raw power and energy that the final versions don't. (ex: Rhinestone, Carousel Demo) This is by far one of the era's where its refreshing to hear how a song came about and how it molded into a final product that became Hybrid Theory. I wonder how much more stuff is out there just hiding away and creeping away to not be found..

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Kinda suggests to me that Warner made him tone down the edge in his voice, which is a shame 'cause the early stuff sounds so much more aggressive because of it.

could this not be due to bad microphones? or chester not having sucha rehearsed, rounded voice?

 

but this is an interesting perspective. I listened to Meteora today, and I've never really noticed the "emotionless" quality that people have said they see in this era of Mike's rapping, but today i really felt that on nobody's listening.

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Chester's aggressive vocals in their early stuff are so much better than at any time later. Kinda suggests to me that Warner made him tone down the edge in his voice, which is a shame 'cause the early stuff sounds so much more aggressive because of it.

The lack of polish on it certainly makes it sound more raw and organic, which is definitely very exciting. I'm not as much a fan of the more hip-hop tracks as I'm not a big hip hop fan, but the rest of that era is extremely good music.

I agree. But also I feel like at first (this is very noticeable to me on Slip and Blue) that Chester was actually trying to play and sound like Mark's role, because he kind of WAS in Mark's shoes at the time. When I listen to Grey Daze, I hear a very different Chester altogether, much more melodic and grungy then the early 1998 Chester. Another example is listening to both Rhinestones. Both Mark and Chester have similar voices at the time, it wasn't until Hybrid Theory that Chester's voice was all his own.

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It makes sense that he'd be trying to emulate Mark's voice initially. It's a shitty thing to do to join a band as the new lead vocalist and then do something completely different from the previous vocalist (this is why I don't like Steve Perry). Like, unless the band as a whole is making a conscious decision to change their sound, you should stick with what they sounded like before if that's what they want.

 

Chester's vocals are definitely different in Grey Daze, but that band had a different style altogether, so it makes sense that he'd change his own style to match what Linkin Park was doing at the time.

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I always like listening to early material from any band I'm into. During the early stages of a band's career, they rarely have an idea of what their overall "sound" will end up being, so they just make whatever kind of music comes to mind. I like to use the analogy that they're throwing several handfuls of darts at the board all at once and seeing which ones stick. It can result in a huge variety in musical output, and LP's no exception. Their pre-Hybrid Theory material ranges from the brilliant (Part of Me, And One, Reading My Eyes) to the unrefined (Slip, Rhinestone, a lot of other early versions of Hybrid Theory songs) to the derivative (High Voltage - the original version is really just an attempt at copying the Beastie Boys' Intergalactic) to the really experimental/bizarre (She Couldn't, Blue).

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I definetely think that the pre-HT era stuff was better then the HT-Meteora era, just a rawness and grittiness that got turned into a polished, and overproduced sound when HT came out. Also, like Astat said, the material was also much more varied, with more mellow stuff like She Couldn't but agressive stuff like And One or Slip. If they had stuck to their pre-ht stuff, they probably wouldn't have gotten as big, but I would've definetely been a much bigger fan.

Edited by Op4blushift
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Everybody hear just took the words right outta my mouth!

 

ANYWAYS! When were going to hear Picturebored ? Mike said months ago that the ONLY reason we cant hear it is because of legal issues with WMG.

The answer to that is probably "never" unless we miraculously find another demo CD like the one that had She Couldn't on it, which couldn't be released (or even discussed) for the same reasons.
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Everybody hear just took the words right outta my mouth!

 

ANYWAYS! When were going to hear Picturebored ? Mike said months ago that the ONLY reason we cant hear it is because of legal issues with WMG.

The issue isn't with WMG, it's with Pictureboard having an unlicensed sample from a song by another artist in it.

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The issue isn't with WMG, it's with Pictureboard having an unlicensed sample from a song by another artist in it.

do we know which song it is, or is that something else we're not allowed to know? :P

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've always been a firm believer that the HTEP is probably LP's best work (even after ATS) ever since I first heard it. Its something about their early work like alot of you guys have been saying that is so unquie & inspired. There was no inhibitions, no holdbacks, just the band being the best they could be with no label or even no fans to dictate them what to do. And their music was stella because of it. Brad's guitar work was experimental & complex, the lyric where innovative & thought provoking, chester was on the top of his game & Mike's rap's where spat with sheer passion.

Not to put their latter works down in any way (as their song writting is still top notch) but i will always be fond of this era (HTEP especially).

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I've always been a firm believer that the HTEP is probably LP's best work (even after ATS) ever since I first heard it. Its something about their early work like alot of you guys have been saying that is so unquie & inspired. There was no inhibitions, no holdbacks, just the band being the best they could be with no label or even no fans to dictate them what to do. And their music was stella because of it. Brad's guitar work was experimental & complex, the lyric where innovative & thought provoking, chester was on the top of his game & Mike's rap's where spat with sheer passion.

Not to put their latter works down in any way (as their song writting is still top notch) but i will always be fond of this era (HTEP especially).

This is funny to me because I feel like the HTEP was the low point of their pre-HT career. The reworked demos of Carousel and Part of Me sound so much better than the EP versions, even though the changes aren't too drastic, and I don't have to explain why the reprise of High Voltage blows the original out of the water.
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  • 1 month later...

I like it because as stated before, there was nothing holding them back. There wasn't any pressure to make a specific kind of music, just pressure to make good music. They had determined, and had to try 110% to make the best music possible just to have a chance at a label.

 

Anything after is not bad by any means, but I can see where that pre-hybrid theory mentality wasn't the same. It's not "hey, we need to make good music to please millions of fans and make sure we live up to the hype that 10 million copies sold brings", it's "hey, we need to make good music because otherwise we won't get a record deal or money for food and rent."

 

Two completely valid types of pressure, but also two separate types of pressure. One gives us the produced, professional sound of Meteora; the other presents itself through emotion and the desperation that it might be the last change we get. You don't need to look far to hear it in Mikes voice.

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