10 Best Linkin Park Songs – Ranked


Linkin Park band image.

10 Best Linkin Park Songs, Ranked – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Brandon Cox

Audio Ink Radio presents our list of the 10 best Linkin Park songs, ranked

Linkin Park were ripped away from the music world too soon. The California nu-metal titans broke out with their 2000 major-label debut, “Hybrid Theory,” and they continued to remain a strong force in modern rock up until frontman Chester Bennington’s tragic death in 2017. In fact, months before his passing, Linkin Park released their seventh studio album, 2017’s “One More Light,” which topped the charts. While fans haven’t stopped mourning the loss of Bennington, they can find solace in the fact that he left behind plenty of amazing music. That includes the best Linkin Park songs.

Earlier this year, Linkin Park’s seminal “Meteora” album turned 20 years old. In honor of the record’s anniversary, the band unveiled some never-before-released demos from the “Meteora” sessions. One of those songs, “Lost,” flew to the top of the modern rock charts. That proves how much Linkin Park are still influencers in the music world, even years after losing Bennington. The song also arrived with an EP of lost tracks, all recorded during the “Meteora” session but never released. It was almost as if Bennington was talking to his fans from beyond the grave.

In honor of the legacy of Linkin Park, we present Audio Ink Radio’s 10 best Linkin Park songs, ranked. With so many solid songs available, it was difficult to pick just 10. Reach out to us with your picks on social media via this location.

10. “Somewhere I Belong” – 2003

Hailing from Linkin Park’s “Meteora” album, “Somewhere I Belong” often gets lost in some of the record’s bigger hits. But, it’s special, and we think it deserves more fanfare. “Somewhere I Belong” marked the first single from “Meteora,” bringing that nu-metal mix of Mike Shinoda’s rapping in the verses and Bennington’s yearning clean singing in the chorus. It’s simply a beautiful, earnest song about wanting to find a place to belong.

9. “One More Light” – 2017

The title track off Linkin Park’s final studio album with Bennington, “One More Light,” is a tear-jerker. The song offers some of Bennington’s most personal, melancholy vocal deliveries, as he wrote it about the passing of a close associate of the band from their early days. The song took on even greater importance following the death of Chris Cornell, who was a good friend of Bennington’s. The song’s meaning is about making sure people know that you care about them is timeless.

8. Jay Z + Linkin Park, “Numb/Encore” – 2004

Who says rap and rock can’t get along? Linkin Park were known for bringing rap into their heavy rock music, and one of the world’s greatest rappers, Jay-Z, took notice. On 2004’s “Collision Course EP,” Jay Z teamed with Linkin Park to deliver a fiery set of rap-rock that only two kingpins of the genres could produce. The EP mashed up some of Jay-Z’s biggest hits from his “Black Album” with tracks from Linkin Park’s first two albums. The most popular single from the EP was “Numb/Encore.”

7. “Leave Out All the Rest” – 2008

Now that Bennington has sadly passed away, “Leave Out All the Rest” plays eerily like a foreshadowing of his premature passing. In the delicate song, which is off “Minutes to Midnight,” Bennington asks, “When my time comes, forget the wrong that I’ve done.” Now, he’s gone, and it’s difficult to listen to this song without tearing up. That said, it’s one of Linkin Park’s strongest and most tender ballads.

6. “Shadow of the Day” – 2008

Linkin Park, at times, have been compared to U2 during their career. Perhaps nowhere does the band sound more influenced by U2 than on “Shadow of the Day,” off “Minutes to Midnight.” That song swells into a melodic, soft rock anthem with beautiful strings and Bennington’s emotive vocals. It’s simply magical.

5. “Crawling” – 2000

“Crawling,” which arrived on Linkin Park’s “Hybrid Theory” debut, landed the band their first Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance. Not many bands score a Grammy on their debut album, but it just goes to show that Linkin Park had something unique and respected. This song stands out in Linkin Park’s discography, as it features some of the heaviest screaming Bennington has ever performed. It’s just a solid hard rock anthem.

4. “One Step Closer” – 2000

“One Step Closer” is a very special Linkin Park song, because it marked the band’s debut single off their first album, “Hybrid Theory.” It’s truly the song that introduced Linkin Park to the world. From the get-go, Linkin Park didn’t hide their approach and style, as they served up angst-fueled rap-rock that begged to be screamed out loud. The song was an instant hit and laid the groundwork for one of the most successful debut albums in rock history.

3. “Faint” – 2003

“Faint,” found on Linkin Park’s “Meteora,” is one of the album’s many gems. The song begins with enchanting synths before crashing into a heavy wall of guitars. Then, Shinoda’s rapping cuts in, followed by Chester’s familiar tenor. “I can’t feel the way I did before, don’t turn your back on me,” Bennington begs in the chorus. It’s one of the band’s most recognizable songs.

2. “In the End” – 2000

“In the End” took Linkin Park to a different level. There was already plenty of buzz around the band from their “Hybrid Theory” single “One Step Closer,” but when “In the End” hit the airwaves, people became massive Linkin Park fans. The song captures the frustration of trying so hard and then having something not work out. It’s an angsty song but still has hope and melody.

1. “Numb” – 2003

While some might wonder why we didn’t flip No. 1 and 2 on this list, let’s just say that it was a difficult decision. While “In the End” put Linkin Park on the musical map, “Numb” propelled them to worldwide rock stardom. “Numb” is simply a powerful, relatable song about failing to live up to someone else’s standards. “Every step that I take is another mistake to you,” Bennington cries in the song. Bringing together that universal frustration with the melodic-yet-aggressive instrumentals of “Numb” puts this at No. 1 on our list of the best Linkin Park songs of all time, ranked.

While Linkin Park was one of the most well-known bands in the nu-metal genre, plenty of artists and songs in the format never got their due. Find Audio Ink Radio’s list of 10 underrated nu-metal songs here.

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Alternative, Features, Music, Rock

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