Click to return to Dave’s Music Database home page.

Released: October 24, 2000

Genre: rock rap

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Papercut
  2. One Step Closer
  3. With You
  4. Points of Authority
  5. Crawling
  6. Runaway
  7. By Myself
  8. In the End
  9. Place for My Head
  10. Forgotten
  11. Cure for the Itch
  12. Pushing Me Away

Rating: 3.600 (average of 8 ratings)

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 10.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated 0.9
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. 3.0
sales worldwide - estimated 24.0


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 2
peak on U.K. album chart 4

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • One Step Closer (9/16/00) #68a US, #24 UK, #4 AR, #5 MR
  • Crawling (3/31/01) #75a US, #16 UK, #3 AR, #5 MR
  • Papercut (6/01) #14 UK, 32 MR
  • In the End (8/25/01) #2 US, #8 UK, #3 AR, #1 MR
  • Runaway (5/25/02) #37 AR, #40 MR
  • Points of Authority (7/30/02) #29 MR

Notes: In 2002, a special edition of the album was released in Asia which contained a second disc with live performances of “Papercut,” “Points of Authority,” and “A Place for My Head.” Also featured are non-album cuts “My December” and “High Voltage,” as well as an enhanced video for “One Step Closer.” In 2002, the group also released Reanimation, which was a collection of remixes of songs from Hybrid Theory.


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. One of the Top 100 All-Time World’s Best-Selling Albums Rock and Roll Hall of Fame/NARM’s Definitive Albums

Hybrid Theory
Linkin Park
“Linkin Park originally called itself Hybrid Theory and has retained that phrase for the title of its debut album. The ‘hybrid’ in question is the overly familiar one of rap and metal, to which the group has little new to add. The guitars and drums lock into standard thrash patterns, over which singer Chester Bennington and rapper Mike Shinoda alternate in furious expressions of rage and frustration.” WR

“The album’s lyrical themes deal with problems…Bennington experienced during his adolescence,” WK “including child abuse, constant and excessive drug and alcohol abuse, the divorce of his parents, isolation, disappointments, and the aftermath feelings of failed relationships..” WK Shinoda “characterized the lyrics as interpretations of universal feelings, emotions, and experiences, and as ‘everyday emotions you talk about and think about.’” WK

“It might be easier to believe in all this angst if the group members didn’t take such pains to thank their families in the lengthy acknowledgments in the CD booklet, followed by an extensive list of product endorsements.” WR

The music “draws from diverse inspirations. Bennington’s singing style is influenced by acts such as Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots, while the riffs and playing techniques of guitarist Brad Delson are modeled after Deftones, Guns N' Roses, U2, and The Smiths. Mike Shinoda’s rapping, present in seven tracks, is very close to The Roots’ style.” WK

One Step Closer, the track released to radio in advance of the album’s release, is a typical effort, with lyrics like ‘Everything you say to me/ Takes me one step closer to the edge/ And I’m about to break.’” WR It “was gradually recorded in increments after Linkin Park struggled with Runaway, and features a guitar riff and electronic percussion in the introduction transitioning into a bridge with distortion-heavy guitars and aggressive drums. It is also infamous for the ‘Shut up when I'm talkin' to you!’ refrain screamed by Bennington one minute and 48 seconds into the song.” WK

“The second single was Crawling. Lyrically, the song focuses on Bennington’s personal experiences with child abuse – the physical violence, the difficulty in breaking the cycle of abuse, and the subsequent loss of self-esteem. This concept is echoed in the music video, in which a girl (Katelyn Rosaasen) is abused by her father and can be seen in the beginning of the video with several visible bruises.” WK

Papercut was the album’s third single, and its lyrics describe paranoia. The music video for ‘Papercut’ features the band performing in a hallway opposite a completely dark room on the walls of which are scribbled the song’s lyrics. Various supernatural themes are present in the video, and special effects are used to create eerie renditions, such as the ‘stretching’ of Shinoda’s fingers and the ‘melting’ of Bourdon’s face.” WK

“The fourth single to come from Hybrid Theory was In the End, which prominently features a signature piano riff performed by Shinoda. His rapping also dominates the verses of the song and is later joined by Bennington’s vocals in the chorus. The song’s concept is mainly based on one person’s failure. It is considered symbolic of an ending relationship, however, it can also represent broken trust in a once long-lasting friendship.” WK “The music video won the Best Rock Video award at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards.” WK

Points of Authority, the fourth track on the album, has its own music video that can be found on Frat Party at the Pankake Festival, the band’s first DVD. Drummer Rob Bourdon describes the recording process of the song: ‘Brad wrote this riff, then went home. Mike decided to cut it up into different pieces and rearranged them on the computer…Brad had to learn his own part from the computer.’ Regarding the song, Delson praised Shinoda’s skill, describing him as ‘a genius’ and ‘Trent Reznor-talented.’” WK

“With Hybrid Theory being Linkin Park’s first album, Mike Shinoda, who had worked as a graphic designer before becoming a professional musician, has stated that the band had looked through books for inspiration on how to present themselves for the first time. The result was a winged-soldier which Shinoda illustrated himself. According to Chester Bennington, the idea of the soldier with dragonfly wings was to describe the blending of hard and soft musical elements by the use of the jaded looks of the soldier and frail touches of the wings. The cover also features scrambled lyrics of the album’s songs within the background, though the lyrics of ‘One Step Closer’ are the most prominent.” WK

Critically, the album received mixed reviews. PopMatters’ Stephanie Dickson said the band was a “far more complex and talented group than the hard rock boy bands of late” WK while Rolling Stone’s Jenny Eliscu said Hybrid Theory had “as much potency as albums by Limp Bizkit or Korn” and that it was an album that “reflects the frustration of life.” WK All Music Guide’s William Ruhlmann said, “Linkin Park sounds like a Johnny-come-lately to an already overdone musical style.” WR NME’s Noel Gardner said that “otherwise damn fine soaring emo-crunchers like With You and A Place for My Head are pointlessly jazzed up with tokenistic scratching.” WK

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Link(s):

next album: Meteora (2003)

One Step Closer



In the End

Runaway (live)

Points of Authority

Click on box above to check out the DMDB on Facebook.

Last updated March 20, 2011.