Skip to main content

Linkin Park’s stunning In The End demo shows why they were bound for glory

Linkin Park
(Image credit: Mick Hutson / Getty Images)

Linkin Park’s debut album, Hybrid Theory, is the best-selling rock album of the 21st century, so you can understand why the Los Angeles band might be pulling out all the stops to mark its 20th anniversary.

The band’s forthcoming Super Deluxe box set edition of Hybrid Theory, set for release on October 9 via Warners, features five CDs containing the original album, the Reanimation remix album, B-Side Rarities containing 12 tracks from the album era, LPU Rarities with 18 tracks that were only previously available through the Linkin Park Underground fan club, and Forgotten Demos which will bring together 12 previously unreleased tracks.

The Californian band have now released one of those demo tracks, an early version of In The End, as a taster of what to expect from the box set. While Chester Bennington’s soaring chorus vocal is already in place on the demo, Mike Shinoda’s lyrics on the verses are noticeably different to those which appeared on the final version of the song.

In 2016, Chester Bennington told Metal Hammer that the vocals for Hybrid Theory were recorded at the very end of the band’s “intense” studio sessions with producer Don Gilmore at North Hollywood’s NRG Recording.

“We would rewrite lyrics, like, 75 times,” Bennington revealed. “It was crazy. But because we didn’t take the short cuts, it ended up meaning more. We believed in what we were doing so much, and we were like, ‘Fuck, why can’t anybody else see this?’ But when the album came out, I guess they saw it…”

Speaking to Matt Pinfield in an online press conference on September 29, Linkin Park guitarist Brad Delson revealed that hearing Chester Bennington’s voice for the first time, on a demo of LP rarity Pictureboard, almost made him cry with joy. 

“I think Pictureboard was the first thing I heard Chester’s voice on,” the guitarist recalled. “I remember getting that, and being like, ‘Hey, what do you think of this guy? He just sent us this recording…’ and being like, not crying with joy, but like, almost crying, just like, Wow! I don’t even know what that is. He‘s tiny and vulnerable on the verse and you could hear all these timbres and harmonics, like overtones, in his voice on the heavy part. It just blew my hat off my head, and we’re like, ‘We gotta meet this guy!’”

The Hybrid Theory 20th Anniversary Edition will be released on a variety of formats on October 9, including Super Deluxe Box Set, Vinyl Box Set, Deluxe CD, and on digital and streaming platforms.