Sometimes a band becomes legendary because of a song that stands out among the others (like Foreigner, in last week’s Rewind). Other times, the band becomes legendary because of its sound. When Linkin Park emerged on the scene with Hybrid Theory in 2000, their combining of alternative, metal and rap elements into an angsty wall of sound captivated listeners, each single seeming to perform better than the last, and making it difficult to pick a standout track that signifies the band’s having “arrived.”
That said, “Numb,” off the band’s sophomore effort Meteora (2003), has at the very least out-performed the others. Shortly after its release, it shot to the top of Billboard’s Modern Rock charts and stayed there for 12 weeks. It got a further boost with a 2004 remix with Jay-Z, called “Numb/Encore.” That version went on to win a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
While many of the tunes we recognize by Linkin Park are from Meteora (including “Numb,”) their sales prove that like Radiohead, this is a band whose fans buy into albums more than singles. Their debut album Hybrid Theory remains their band’s best-selling record to date, one of the few that have made the elite status of certified Diamond (going more than 10x Platinum). Meanwhile, Linkin Park continue to record and tour, drawing large crowds to their shows. Their latest album, The Hunting Party, drops this month.
Take a listen to “Numb.” Enjoy!