This year marks the 15yr anniversary of Linkin Park's debut album, Hybrid Theory. Simply put, I love it. After the Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty, this was the next album I truly cared about. I was 11yrs old when it released and it's one of my favorite albums ever. Here's the songs from the album ranked from my most to least favorite.
  1. Papercut
    Sets the tone of the album, and introduces you to LP's style. Mike raps. Chester sings. There's aggressive guitars and big drums layered on top of turntable scratching and SFX. This is Hybrid Theory. This is Linkin Park.
  2. Cure For The Itch
    The Hip Hop/Instrumental Hip Hop fan in me helped this song make it this high. I LOVE THIS SONG. Joe Hahn's turntable and drum pad work in the beginning is fun and impressive, but the beat that it becomes takes me somewhere. I wish the song was longer. There's floating strings that ebb and flow in and out of the drums, there's keys that chime in from a foggy dream and then dissipate back into the mist. This would be in the top spot if "Papercut" wasn't so damn good.
  3. One Step Closer
    It was tough not having this in the top spot 'cos this is the song that introduced me to LP, but it makes the Top 3 easy. I can remember exactly where I was the first time I heard this song. I can remember exactly where I was the second time I heard it. "Gentlemen, you had my curiosity, but now you have my attention."
  4. Crawling
    The radio/video play almost killed this one for me, but the emo intensity was too strong. Jokes aside, this song is great. I love the guitars. I love the keys (or FX, whatever they are). I love Mike's simple backups and how they help Chester shine. The lyrics might not age well, but like so many other LP songs, "Crawling" will be with me forever.
  5. With You
    "With You" has some of my favorite guitar parts of the album. I love their chugginess and I love how their balanced with the Rap/Electronic elements of the verses. Joe Hahn's turntable work on this track is some of my favorite of the album.
  6. In The End
    If you would've asked me when I was 11yrs old, this would've been my favorite LP song. Years of listening, tastes changing, and life have changed that. What hasn't changed is that this is a standout track, from this album and their tenure as a band. The piano intro, Mike's verses, the chorus, Chester's bridge, and the piano outro all make for an unforgettable song. I've been made fun of for years for being a Linkin Park fan, but in the end it doesn't even matter.
  7. Forgotten
    Mike delivers his best verses of the album here, and the back and forth between him and Chester in the chorus is another highlight. The jumpstart intro after the fade out of "A Place For My Head" is another cool moment on an album full of cool moments. I want to put this song higher, but there's just too much good stuff here!
  8. By Myself
    Another memorable opening with epic guitars, "By Myself" starts big before Mike raps over ethereal synths and droning effects. Mike and Chester's back and forth throughout the song is a technique that set them apart from peers. It's a technique they've used, re-used, remixed, refined, and expanded upon in the years since - but "By Myself" might be the best early example.
  9. Points of Authority
    You get to see Chester's range in full effect on this track. His cleaner verses are balanced and strengthened by his more guttural choruses. Awesome guitars, awesome scratching, and some of Mike's most singalong friendly lyrics.
  10. A Place For My Head
    With some of Mike's most angry verses and some of Chester's most angry screaming, this song is just full of angry. The guitars are angry. The drums are angry. I'm angry.
  11. Runaway
    The guitars are so big and so angry on this track, and I love 'em! The eerie opening sounds soothe you in before the guitars and drums crash in your face. "Runaway" sounds like Linkin Park doing an AFI song, and I'm not mad at it.
  12. Pushing Me Away
    The first song on the album is number one and the last song on the album is last. That's the way the theory hybrids. There's really no bad songs on this album. That's why this list was difficult to make. I tried to rank songs I like more or less than other songs I like. With that being said, this song is great. Chester's vocals are dynamic and incredible, Mike provides complex backups, and the music sends the album out with a bang. It's triumphant. It's a good closer. Thanks for reading!