Minutes to Midnight is the third studio album by American rock band Linkin Park, released on May 14, 2007 by Machine Shop Recordings and Warner Bros. Records. Linkin Park started work on their third album in 2003 before taking a break to tour in support of their previous studio album Meteora in 2004. During this time period, members of the band formed numerous side projects; Mike Shinoda formed his hip hop side project Fort Minor, while Chester Bennington formed the rock supergroup Dead by Sunrise. This resulted in their third album to be shelved temporarily; however, the band returned to work on the project afterwards.
The album was produced by Rick Rubin and Shinoda, and was recorded at The Mansion in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles and NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood, California. For the band, it marks a beginning of deviation from their signature nu metal sound, and takes its title from the Doomsday Clock; however, its completion was delayed several times for unknown reasons.
Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, Minutes to Midnight debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 and seventeen other international charts. In the US, the album had the biggest first-week sales of 2007 at the time, selling over 623,000 copies. Five singles were released from the album: "What I've Done", "Bleed It Out", "Shadow of the Day", "Given Up", and "Leave Out All the Rest". The album was ranked at number 25 on Rolling Stone's list of "The Top 50 Albums of 2007" and at number 154 on Billboard's "Hot 200 Albums of the Decade" list. It was later certified 4x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on August 15, 2017 for sales surpassing 4 million units in the United States, and has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.
Release and IssuesEdit
Minutes to Midnight was delayed several times before its release. First scheduled for Summer of 2006, then Fall of 2006, then early 2007, the album's release date was finally set for May 15, 2007. In an interview in September 2006, Shinoda explained: "When songs are pouring out you don't ever want to stop that. We already have over 100 roughs for songs. We've narrowed it down since but we're not ready to commit to those yet."
From the late stages of the demo sessions, the song "QWERTY", which was rumored to be on Minutes to Midnight, appeared on the Linkin Park Underground v6.0 CD on December 5, 2006 in both live and studio demo versions.
"This was a year-and-a-half long process of really hard work and experimentation in the studio that yielded about 150 rough songs," guitarist Brad Delson told Billboard.com. "Not only is this album incredibly diverse, but the depth of the material is really strong."
The first single, "What I've Done", was released April 2, 2007, and debuted at number one on the United States Modern Rock chart.
"Given Up", "What I've Done" and "No More Sorrow" made their live debut on April 28, 2007 in Berlin. Live performances of these three songs at the Sessions@AOL were released on AOL on May 5, 2007. Given Up and No More Sorrow performed under their Demo names "21 Stitches" and Ebow(Idea) as shown in this Seltlist
On May 12, 2007, Linkin Park played "Bleed It Out" on Saturday Night Live, along with "What I've Done". Also, on May 18, 2007, Linkin Park appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and again performed "What I've Done" and "Bleed It Out".
On December 20, 2007, "No More Sorrow" was released as a playable song for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. It is available in the Xbox Live Marketplace to buy for 500 Microsoft Points in a pack with two other songs. The song is also available for the PlayStation 3 to buy in the PlayStation Network.
On January 16, 2008, "Valentine's Day" finally made its live debut in Hannover, Germany.
"What I've Done" is a playable song on the game Guitar Hero World Tour.
In an interview with Chester Bennington it is explained that the new album is a mix of punk, classic rock, and hip-hop beats. "Rick has brought more of a stripped down, classic-rock and hip-hop kind of feel."
In another interview with Chester, he stated "This time around, Mike Shinoda is singing a lot more. It may seem like he's not on the record, but he's doing a lot of the harmonies. He also sings a couple of songs alone. We're presenting ourselves in a different way."
"We were looking back at the things that we had done in the past... and I think we just figured that we had exhausted that sound. It was easy for us to replicate, it was easy for other bands to replicate, and we just needed to move on," said Mike Shinoda.
This is their first album to contain guitar solos (particularly on "In Pieces" and "The Little Things Give You Away"). Unlike the two previous studio albums, Minutes to Midnight contains profanity and politically-charged lyrics.
Mike Shinoda performs his rapping vocals on only two tracks, "Bleed It Out" and "Hands Held High". This is a significant decrease compared to the amount of rapping on previous albums. The rap vocals on the album are much closer styled to Mike Shinoda's side project Fort Minor than his traditional Linkin Park verses. All the songs that contain rap vocals also contain profanity, unlike their other records. Despite a decrease of Mike Shinoda as rapper, he has two solo lead songs on the record. He raps on "Hands Held High", which features background vocals from the entire band (the "men's choir" singing "Amen" is actually each member of the band) and he sings on "In Between". He also sings solo on the bonus track "No Roads Left" in a much more aggressive rock style than on "In Between" with no backing vocals from Bennington.
All scratching elements by Joe Hahn that existed in the previous two studio albums are largely absent, except on the songs "What I've Done", "Valentine's Day", and "In Pieces". Hahn contributes more with programming, electronica, and other elements to many of the songs.
Guitarist Brad Delson experimented with an E-Bow when the band was piecing together "The Little Things Give You Away". The band decided not to use the effect for the solo in that song and instead ended up creating "No More Sorrow" out of the effect. In "Given Up" you can hear him jingling his keys while Mike Shinoda claps.
|3.||"Leave Out All the Rest"||3:17|
|4.||"Bleed It Out"||2:44|
|5.||"Shadow of the Day"||4:49|
|6.||"What I've Done"||3:25|
|7.||"Hands Held High"||3:53|
|8.||"No More Sorrow"||3:41|
|12.||"The Little Things Give You Away"||6:23|
|13.||"No Roads Left" (Bonus Track)||3:55|