Blackbirds

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"Blackbirds"
8-bit Rebellion.jpg
Song by Linkin Park from the album 8-Bit Rebellion!
Recorded 2007
Released April 26, 2010
Format Digital
Length 03:21
Time signature 4/4
Tempo 105
Key F Major
Writer Linkin Park
Producer Mike Shinoda, Rick Rubin
Label Warner Bros.

"Blackbirds" is a song found on 8-Bit Rebellion!. It was set to be released as a digital single on May 25, 2010 on United Kingdom and June 15, 2010 on United States, but it was cancelled for an unknown reason. Instead, the song was added to the iTunes version of A Thousand Suns. Despite not being released as a single, the song received radio airplay in various countries.[1]

Background

"Blackbirds" is one of the seventeen songs recorded for Minutes To Midnight in 2006-2007 and is one of the five songs that did not make the album, along with "No Roads Left", "Across The Line", "What We Don't Know", and another unknown fifth song.

The song was first heard in The Making Of Minutes To Midnight DVD, where a short clip is shown of Brad observing David Campbell recording strings for the track. At the time of the album's release, the band said six songs had strings recorded for them. Four made the album - "Leave Out All The Rest", "Shadow Of The Day", "Hands Held High", and "The Little Things Give You Away". The fifth one was "No Roads Left", the iTunes bonus track for Minutes To Midnight. Due to the sixth one being unknown at the time, fans referred to "Blackbirds" originally as the "Sixth String Song" due to the clip in the DVD.

Blackbirds ended up being released almost three years after Minutes To Midnight came out, on April 26, 2010 on Linkin Park's 8-Bit Rebellion! game. To get the song, users had to beat the game and make it to the end, unlocking "Blackbirds". In an odd move, the LP also included "Blackbirds" with the A Thousand Suns release on iTunes as a bonus track even though it was from the Minutes To Midnight album sessions. Mike gave the first indication of this iTunes release in an April 7, 2010 LPU chat when he said, "Blackbirds will probably be on iTunes a little while after the game has been out."

In the 8-Bit Rebellion! press release, Mike said, "We really liked the song and thought this would be a unique way to give it to our fans." He went on to tell MTV News in April 2010, "When you finish the game, you get access to "Blackbirds" which is a brand new Linkin Park song that we basically finished specifically to this game. So it's exclusive to the game. It's not gonna be on an album, it's not gonna be on anything else."

Mike's statement about the song suggests the track was worked on at some point between 2007 and 2010 to finalize it for release like other Linkin Park songs, such as "Not Alone" and "The Last Line". It is not uncommon for Linkin Park to "polish" a song or make small changes to it before its release, especially if it was recorded years prior.

When he posted about the song on his blog on April 28, 2010, Mike said, "Sorry, I forgot to add the most “mysterious” part: the intro rap verse. That was a demo / freestyle session that was the template for the bridge. Lyrically, this is what some of my demo rap stuff sounds like–it kinda makes sense, kinda doesn’t…thought it would be a cool way to open up the song."[2]

Music Video

"Blackbirds" is unlocked on 8-Bit Rebellion! after you finish the game. The song is played along with a slideshow of pictures of Linkin Park on studio during the A Thousand Suns sessions, some of which are exclusive to the video.

The video (named "blackBirdMV_3.m4v" inside the game's folder) was never made available outside the game.

Versions

Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Blackbirds 8-Bit Rebellion!

A Thousand Suns (iTunes)

3:21 2007 April 26, 2010
  • The song is unlocked in MP3 128kbps on 8-Bit Rebellion! after you finish the game.
  • Listed as "Blackbirds (Non-Album Track From The 8-Bit Rebellion! App)" on the initial iTunes version of A Thousand Suns.

Live

Personnel

Lyrics

In Other Media

External Links

References