Blackout

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"Blackout"
Promo-Blackout.jpg
Song by Linkin Park from the album A Thousand Suns
Working title Pac-Manny
Recorded 2008 - 2010
Length 04:39
Stems Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock (A Thousand Suns)
Time signature 4/4
Tempo 135
Key E Minor
Live debut December 13, 2010
Last played January 18, 2015
Writer Linkin Park
Producer Mike Shinoda, Rick Rubin
Label Warner Bros.

A Thousand Suns track listing
  1. The Requiem
  2. The Radiance
  3. Burning In The Skies
  4. Empty Spaces
  5. When They Come For Me
  6. Robot Boy
  7. Jornada Del Muerto
  8. Waiting For The End
  9. Blackout
  10. Wretches And Kings
  11. Wisdom, Justice, And Love
  12. Iridescent
  13. Fallout
  14. The Catalyst
  15. The Messenger

Background

"Blackout" is one of the most unique songs on A Thousand Suns, featuring Chester screaming in scat vocal style above a electronic instrumental. It builds with intense and angry vocals until its glitchy bridge leads into a piano section that builds again to end the song. The band had particular trouble on the lyrics and vocal with this track, so they went to Rick Rubin for ideas. Mike explained that the track originally started as nothing but "Chester... screaming gibberish over the crazy dance-style track, and there were no words. And every time we tried to put words to it, the lyrics felt like too left-brained, we were thinking too hard and it didn’t feel like a gut spill to use Rick’s words."[1] He told them to try automatic writing, a "technique he used with Johnny Cash and Neil Young, which basically means you get up on the mic and let the words flow. Going in there and actually doing it was terrifying at first but then the words just started coming out of nowhere, it was really surreal. It added a certain soul to the record and without that, I think it would have been really rigid and digital."[2] In an LPU Chat in August 2011, Chester stated that "Blackout" was the hardest song to write off of the album. He did scat vocals (original melody by making sounds) and it was difficult to put words to it. The song was written in 3 parts, so they had to make sure they fit together.[3] He also stated that "Blackout" and "Robot Boy" were some of the most fun to record due to the many elements found in each of them. Jokingly, Chester also said that he regretted recording the song after realizing how hard it would be to perform the song live - he had the same thoughts about "Crawling" and "One Step Closer" on Hybrid Theory. [4]

Remix

The song's remix by Renholdër appeared in the film Underworld: Awakening in 2012.

Lyric Video

A lyric video for "Blackout" was created by Keaton Hashimoto (one of the finalists of the "The Catalyst" remix contest) and is featured on Linkin Park's official website.[5]

About the video, Hashimoto wrote, "I was asked to do a lyric video for one of the new songs from A Thousand Suns titled Blackout. The video features a very glitch-heavy effect, used to mirror not only the chaotic and serene dynamics of the song itself but also the overall approach the band have taken with the new album."[6]

Versions

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

Studio

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Blackout A Thousand Suns 4:39 2008-2010 September 8, 2010
Blackout A Thousand Suns (Clean) 4:39 2008-2010 September 8, 2010
Black Out FIFA 11 4:38 2008-2010 September 28, 2010
  • Censored.
  • Different mix.
  • At the end of the song, Mike sings "We've been waiting to collect the things you know" twice instead of changing the second line to "We've been waiting to collect what you've let go".
  • There was no official soundtrack release for the game.
Blackout A Thousand Suns (AU Album Advance) 2008-2010
  • On September 3, 2010, the Australian website The Music Network posted a review of A Thousand Suns, according to which "Blackout" had the same lyrics as the LPTV episode "Blackout" Freestyle.
  • While this version of the song has never surfaced to the public, it is important noting that it exists and it is out there.

Remix

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Blackout (Renholdër Remix) Underworld: Awakening (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) 5:03 January 17, 2012
  • Remix by Danny Lohner.

Live

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Blackout (Live) Burning In The Skies 4:36 February 04, 2011 March 21, 2011
  • Live from Madison Square Garden: New York, NY February 4th, 2011.
  • The back of the single says the track was recorded at the Madison Square Garden in 2010 but Linkin Park didn't play there on this year.
Blackout (Live From Hamburg, 2011) A Thousand Suns - Live Around The World 4:34 December 15, 2010 June 19, 2012
  • Labeled as being from Hamburg 2011, but the recording is in fact from Sydney 2010.
Blackout Live At Admiralspalast Berlin, Germany June 05, 2012 March 29, 2013

Live

When the A Thousand Suns World Tour kicked off in October 2010, Chester stated his wish for Linkin Park to play all of the album live. The band continually soundchecked both "Blackout" and "Burning In The Skies" before the first six shows in Australia in December 2010, finally debuting both live at the seventh show of the tour, which was the second night in Melbourne, Victoria on December 13, 2010. The songs were only played once more on that tour.

When the North American Tour kicked off in January 2011, "Blackout" was in only one setlist for the tour even though Linkin Park debuted all-new setlists to go with their "main" one from 2010. The fourth show of the tour in Detroit, Michigan actually had a rare "New Divide" opener and then "Blackout" to open the encore, but the set was only played once and "Blackout" remained a rarity throughout the tour, just like "Burning In The Skies".

Going into the summer and fall, the setlists were changed again slightly. "Blackout" was moved from the winter "B-13" setlist to the encore of Set A, but the song was only played a few times in Europe, and a solid amount of shows in the fall. However, if a song had to be dropped from a setlist for any reason, it was usually "Blackout", which was dropped for the "Rolling In The Deep" cover in London and for a few other occasions including when Phoenix got sick in Thailand and his tech had to fill in for him. The song, with a remixed ending, was used during the band's presentation of A Thousand Horizons in Japan.

When the Living Things World Tour started, "Blackout" was surprisingly included in the Headline Setlist. It stayed there throughout the European Tour and made it back to the USA for a show in June 2012. Unfortunately, it was replaced with new songs when Honda Civic Tour began and it wasn't played again for the rest of the touring cycle.

On The Hunting Party World Tour, Linkin Park played a shortened instrumental of "Blackout" that transitioned directly into a slower, buildup intro to "Papercut". "Blackout" stayed in the setlist for all of 2014 and for January 2015, before being dropped when the band decided to open with "Papercut" in May 2015.

Variations

Last Updated: December 25, 2015

Type Description First Played Last Played
Outro Ext. "Papercut" Beat Outro Transition May 24, 2014 January 18, 2015
Alternative Shortened (Intro and Partial Outro Instrumental Only) May 24, 2014 January 18, 2015

Live Guests

Last Updated: December 25, 2015

  • Benjamin Chandler (replacing Brad Delson)

Awards and Nominations

Year Award Category Status
2011 MTV Game Awards Best Song In A Video Game (FIFA 11) Won

Personnel

Lyrics

Gallery

In Other Media

  • An early version of "Blackout" is featured in the 2010 videogame FIFA 11.
  • "Blackout" was released in 2010 as part of a DLC for the 2010 videogame Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock.
  • A remix of "Blackout" by Renholdër is featured in the 2012 film Underworld: Awakening and was included in its soundtrack album.
  • "Blackout" is featured in the 2015 film Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.

External Links

References

  1. NoiseCreep September 20, 2010
  2. NMESeptember 6, 2010
  3. LPU Chat, August 2011
  4. KROQSeptember 7, 2010
  5. Lyric Videos : Linkin Park
  6. Blackout Lyric Video - YouTube, September 08, 2010