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Album-Hybrid Theory EP.jpg
Song by Hybrid Theory from the album Hybrid Theory EP
Recorded 1999
Released 1999
Format Digital, CD
Length 3:00
Writer Mike Shinoda, Joe Hahn, Brad Delson, Chester Bennington, Rob Bourdon
Producer Mudrock, Mike Shinoda
Label Mix Media Entertainment

Hybrid Theory EP track listing
  1. Carousel
  2. Technique (Short)
  3. Step Up
  4. And One
  5. High Voltage
  6. Part Of Me
  7. Track 7

"Carousel" is the first track on the Hybrid Theory EP. It was one of three songs co-produced and mixed by Mudrock and Mike Shinoda for the release. The song was written by Mike Shinoda, Joe Hahn, Brad Delson, Chester Bennington, and Rob Bourdon. Dave Farrell was added to the song's credits on Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition). Kyle Christener is credited for bass on the original EP but his name was removed from subsequent issues. This happened because his bass tracks weren't used in the EP.[1] The bass on "Carousel" is actually a synth.


In Jeff Blue's book "One Step Closer: From Xero to #1: Becoming Linkin Park", he explained that "Carousel" was originally a Xero song. It was included on a demo CD from November 17, 1998. Tracks included on the CD were: "Rhinestone", "Esaul", "Pictureboard", "Fiends", "Stick N Move", "Carousel", "Slip", "Pointillism" and "Step Up." He describes Mike Shinoda's notes about the song, "He wrote that the song deals with the patterns of behavior associated with denial and the inability to deal with personal problems. The last two lines in the song he wrote from the standpoint of the interchange between a problem and the solution."[2]

It was re-recorded with producer Mudrock when Chester joined the band, for the Hybrid Theory EP.

After the original release of the EP, the band continued working on "Carousel" for inclusion on their debut studio album, Hybrid Theory, but it didn't make it to the final tracklist. The latest known version of the song dates from February 11, 2000. On later versions of the song, the band plays with how many times Mike and Chester say the "she can only fool herself for so long" line throughout the track. The line "just follow me and I'll show you what you want to see" is also in the bridge by Mike.


On March 24, 2020, Linkin Park (Mike, Dave, and Joe) reacted to the (previously unreleased) San Diego 2001 show stream on YouTube.[3] When the performance of "And One" happened, all three band members did not know the name of the song and spent the next few minutes guessing at what it could be. Due to Dave asking, "Is this Carousel?", the phrase instantly became a sensational meme for Linkin Park fans. Due to this, on April 20, 2020 when the individual songs were being uploaded to YouTube, Linkin Park promoted the "And One" video on social media by saying, "Is This Carousel? Head over to YouTube to find out."[4]


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

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Carousel Hybrid Theory EP 3:00 1999 1999
Carousel Hybrid Theory EP (Re-Issue)

Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition)

3:00 1999 November 19, 2001
  • Remastered. Sounds louder than the original release.
Carousel Demos 3:01 1999
  • The CD dates from January 7, 2000.
  • Different mix.
  • "She can only fool herself for so long" repeated three times during the pre-chorus. Chester raps it in the second time.
  • "Just follow me and I'll show you what you want to see" bridge.
  • Released on LPFuse for free download on Christmas 2004.
Carousel Hybrid Theory 8-Track Demo

Linkin Park - Demos From 02-2000

Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition)

3:00 2000
  • The first CD it appears dates from February 2000.
  • Different mix.
  • Mike raps "She can only fool herself for so long" only twice during the pre-chorus.
  • "Just follow me and I'll show you what you want to see" bridge.
  • Mike breathes in before final refrain.


During a LP Underground chat on November 18, 2009, Rob Bourdon was questioned if the band ever played the songs from the Hybrid Theory EP live. He said he remembers playing "Carousel" and "Part Of Me" and added "it was probably in a small club in LA or Arizona."[5]

This information was confirmed by Mike Shinoda on August 12, 2015, during a Reddit AMA: "We played those songs a ton when the band name was "Hybrid Theory," and once we had a whole album to play, those kinda just went away."[6]

In 2001, right before their European tour in September, Linkin Park gave an interview to OnStage where Brad Delson said the band would be using their soundcheck time during the next tour to rehearse old songs. The songs mentioned were "My December" and "Carousel" and he also said: "I'm using two extra Boss effects pedals, the Auto-Wah and the Phaser, to re-create the guitar sounds on another old song we'll be playing called “Step Up."[7] Unfortunately, "Carousel" was the only one of those songs not to be played. Before that, Mike Shinoda posted a tour diary the last day of Ozzfest that said, "8/13/01: END OF OZZFEST so the ozzfest is over. we're happy to be home, getting a little rest so that we can be fresh when we start the upcoming european and family values tours. we're hoping to do some cool new stuff on stage, and MAYBE even playing some older songs that we usually don't play. i don't know what it's going to be yet, but we are going to practice the e.p. songs to see if any of them work their way into the set. by the way, if you don't have the e.p., ask around on the messageboard for the mp3s. the songs are: carousel / technique / step up / and one / high voltage (original version) / part of me ...and there is a hidden instrumental track. -Mike"


  • Rob Bourdon
  • Joseph Hahn
  • Kyle Christner
  • Brad Delson
  • Chester Bennington
  • Mike Shinoda


  • Produced and mixed by Mudrock and Mike Shinoda
  • Mastered by Pat Kraus


External Links