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Studio-Hybrid Theory Cover.jpg
Song by Linkin Park from the album Hybrid Theory
Working title Rhinestone
Recorded 1996 - 2000
Length 03:14
Stems "Parts" CD
Time signature 4/4
Tempo 108
Key Eb Minor
Samples Beside - Change The Beat (Female Version)
Live debut Unknown
Last played June 14, 2014
Writer Linkin Park, Mark Wakefield
Producer Don Gilmore
Label Warner Bros.

Hybrid Theory track listing
  1. Papercut
  2. One Step Closer
  3. With You
  4. Points Of Authority
  5. Crawling
  6. Runaway
  7. By Myself
  8. In The End
  9. A Place For My Head
  10. Forgotten
  11. Cure For The Itch
  12. Pushing Me Away

"Forgotten" is the tenth song on the album Hybrid Theory. It is a quick paced track, revolving around Mike Shinoda's verses. This song was originally known as "Rhinestone" during the band's days as Xero and when they were using the Hybrid Theory band name.


"Forgotten" is one of the oldest songs for the band, as it appears on the Xero 4 track cassette from 1997 as "Rhinestone." "Rhinestone" was an early version of the song and was written by both Mike Shinoda and Mark Wakefield, but it is the only song on the cassette to have writing credits also from Brad Delson and Joe Hahn.

Jeff Blue explains the meaning of the lyrics in his One Step Closer: From Xero to #1: Becoming Linkin Park book, "The song was written during the transition from high school to college. Mike's notes expressed frustration with feeling helpless and indicated the song was about grappling with an individual's insignificance in a world that seemed so big and intimidating, with so many issues that almost nothing could ever be corrected. He mentions that the lyrics attempt to reconcile paranoia, anger, blaming others, and the naivete that comes when one has to see the world for what it is."[1]

After the band signed a development deal with a little financial support from Zomba Music, they were able to buy new instruments and equipment in order to get a decent recording and a better show.[2]

A new version of "Rhinestone" eventually found its way to producers of The Crow: Stairway To Heaven, a Canadian TV show about a murdered rock musician who returns to Earth to take revenge on his killers. As with each of the movie adaptations of the original comic book, underground music played a key role in the show.[3] The song was used on the soundtrack of the 20th episode, entitled "Brother's Keeper", which aired on May 7, 1999.[4][5] A soundtrack CD for the series exists but "Rhinestone" wasn't included in it.[6]

A version of the track was, however, included in the audition tape the band sent to Chester.[7]

On October 7, 2002, Mike wrote on Linkin Park's official website: "[...]sometimes, some of us never get past the working title. originally, forgotten was called "rhinestone," and no matter how much i ask him not to, brad still calls that song by its old name. haha"[8]

There were a few mistakes on the lyrics printed on the Hybrid Theory booklet. For "Forgotten", the lyrics read "Then with the eyes tightly shut" (like in the demo versions) instead of "Then with the eyes shut".


Due to Phoenix being out of the band at this time (1999 to October 2000) to tour with The Snax, he did not record bass on any songs on the Hybrid Theory EP or Hybrid Theory. Ian Hornbeck recorded the bass on "Papercut", "A Place For My Head", and "Forgotten".


As mentioned above, "Rhinestone" first appears as track one on the Xero 4-track cassette. Due to the four tracks on the cassette being recorded right to tape, the quality of this demo was not very good. Since nothing touched the computer, no master digital files exist for these exact versions of these four songs. According to Mike, "Those recordings that you have [demo tape] are almost definitely the highest quality versions."[9]

The demo was re-recorded in 1998 when Mark was still in the band and features live drums for the first time (the cassette version has programmed drums). It is one of the only known Xero songs recorded to computer with Mark, along with "Esaul" and "Pictureboard". Due to the band recording these songs after the cassette was released, the quality of these versions are much higher. This version of "Rhinestone" was released by Zomba! Music Services on their New Music Sampler 1999.[10] This film and television music division of Zomba Music Group would offer prerecorded music and publishing services for soundtracks.[11] It is the earliest known recording of Rob Bourdon in the band that currently exists publicly. In 2020, it was released on the Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition).

The Hybrid Theory 9-Track Demo CD from January 2000 features "Rhinestone" on it. On this version of the song, Chester is obviously on vocals and it has different lyrics. However, the instrumental is identical to the 1998 version, meaning the band had Chester just re-record vocals over the top of the existing Xero instrumental to form the Hybrid Theory (band) demo of this song. In November 2012, this version of "Rhinestone" was released on the LP Underground 12 CD and was titled "Forgotten (Demo)." In the booklet, Brad wrote: "One of our earliest songs. Definitely a fan favorite. The spirit of this song is intimately interwoven into the formative identity of the band."

The version of "Forgotten" on the Hybrid Theory (Unmastered Studio Finals 5/7/00) CD from May 2000 features only a different mix of the song and is not a true demo.


Linkin Park released a remix of "Forgotten" on Reanimation in July 2002 titled "Frgt/10". The track was remixed by The Alchemist, known for his work with Dilated Peoples, Mobb Deep, and Eminem. Chali 2na, from Jurassic 5, guests with a rap verse on the track. Scratches were done by Joe Hahn. Some of the lyrics from the "Rhinestone" demo were reused in this remix.[12]


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


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Forgotten Hybrid Theory 3:14 2000 October 24, 2000
Rhinestone Xero 3:36 1996 1997
  • Demo version.
  • Mark Wakefield on vocals.
  • Programmed drums.
Rhinestone New Music Sampler 1999

Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition)

3:44 1998 1998
  • First professional recording of the song.
  • Mark Wakefield on vocals.
  • Different lyrics.
  • Live drums.
  • CD incorrectly lists the length as 3:34.
  • Released on r/LinkinPark for free download on January 11, 2020.
Rhinestone Demos

LP Underground 12

Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition)

3:41 1999 November 16, 2012
  • The Demos CD dates from January 7, 2000.
  • Chester Bennington on vocals.
  • Different lyrics.
  • Similar instrumental to the 1998 version.
  • Listed as "Forgotten (Demo)" on the LPU CD.
  • Released on LPFuse for free download on Christmas 2004.
Forgotten Studio Finals 5/7/00 3:19 2000
  • The CD dates from May 7, 2000.
  • Released on LPLive for free download on April 9, 2011.
Forgotten Hybrid Theory - Instrumentals 3:16 2000
  • Official instrumental version.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Frgt/10 Reanimation

Enth E Nd / Frgt/10

3:32 2001 July 30, 2002
  • Remix by The Alchemist.
  • Features vocals by Chali 2na of Jurassic 5.
  • "Rhinestone" lyrics were re-used for this remix.
4 GT 10 (Featuring Chali 2NA) Fish Market 3:28 2004 November 9, 2004
  • Includes transition to Rasco's "The Sweet Science" at the end.
Frgt/10 "Reanimation" Internal Demo 3:45 2001
  • The CD dates from late January or February 2002.
  • No Chali 2na.
  • Original "Forgotten" lyrics.
  • After the second chorus, the structure of the song varies from the version on Reanimation.
  • Short bridge with brief piano part.
  • Slight differences with the ending.
  • Released on LPLive for free download on June 20, 2012.
Frgt/10 Reanimation - Instrumentals 3:32 2001
  • Official instrumental version.
  • Has sound effects in the verses that aren't present in the officially released instrumental.
Frgt/10 (Instrumental) Enth E Nd / Frgt/10 3:31 2001 2002
  • Official instrumental version.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Forgotten (Live At Download Festival 2014) Hybrid Theory - Live At Download Festival 2014 3:26 June 14, 2014 August 12, 2014
Forgotten Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition) 5:25 January 30, 2001 October 9, 2020
  • DVD only.
  • The Fillmore 2001.
Forgotten Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition) 6:32 June 03, 2001 October 9, 2020
Forgotten Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:55 February 23, 2002

February 24, 2002

October 9, 2020
  • DVD only.
  • Projekt: Revolution 2002.



The song was supposedly debuted live at Xero's debut show on November 14, 1997 at Whisky a Go Go. On Jeff Blue's book he mentions the song after watching the band performing live for the first time.[1]

Hybrid Theory can be seen rehearsing the song in the HiFi Hollywood Rehearsal Studios with bassist Scott Koziol during the episode "DJ Joe of Linkin Park" of Marc Ostrick's webseries Lockout, recorded on February 24, 2000.


"Forgotten" was a staple in the setlists on the Hybrid Theory touring cycle. The song was almost always played with an extended intro, entitled the "2000 Beat Intro", near the beginning of the set in 2000. When the song was performed in the very beginning of 2001, it continued to be performed towards the beginning of the set, now with an extended bridge added to it. On the band's first tour of the year, the Street Soldiers Tour, the song was finally moved up into the set, becoming the second-to-last song in the setlist before "One Step Closer". When the band began utilizing an encore break in the middle of the US-to-Europe Tour (the first confirmed show of this happening is in West Melbourne, Victoria, "Forgotten" was the song that opened up the encore. At the band's first show at Rock im Park, "Forgotten" had both an extended guitar intro in addition to the 2000 Beat Intro, the first time the intro had been extended further. This extension was consistent until the end of the Ozzfest. When the band performed at the KROQ Weenie Roast, the extended bridge was taken a bit further when Brad began to play the main riff of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mind" during it. On the Hybrid Theory European Tour, "Forgotten" was moved down into the main set rather than the encore, when it was the second-to-last in the set, before "Crawling". The song was dropped after this tour. The song returned once more in 2002, where it was again performed as the second-to-last song in the set. On the single 2002 tour, it was performed with a new guitar intro.

"Forgotten" did not appear in a Linkin Park setlist for over a decade after the Hybrid Theory touring cycle. It was rehearsed for the Meteora touring cycle, but did not end up being performed in that cycle. It did not appear again until The Hunting Party touring cycle, where the band performed it at the Download Festival, where the band performed Hybrid Theory in its entirety. At the show in Stuttgart, Germany on The Hunting Party European Tour, Mike was going to rap the first verse of "Forgotten" over the extended intro of "Until It's Gone", by request of an LPU member at the meet and greet, but couldn't figure out how to do it on the spot and ended up making the extended intro an instrumental.


Last Updated: September 27, 2015

Type Description First Played Last Played
Intro 2000 Beat Intro July 24, 2000* May 15, 2001
Intro Guitar + 2000 Beat Intro June 1, 2001 October 23, 2001
Intro 2002 Guitar Intro January 29, 2002 February 24, 2002
Bridge Samples and bridge lyrics repeated January 10, 2001 December 3, 2001
Bridge w/ Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" June 23, 2001 June 23, 2001

Dates marked with an asterisk (*) indicates first known appearance of the variation. The date may not be the exact debut or final performance of the variation.


Linkin Park

  • Chester Bennington: vocals
  • Rob Bourdon: drums, backing vocals
  • Brad Delson: guitars, bass, backing vocals
  • Joseph Hahn: records, sampling, backing vocals
  • Mike Shinoda: emcee, vocals, beats, sampling

Additional Musicians

  • Ian Hornbeck: bass

Additional Writers

  • Mark Wakefield: writer


  • Don Gilmore: producer
  • Jeff Blue: executive producer
  • Andy Wallace: mixer



In Other Media

  • A demo version of "Forgotten" ("Rhinestone") with Mark Wakefield on vocals is featured in the 20th episode of the TV series The Crow: Stairway To Heaven, titled "Brother's Keeper".

External Links