Somewhere I Belong

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"Somewhere I Belong"
Single by Linkin Park
from the album Meteora
Working title Pretty Birdie / Pretty Birdy
Recorded 2002
Released February 24, 2003 (US Radio)
March 17, 2003 (International)
Format CD, Vinyl
Length 03:34
Stems Rock Band 3 (DLC)
Open Labs SoundSlate Pro
Time signature 4/4
Tempo 81
Key Bb Minor
Live debut February 23, 2003
Last played October 27, 2017
Writer(s) Linkin Park
Producer(s) Don Gilmore, Linkin Park
Label Warner Bros.
Linkin Park singles chronology

H! Vltg3 (2002) Somewhere I Belong (2003) Faint (2003)

Meteora track listing
  1. Foreword
  2. Don't Stay
  3. Somewhere I Belong
  4. Lying From You
  5. Hit The Floor
  6. Easier To Run
  7. Faint
  8. Figure.09
  9. Breaking The Habit
  10. From The Inside
  11. Nobody's Listening
  12. Session
  13. Numb

"Somewhere I Belong" is the third track on Linkin Park's sophomore album Meteora. It was released as the lead single of the record, released in March 2003. It features an electronic intro followed by big choruses and rapped verses.


In March 2003, Mike Shinoda did a track-by-track of Meteora for ShoutWeb. About "Somewhere I Belong", he said:

""Somewhere I Belong" is the single. It started out with an interesting sample. Actually, the first thing you hear in the song is a sample. Now, the sample sounds like keyboards but what it is really, is a guitar progression Chester played.

And this is just to give you an idea. It just shows the evolution of parts. The guitar part that Chester played had a cool progression to it but the sound of it was too acoustic guitar. So what we did was, we flipped it backwards. We effected it. I cut it up into four pieces and instead of arranging it 1-2-3-4, I arranged it 4-3-2-1 because it had been reversed. So it evolved into this thing with the different manipulations in the computer. It evolved into this thing that it is now. In fact, you can hear an early version of that on our "Party At The Pancake Festival" DVD. That's the DVD that came out over a year ago. There's a version of that towards the end of the DVD that's playing. You kind of get an idea of what it sounded like in the second stage of it's lifetime and now it's at it's third when we finished it. So that song is cool for that reason.

Another cool thing about it is that it's really the first time you hear some optimistic views, some optimistic lyrics from us. I think that lyrically this album is a little older, a little more mature hopefully. When we were writing a lot of songs for the first album, we're talking about writing as 18 and 19 year olds. Being 25 now, I feel like I just look at things a tiny bit differently. It doesn't really have much to do with where we're at with the success of the first album and it has everything to do with having seen some of the world and just being a little bit older. So, that's where that comes from. But you'll see overall on the album that it's still the same heavy and melodic and dynamic sound that is kind of our signature thing just with some new evolution added."

On the Meteora booklet, the band wrote, "Originally, this started out as a sample of Chester playing acoustic guitar. Mike took the sample, replayed it, effected it, flipped it backwards, and cut it up into four pieces, creating the main sample of the song. By the time it was finished, almost a year later, the band had rewritten most of the music around the sample. On another note, Mike and Chester wrote over 30 finished choruses for this song, each time scrapping the last one in search of something better. They ended up recording the final version one week after the rest of the album was finished, in the studio where they were mixing." In 2023, Mike added, "The intro of "Somewhere I Belong" with Chester playing an acoustic guitar... it was reversed, and I think there is a bit crusher and compressor on there. The main sound was reversed guitar with bit reducer on it."

In an interview with Rolling Stone in April 2003, Mike explained why they did so many choruses for the song:

"We had written, finished, and performed 39 different choruses to that song. But our producer told us that it wasn’t quite right so we kept rewriting it. It was very stressful, as chester got sick and it scared the crap out of us. If his voice was different in any way, we would have had to scrap the song, and given that it was the single, you can understand how important it was to us. Thankfully, on take number 40, we got it right."

"I don’t know. It is just a part of who I am. When I went to art school, we were taught that craftmanship was the most important part of what you do as an artist and I think I have carried it over into the way I work in the band. When we are putting together all of the musical parts, I want to make sure that every little detail is scrutinized. It just has to be right."

When questioned what was the most difficult song to record on the album, Chester Bennington said, "It's kind of hard to say which song was most difficult to write/record- Runaway took literally like 6 years to write and Somewhere I Belong took the entire length of recording- it was the first thing written during Ozzfest and last one we finished in the studio. Those 2 songs made me want to kill myself because I knew they'd both be good but they took SO LONG>"

In 2023, Mike said, "Somewhere I Belong" was a grind to get to where it needed to be. Sometimes I hear the song and that's apparent, I can hear that in "Somewhere I Belong." "Faint" off of Meteora was a bit of a grind to get where it was. "Faint" was not a two steps forward/one step back kind of process, but "Somewhere I Belong" was that process."[1]

An early instrumental demo of "Somewhere I Belong", entitled "Pretty Birdy", was released on the LP Underground XIII CD on November 18, 2013. On the booklet, Mike wrote: "There were usually three incarnations of our early demos: 1) mostly done in the computer with drum programming, keyboard, bass, and some live guitar 2) adding real drums and vocals 3) adding more live instrumentation, structure and arrangement work. This version was in stage two. Check out the original guitar in the bridge."


"Somewhere I Belong" was released to radio as a single on February 24, 2003.


CD Single

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Somewhere I Belong Linkin Park 3:33
2 Step Up (Live) Bennington, Delson, Hahn, Shinoda 4:15
3 My December (Live) Delson, Hahn, Shinoda 4:27

Vinyl Single

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Somewhere I Belong Linkin Park 3:33
2 Step Up (Live) Bennington, Delson, Hahn, Shinoda 4:15

US & DE Interview Disc

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Mike - On Making The First Single Linkin Park 0:34
2 Mike - On "Somewhere I Belong" And Meteora Linkin Park 0:38
3 Mike - On Joe And The Video Linkin Park 0:28
4 Mike - On Recording The Album On The Road Linkin Park 0:50
5 Mike - On The Fan Club Tour And LP Underground Linkin Park 0:38
6 Mike - On The Shows Linkin Park 0:13
7 Rob - On The Album And Their Goals Linkin Park 0:18
8 Rob - On The Process Of Making Meteora Linkin Park 1:03
9 Rob - On The "Somewhere I Belong" Video Shoot Linkin Park 0:42
10 Chester - On The New Single Linkin Park 0:38
11 Joe - The Idea Behing The Video Linkin Park 0:35
12 Joe - New Single ID Linkin Park 0:16
13 Joe - Coming Monday ID Linkin Park 0:13
14 Joe - Here Is The Single Linkin Park 0:11
15 Chester - New Single ID Linkin Park 0:10
16 Chester - Coming Monday ID Linkin Park 0:11
17 Chester - Mention Of Single With Release Date Linkin Park 0:11
18 Chester - World Premiere This Monday Tune In Linkin Park 0:10
19 Rob - New Single ID Linkin Park 0:09
20 Rob - Coming Monday ID Linkin Park 0:14
21 Rob - Mention Of Single With Release Date Linkin Park 0:10
22 Rob - World Premiere This Monday Tune In Linkin Park 0:08
23 Mike - New Single ID Linkin Park 0:08
24 Mike - Coming Monday ID Linkin Park 0:10
25 Mike - Mention Of Single With Release Date Linkin Park 0:09
26 Mike - World Premiere This Monday Tune In Linkin Park 0:09
27 "Somewhere I Belong" Snippet Linkin Park 0:15
28 "Somewhere I Belong" Instrumental Snippet Linkin Park 0:28

TW Single + Interview Disc

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Introduction Linkin Park 0:08
2 Somewhere I Belong - Snippet Linkin Park 0:14
3 "Meteora" / "Somewhere I Belong" Linkin Park 3:45
4 Somewhere I Belong Linkin Park 3:35
5 Fan Club & Tour & The Video Linkin Park 3:02

Music Video

Brad Delson talked about the music video on an update posted on on January 15, 2003: "Joe is directing the new video by himself and we are really very proud of what he’s done in the past. He’s definitely going to be special effects and CGI intensive. Joe’s background is in creating larger than life visual environments. The song is really about escape and trying to find a place where you belong- but in this case Chester basically falls into a dream, which is the place where he is most comfortable, and Joe is trying to bring to life Chesters subconscious, which is where the majority of the video takes place."

Joe also spoke to MTV about the concept of the video: "It’s another very visual concept. It’s basically a dream sequence that’s taking place, and the familiar objects in the room are turning into the reality, which is the dream, which is not the reality. It’s a whole play on your mind."


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


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Somewhere I Belong Meteora 3:34 2002 March 25, 2003
Somewhere I Belong Somewhere I Belong

Big Shiny Tunes 8

Kerrang! High Voltage

3:36 2002 March 17, 2003
  • Lacks the transition from "Don't Stay".
Pretty Birdy (Somewhere I Belong 2002 Demo) LP Underground XIII 4:05 2002 November 18, 2013
  • Instrumental demo.
Somewhere I Belong Meteora - Instrumentals 3:35 2002
  • Official instrumental version.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Somewhere I Belong (Live) World Premiere Of Meteora: Wiltern 3-24-03 4:02 March 03, 2003
  • The CD dates from March 26, 2003.
Somewhere I Belong Live In Texas 3:37 August 02, 2003

August 03, 2003

November 18, 2003
  • Recorded live August 2nd 2003 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX and August 3rd 2003 at Texas Stadium in Irving, TX on the Summer Sanitarium Tour.
Somewhere I Belong LP Underground 5.0 4:19 July 02, 2005 November 21, 2005
  • Recorded live at Live 8 in Philadelphia, PA. July 2, 2005.
Somewhere I Belong (11/18/07 LP Live Shanghai) Minutes To Midnight (Asian Tour Edition) 4:36 November 18, 2007 November 21, 2007
  • Downloadable MP3.
  • Download codes expired on December 17, 2008.
Somewhere I Belong Road To Revolution: Live At Milton Keynes

Meteora (Mastered For iTunes)

3:41 June 29, 2008 November 21, 2008
  • Bonus content on the Road To Revolution DVD. Audio released on January 15, 2013 as part of the "Mastered For iTunes" version of Meteora as "Somewhere I Belong (Live At Milton Keynes)".
  • Filmed at the National Bowl, Milton Keynes June 29, 2008.
Somewhere I Belong (Live From Koln, 2008) Meteora - Live Around The World 4:09 January 21, 2008 June 5, 2012
Somewhere I Belong Live At Admiralspalast Berlin, Germany June 05, 2012 March 29, 2013
Somewhere I Belong (Live In Texas) Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:35 August 02, 2003

August 03, 2003

April 7, 2023
  • Edited differently from the 2003 release.
  • Live In Texas.
Somewhere I Belong (Live In Nottingham 2003) Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:37 March 03, 2003 April 7, 2023
  • Mixed and edited differently from the radio broadcast.
Somewhere I Belong Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:34 July 12, 2003 April 7, 2023
Somewhere I Belong Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:37 October 29, 2003 April 7, 2023
Somewhere I Belong Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:59 June 15, 2004 April 7, 2023
Somewhere I Belong Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:55 August 30, 2004 April 7, 2023


"Somewhere I Belong" was a live staple throughout the Meteora and Minutes To Midnight touring cycles. It was one of the first Meteora songs to debut in a live setting. The song was often performed early in the set throughout 2003. It slowly moved up positions in the setlists until 2004, where it retained a more mid-set position. On the Meteora International Tour in the second half of 2004, "Somewhere I Belong" gained a new extended intro, featuring a guitar and drum build up into the song. The song kept this extended intro for the rest of 2004. In 2005, the studio version of the song was performed at both shows held that year, both times very early in the setlist. The studio version of the song was carried over to 2006, where the song was performed at all four shows at the band's appearances in Japan on the Summer Sonic tour.

Things started getting interesting for "Somewhere I Belong" on the Minutes To Midnight touring cycle. The song remained early in the setlist, with a longer version of the extended intro from 2004 being performed before it. The extended intro for the song began to evolve starting during these performances, with it eventually changing and morphing as time went on. A particularly special rendition of the intro was performed at the Bamboozle Festival in East Rutherford, New Jersey, where Brad and Mike both improvised rather than following what they would normally play (to an extent). The song was present in all three setlists when the band introduced rotating sets on Projekt Revolution. In Set A, "Somewhere I Belong" was played mid-set, after "Don't Stay". In both Set B and Set C, "Somewhere I Belong" retained its early set, third position in the setlist. The intro continued to evolve, becoming more solid as time went on. Brad began playing the heavy part of the intro differently (this carried on throughout the rest of the Minutes To Midnight tour), as well as playing the first part of the intro differently as time progressed. For the rest of the Minutes To Midnight touring cycle, spanning both 2007 and 2008, the song continued to retain its early set position. An exception to this is Set Y in the second half of 2008, where "Somewhere I Belong" was in the middle of the set. The extended intro continued to evolve and change until mid-2008, when the studio version of "Somewhere I Belong" returned. It is important to note that each studio performance of "Somewhere I Belong" had very slight variation from the true album version, with the intro synths being a few seconds shorter or longer. A minute difference, but a difference nonetheless.

"Somewhere I Belong" was dropped on the A Thousand Suns World Tour. It was on a proposed setlist for the second night in London, England in November 2010 (likely as an idea to make the first LPU Summit more special), but the song was ultimately scrapped, and "No More Sorrow" was performed instead. Another early draft of that setlist did not feature "Somewhere I Belong", but "Points Of Authority", another song that was not performed on the A Thousand Suns tour.

The song returned in 2012 for the Living Things touring cycle. Alongside the revival of many older Hybrid Theory tracks like "With You" and "A Place For My Head", "Somewhere I Belong" joined the roster of returns with a brand new extended intro backing it up. The song didn't experience much movement in the sets, as the band didn't change them up too much as time went on. The song remained comfortably in the mid-set, typically at the sixth position in all three setlists. There is only one instance where the song was dropped at a regular show on the entire tour: the band's performance in Osaka, Japan on the Summer Sonic Tour, where it was not even listed on the setlist.

During a Facebook chat with fans on December 23, 2013, Rob Bourdon said "Somewhere I Belong" was one of his favorite songs to play live: "One of my favorite songs to play is Somewhere I belong. Second favorite is probably No More Sorrow, and I love playing Little Things Give You Away."[3]

"Somewhere I Belong" was featured on The Hunting Party touring cycle, as well. The studio version of the song returned and appeared very late in the main set (later than it has ever appeared), after the 2014 Abridged Version of "Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You" in 2014. The song was replaced by "A Place For My Head" in the 2015 version of Set B, and did not return to the setlists at any point for the rest of the tour.

"Somewhere I Belong" returned to the setlist from the very start of the One More Light tour, being performed near the end of the set after "Leave Out All The Rest." Eventually, the band began rotating other songs in the slot where "Somewhere I Belong" was played, four songs in total being played in that spot: "Somewhere I Belong," "Points Of Authority," "A Place For My Head," and "From The Inside." At the Hollywood Bowl tribute show for Chester, Taka from the band ONE OK ROCK joined Linkin Park to perform the song, along with a live orchestra.


Last Updated: December 13, 2015

Type Description First Played Last Played
Intro Short Intro June 3, 2004 September 11, 2004
Intro Long Intro April 28, 2007 December 8, 2007
Intro Long Intro w/ Brad and Mike Improv. May 6, 2007 May 6, 2007
Intro Winter 2008 Intro January 16, 2008 March 10, 2008
Intro 2012 Intro May 18, 2012 January 10, 2014

Live Guests

Last Updated: August 23, 2018

  • Takahiro Moriuchi (ONE OK ROCK)


Awards and Nominations

Year Award Category Status
2003 MTV Video Music Brazil Best International Video Won
2003 MTV Video Music Awards Best Rock Video Won
2003 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best International Artist Won
2004 MTV Asia Awards Favorite Video Won
2004 MTV Video Music Awards Japan Best Rock Video Nominated
2004 Teen Choice Awards Choice Rock Track Nominated


Linkin Park

  • Chester Bennington: vocals
  • Rob Bourdon: drums
  • Brad Delson: guitar
  • Joseph Hahn: records, sampling
  • Phoenix: bass
  • Mike Shinoda: emcee, vocals, sampling

Track 1

  • Produced by Don Gilmore and Linkin Park
  • Mixed by Andy Wallace

Track 2

  • Written by Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Joe Hahn and Chester Bennington
  • Produced by Brad Divens
  • Recorded by Brad Divens
  • Mixed by Brad Divens and Drew Mazurek at High View Studios
  • Special Thanks to Joel Singer at Onsite Recording Services
  • Recorded During the Projekt Revolution 2002 Tour

Track 3

  • Written by Mike Shinoda
  • Produced by Brad Divens
  • Recorded by Brad Divens
  • Mixed by Brad Divens and Drew Mazurek at High View Studios
  • Special Thanks to Joel Singer at Onsite Recording Services
  • Recorded During the Projekt Revolution 2002 Tour



In Other Media

  • "Somewhere I Belong" is featured in the 23rd episode of Season 11 of the TV series Hinter Gittern - Der Frauenknast, titled "Böses Schauspiel".
  • "Somewhere I Belong" is featured in the 2007 film Rock Bottom: From Hell To Redemption.
  • "Somewhere I Belong" was released in 2011 as part of a DLC for the 2010 videogame Rock Band 3.

External Links