Living Things

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Living Things
Studio-Living Things Cover.jpg
Studio album by Linkin Park
Released June 26, 2012
Recorded March 2011 - April 2012
Length 37:05
Label Warner Bros., Machine Shop
Producer Mike Shinoda, Rick Rubin
Linkin Park studio album chronology

A Thousand Suns (2010) Living Things (2012) The Hunting Party (2014)

Living Things is American rock band Linkin Park's fifth studio album, released on June 26, 2012 through Warner Bros. Records. Three singles were released from the record: "Burn It Down", "Lost In The Echo", and "Castle Of Glass". Though they were not official singles, "Lies Greed Misery", "Powerless", and "I'll Be Gone" were all released as promotional singles. The band combined elements of the previous four albums to create the sound for Living Things, as they finally felt comfortable with where they were as a band. The album debuted at #1 on the charts, making it the band's fifth consecutive #1 record.

Background

Living Things is Linkin Park's fifth studio album. While the album focused heavily on electronics, the band combined elements of all of their previous albums to craft the sound of this album. As Mike explained, "We finally felt comfortable with the sound we had." On his blog, he wrote, "For me, it’s all about getting back to the real 'hybrid theory' — not the album with that name, but the idea that the six guys in our band have drastically different tastes in music, and the blending of all those sounds into one is exactly what we built our band upon." Remixes for tracks from Living Things were released on Linkin Park's second remix album, Recharged.

The name of the album is taken from the ideas expressed within the songs. Mike spoke to NME about it: "We chose the album title 'Living Things' because it's more of a record about people. It's more about personal interactions. On the last few records we've had an interest in global issues and social issues and those things are still around, there are certainly traces of them, but this record is far more personal." He continued to say that the album goes through a variety of moods, all connected through a very human and relatable perspective.

Several months after the album came out, Danny Hayes, who had been working with Linkin Park since they were called Xero and brought Chester Bennington to the band's attention, sued Paul Hutchinson, who had been hired in 2009 to audit the band's royalties. Hayes, in 2006, helped renegotiate Linkin Park's contract with Warner, promising the band more royalties in the new contract, which ultimately led to the conflict between the two entities ending. However, after Hutchinson investigated the royalties, it was found that the band was actually receiving less royalties from digital sales than before. After this information was discovered, Linkin Park fired Hayes, leading to him suing Hutchinson for allegedly intentionally creating ill will between Hayes and Linkin Park, and he claimed that Hutchinson lied to Linkin Park to harm Hayes's reputation. Despite trying to get the case dismissed on the grounds that he did the investigation in anticipation of legal action, Hutchinson's claim was dismissed and the lawsuit went forward.[1]

Writing and Recording

Writing for Living Things dates back to March 2011. In June 2011, Chester claimed in an interview with Kerrang!, "We've been working on a new record for the past two months. The music is great and we're well ahead of where we're expecting to be. It will probably get a very polarized reaction." He told Rolling Stone in an interview that, "'Touring for two years is excruciating. When we would tour for two years even the most resilient person in the band, at the end of that, was fucking miserable."

The band entered the studio entered the studio in early 2012, and recorded at NRG Studios in Los Angeles, California. The band returned to producer Rick Rubin to help them direct Living Things - Rubin had worked with them on their previous two efforts, Minutes To Midnight and A Thousand Suns. Compared to previous album sessions, the recording of the album happened extremely quickly - the band entered the studio in the beginning of 2012 and released the album in June.

With this album, the band drew from all of their past work to create one cohesive experience. Mike said that the band kept the live setting as a motivation for creating the new music, despite only half of the album being performed at Linkin Park shows as the band toured for it. Some songs, such as "I'll Be Gone" and "Powerless", were songs that were originally worked on during previous album sessions (in this case, the two songs were worked on during the A Thousand Suns era). Songs experienced major progression throughout the recording process, "Skin To Bone" and the outro of "Until It Breaks" were originally folk songs. The outro of "Until It Breaks" is the first (and only) time Brad has sung in a studio recording (excluding the demo). The song was originally three different demos that were eventually combined into the one track: "Apaches", "Foot Patrol", and "Three Band Terror". Chester fell sick during the process, but, unlike what happened in the case of Meteora's recording process, he was still able to sing and did not wait to get better. Ironically, Chester recorded heavier songs like "Victimized" and "Lies Greed Misery" whilst sick.

Billboard's feature on the album said, "For the new record, Linkin Park sought a balance of approaches: the energy of the first two and the songwriting/production of the last pair. Key to that, Shinoda says, was narrowing down the amount of equipment used. "If you can cut down on the number of pieces of gear, you can create a signature sound for the record," he says. "As we were working on it, it was a goal to only use the important sounds. Anything that wasn't playing a role in a song we got rid of." Many of Linkin Park's songs begin as demos that Shinoda records in his home studio and then presents to the other five members: singer Chester Bennington, guitarist Brad Delson, DJ Joe Hahn, drummer Rob Bourdon and bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell. The six of them, all of whom share songwriting credit on each song, pick apart the tracks and make suggestions from the demo stage until the music is mixed and mastered, Shinoda says. Delson brings in arrangements for songs he has worked on, but otherwise Shinoda leans on his compositional and piano training to flesh out musical ideas. Shinoda plays the role of "internal producer"; Rubin is considered the fresh pair of ears who comes in about once a week to provide feedback on the recordings. "The writing process is open to anybody as a general rule of thumb," Shinoda says. "Some bands will jam something out, write it, record it, mix it and master it. We're just doing everything at once. We'll be writing vocals, mashing two songs together and even writing during the mixing and mastering process - every song [is] in a constant state of flux. Rick told us while we were in the studio this time, he is positive no other band writes the way we do. He wasn't saying it was better or worse, just that it's different."[2]

When writing Living Things in the first couple months, management were trying to help out by suggesting electronic producers, beat-makers and Mike felt that hip-hop groups and collaborative artists may benefit from that, whereas Linkin Park work better creating their own music and then head for a second tier of input and re-mix the songs from there. Mike didn't want to feel like they were jumping on the "electronic-bandwagon" and didn't want to play catch-up with that.[3]

When asked about the inspiration for the sound behind the album in October 2020, Mike said, "Living Things, not one thing. There wasn't a single inspiration for the sound. A lot was happening in electronic music, so there were a lot of different electronic things that we were listening to. I don't remember what exactly I was listening to that made me say, "Oh that was dope." I know that it was post-Justice, Crystal Castles, that there were also a lot of bands mashing up live and electronic stuff. Like Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, and MGMT was out there still rocking. Skrillex had really popped off. There were elements of all of that stuff that had been in the ether. It was funny because Joe was a proponent of having somebody like Skrillex mix the album. And we played around with that, but we didn't actually have somebody do that. We didn't ask him to mix it or whatever, I don't know if he would have or whatever, I think he was trying to get away from rock and do more EDM-centric stuff. We played around with some of that approach and it didn't sound good. There's all these incremental steps between the way we would mix and the way those guys would mix so we kind of sat... we didn't end up finding a space in the middle."[4]

Composition

Releases

  • Album Version

Australian Tour Edition

On January 15, 2013, Linkin Park announced the Australian Tour Edition for Living Things, being released on February 8, 2013.[5] Included with the album on disc one is a second disc with six tracks - "In The End", New Divide", and "What I've Done" (Live from iTunes Festival: London 2011), "Lost In The Echo" (KillSonik Remix), and "Burn It Down" and "Lies Greed Misery" live from Rock im Park 2012. On the back cover of the release, the first two songs were switched from their real position - "In The End" is really track one instead of "New Divide."

The iTunes Festival London 2011 songs were mixed by Ethan Mates and the Rock im Park 2012 songs were mixed by Ken "Pooch" Van Druten and Dylan Ely.

  • Living Things+

Digital

  • Living Things // {cat. 093624950479}
  • Living Things (HI-Res version) // {cat. 093624950431}
  • Living Things: Acapellas + Instrumentals // {cat. 093624947035}

Track Listing

Standard Edition

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Lost In The Echo Linkin Park 3:25
2 In My Remains 3:20
3 Burn It Down 3:50
4 Lies Greed Misery 2:26
5 I'll Be Gone 3:31
6 Castle Of Glass 3:25
7 Victimized 1:46
8 Roads Untraveled 3:49
9 Skin To Bone 2:48
10 Until It Breaks 3:43
11 Tinfoil 1:11
12 Powerless 3:44

Japanese Bonus Track

No. Title Writer(s) Length
13 What I've Done (Live) Linkin Park 4:04

Australian Tour Edition

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 In The End (Live) Linkin Park 3:41
2 New Divide (Live) 4:30
3 What I've Done (Live) 4:06
4 Lost In The Echo (KillSonik Remix) 5:11
5 Burn It Down (Live Rock im Park 2012) 4:02
6 Lies Greed Misery (Live Rock im Park 2012) 2:31

Living Things (Acapellas and Instrumentals)

No. Title Writer(s) Acapella or Instrumental Length
1 Lost In The Echo Linkin Park Instrumental 3:25
2 In My Remains 3:20
3 Burn It Down 3:50
4 Lies Greed Misery 2:26
5 I'll Be Gone 3:31
6 Castle Of Glass 3:25
7 Victimized 1:46
8 Roads Untraveled 3:49
9 Skin To Bone 2:48
10 Until It Breaks 3:43
11 Tinfoil / Powerless 5:03
12 Lost In The Echo Acapella 2:56
13 In My Remains 2:43
14 Burn It Down 2:56
15 Lies Greed Misery 2:14
16 I'll Be Gone 2:59
17 Castle Of Glass 2:49
18 Victimized 1:15
19 Roads Untraveled 3:11
20 Skin To Bone 2:37
21 Until It Breaks 3:43
22 Powerless 3:26

Living Things+ Bonus DVD: Live At Admiralspalast Berlin, Germany

Main article: Living Things+
No. Title Writer(s) Length
0 Tinfoil Linkin Park 1:14
1 Faint 3:50
2 Papercut 3:16
3 With You 3:36
4 Given Up 3:49
5 Blackout 4:44
6 Somewhere I Belong 4:48
7 New Divide 5:01
8 Lies Greed Misery 2:31
9 Waiting For The End 5:27
10 Breaking The Habit 3:18
11 LOATR/SOTD/Iridescent 5:46
12 What I've Done 3:29
13 One Step Closer 4:25
14 Burn It Down 3:54
15 In The End 3:41
16 Numb 3:06
17 Bleed It Out 5:20

Personnel

Linkin Park is

  • Chester Bennington
  • Rob Bourdon
  • Brad Delson
  • Phoenix
  • Joe Hahn
  • Mike Shinoda

Production

  • Produced by Rick Rubin and Mike Shinoda
  • Additional Production by Brad Delson
  • Engineering by Mike Shinoda and Ethan Mates
  • Assistant Engineer and Editor: Andrew Hayes
  • Studio Drum Tech: Jerry Johnson
  • Album Production Coordination: Ryan DeMarti
  • Recorded at NRG Recording Studios
  • Additional Recording at The Stockroom
  • Mixed by Manny Marroquin at Larrabee North Studios, Universal Studios, CA
  • Assisted by Chris Galland and Del Bowers
  • Mastered by Brian Gardner at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA

Additional Musicians

  • Strings on "I'll Be Gone" by Owen Pallett

Management

  • Worldwide Representation: The Collective
  • Management Team: Michael Green, Jordan Berliant and Ran DeMarti
  • Booking Agents: Michael Arfin of Artist Group International
  • Europe Booking Agent: Scott Thomas of X-Ray Touring
  • Legal for Linkin Park: David Lande, David Byrnes, Mitch Tenzer, and Alicia Sydney for Zifren Brittenham LLP
  • Business Affairs for Warner Bros. Records: Charles Hamilton
  • Business Managers: Johnathan Schwartz and Michael Oppenheim of Gudvi, Sussman and Oppenheim
  • Publicity: Kymm Britton
  • UK Publicity: Kas Mercer of Mercenary Publicity
  • A&R: Rob Cavallo
  • A&R Coordination: Jonna Terrasi and Ran DeMarti
  • Marketing Director: Peter Standish

Artwork

  • Creative Direction by Mike Shinoda, Joe Hahn, Brandon Parvini and Andrea Scib
  • Art Direction & Design: The Uprising Creative
  • Artwork by Brandon Parvini at Ghost Town Media
  • LP Icon Design: Frank Maddocks

Live Performances

Songs Played Live

  • Lost In The Echo
  • In My Remains
  • Burn It Down
  • Lies Greed Misery
  • Castle Of Glass
  • Victimized
  • Roads Untraveled
  • Tinfoil

Tours

  • European Tour 2012
  • Honda Civic Tour
  • Living Things South American Tour
  • Living Things South African Tour
  • Living Things Australian and New Zealand Tour
  • Living Things Asian Tour

Promotion

Reception

Critical Reception

Awards

Gallery

Trivia

  • Throughout the cycle for Living Things, the band adopted a policy of "all caps everything", putting the album title, song names, and even their band name in all caps. This ended in 2014, once the Living Things cycle had ended.
  • Living Things was the second album from Linkin Park to get a remix album, which was titled Recharged. The first was Hybrid Theory with Reanimation.
  • Living Things is the first album since Meteora to feature no explicit language.

External Links

References