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Studio-Hybrid Theory Cover.jpg
Song by Linkin Park from the album Hybrid Theory
Recorded 1998 - 2000
Length 03:04
Stems "Parts" CD
Neko Keyboard Sounds and Samples[1]
Time signature 4/4
Tempo 109
Key B Minor
Live debut Unknown
Last played November 14, 2015
Writer Brad Delson, Chester Bennington, Joe Hahn, Mark Wakefield, Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon
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

"Runaway" is the sixth song on the album Hybrid Theory. The song features a 7-string guitar and an electronic and hip-hop influenced instrumental, despite being one of the few songs on the album to not feature much rapping.

"Runaway" wasn't a single, but some people think it was because many radio stations played the song without the band promoting it or doing a music video.[2]


"Runaway" had its origins in a song created by Mike Shinoda and Mark Wakefield called "Stick N Move", which was released in 1997 on the Xero cassette tape. Mike explained, "We completely disassembled the song and re-wrote it. We kept the chords and some of the drum grooves, but added a bunch of new stuff to it, and rewrote all the lyrics, and it became “Runaway.”"[2] Brad describes it as having "a punk intro at the beginning."[3]

After spending about two weeks trying to write "Runaway" with no luck during the Hybrid Theory sessions, the band wrote "One Step Closer"[4], a song about how frustrated they were at the time both with the record label and the work in their debut album.

During a LPU chat in April 2003, 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"[5]

Despite Chester's commentary at that time, "Runaway" went on to become one of his least favorite songs. After the release of Minutes To Midnight, he has spoken many times about how much he dislikes the song. In an interview with Kerrang! on November 3, 2010, he revealed he didn't want to play the song live anymore: "Yeah, we decided that we will no longer be playing Runaway [from Hybrid Theory] live! In my opinion, it's one of the worst songs we've written! People love it, but we have better ones."[6] After the European Tour in 2012, Chester wanted the band to drop "Runaway" from the live show setlists immediately after it returned. It only made it one more show before it disappeared again until 2014.

There were a few mistakes on the lyrics printed on the Hybrid Theory booklet. For "Runaway", the lyrics read "Underneath a sky of dust" instead of "Under a sky of dust".


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. Brad Delson recorded the bass on "With You", "Points Of Authority", "Crawling", "Runaway", "By Myself", "In The End", and "Pushing Me Away".


Linkin Park released a demo for "Runaway" on the LP Underground 9: Demos album in November 2009, titled "Stick And Move."

This version of "Stick And Move" is from 1998 and resembles the Xero version of "Stick N Move" much more than it resembles "Runaway". Coming in at around one minute long, it is a nearly identical instrumental beat recreation of Xero's "Stick N Move."

Along with "Rhinestone", which became "Forgotten", "Stick N Move" was the only other Xero song that became a Linkin Park track on Hybrid Theory. Both "Reading My Eyes" and "Fuse" were abandoned when Chester joined the band, as far as we know.

In June 2019 in the Hybrid Party Of A Thousand Things leak, two "Stick N Move" demos surfaced. The first is a full version of the LP Underground 9 demo at over three and a half minutes long, but is missing a few sounds found in the LPU 9 version. The second demo features a different beat.

In the version of "Runaway" on the Hybrid Theory (Unmastered Studio Finals 5/7/00) CD from May 2000, the song features a different mix but also has a different instrumental during the song's outro.


Linkin Park released a remix of "Runaway" on Reanimation in July 2002 titled "Rnw@y." The track was remixed by Josh Kouzomis (Troublemaker) and Eric Moss (E.Moss) of Backyard Bangers, with additional production by Mickey Petralia, and features guest vocals by Phoenix Orion.


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


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Runaway Hybrid Theory 3:04 2000 October 24, 2000
Runaway Studio Finals 5/7/00 3:12 2000
  • The CD dates from May 7, 2000.
  • Different mix.
  • Different instrumental during outro.
  • Released on LPLive for free download on April 9, 2011.
Stick And Move ("Runaway" Demo 1998) LP Underground 9.0: Demos


0:54 1998 November 23, 2009
  • Original seed.
Runaway Hybrid Theory - Instrumentals 3:06 2000
  • Official instrumental version.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Rnw@y Reanimation 3:13 2001 July 30, 2002
  • Remix by Troublemaker and E.Moss.
  • Features vocals by Phoenix Orion.
  • Additional production by Mickey Petralia.
Rnw@y Reanimation - Instrumentals 3:13 2001
  • Official instrumental version.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Runaway The Family Values 2001 Tour 3:12 2001 May 7, 2002
Runaway Live In Texas

From The Inside

3:07 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.
Runaway (Live At Download Festival 2014) Hybrid Theory - Live At Download Festival 2014 3:16 June 14, 2014 August 12, 2014
Runaway Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:41 January 30, 2001 October 9, 2020
  • DVD only.
  • The Fillmore 2001.
Runaway Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:48 June 03, 2001 October 9, 2020
  • DVD only.
  • Rock Am Ring 2001.
Runaway Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:06 February 23, 2002

February 24, 2002

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


"Runaway" was a staple throughout the band's beginning years, especially in the Hybrid Theory touring cycle, despite Chester having contempt towards performing it live. The exact debut of the song is unknown. Almost every performance of the song had it paired with "With You", with the song always following "With You". It remained consistently played throughout 2000, only being dropped at the New York City, New York show on P.O.D.'s "King Of The Games" Tour due to time constraints, as the band had to fly to Los Angeles, California to perform the next day at the KROQ Jocks Signing Calendars show. For the first half of the 2000, "Runaway" was performed mid-set after "With You", but eventually moved up to being second-to-last by the end of the year. In 2001, he song stayed near the end of the set for the band's first trip to Europe very early in the year, but moved back to the beginning of the set following "With You" opening the shows on the Street Soldiers Tour. The song remained at the beginning of the set for a majority of 2001, but ended up moving back to the end when "A Place For My Head" took over as show opener at the night performance at Rock im Park. On the following Ozzfest, "Runaway" moved around in the set at the beginning of the tour as the band experimented with setlist structure. Eventually, the band settled with "With You" opening and, as a result, "Runaway" being the second song in the set. It remained in this position for the rest of the year. This position also remained consistent throughout 2002.

The dynamic duo of "With You" and "Runaway" were split up at the beginning of the Meteora touring cycle, with "Runaway" taking up a position in the middle of the setlist. The song remained in this position for almost all of 2003, except for the very end at the U.S. Holiday Radio Shows, where the "With You" and "Runaway" duo were reunited and moved to the very beginning of the set. At these shows, "Runaway" returned to its classic position as the second song in the set. The song featured a new transition intro, which had it transitioning directly from the outro of "With You", making it the first time the song had been altered live. In the first half of 2004, "With You" and "Runaway" continued to open shows. On the Meteora International Tour, the duo moved up to a mid-set position, but "Runaway" still transitioned directly from the outro of "With You". The song was performed at one show in 2005, at the Music For Relief: Rebuilding South Asia benefit. "With You" was not performed before "Runaway", but the song still featured the transition intro. The duo returned in 2006 at the Summer Sonic shows in Japan, but "Runaway" did not feature the transition intro.

"Runaway" had a single, one-off performance in all of the Minutes To Midnight and A Thousand Suns World Tours. This show was at the Bamboozle Festival in New Jersey, on the Minutes To Midnight Promo Tour.

The song returned in 2012, on the Living Things World Tour for a brief period. With the return of "Runaway" also came the return of "With You", and both songs were performed together à la the Hybrid Theory touring cycle. The studio version of the song was performed on the summer European Tour, but was dropped on the following Honda Civic Tour and did not appear again on the touring cycle.

The song returned again on The Hunting Party touring cycle, where it stayed consistent throughout the cycle, albeit shortened. At the beginning of the cycle, it followed a shortened version of "With You", keeping the pairing of the songs alive. The song was extremely shortened, featuring only the intro through the first chorus. The band added an extended outro to it, which featured the instrumental of the bridge of the song as Mike rapped the first verse of "Wastelands" over it, directly transitioning into the latter. The song was performed in full for the only time on the touring cycle at the Download Festival where the band performed Hybrid Theory in its entirety. The duo was broken up on the Carnivores Tour, as "With You" was not in both setlists (only in Set B), and, when it was featured, it did not partner with "Runaway". "Runaway" served as a transition to "Wastelands" for the entire cycle. The song was not performed on The Hunting Party Promo Tour in June and July before "Wastelands", and was dropped on the first show of the Carnivores Tour in West Palm Beach, Florida due to time constraints (the band went on VERY late due to Chester being in severe pain) along with "Wastelands'.


Last Updated: September 27, 2015

Type Description First Played Last Played
Intro Drum Sample Transition Intro November 15, 2003 September 11, 2004
Outro Outro Transition w/ "Wastelands" Verse 1 May 24, 2014 September 6, 2015
Outro Outro Transition (without "Wastelands" Verse) May 30, 2014 May 30, 2014
Outro Outro Transition w/ "Wastelands" Demo Verse August 9, 2014 August 9, 2014
Alternative Shortened; Intro, First Verse, and Chorus Only May 24, 2014 September 6, 2015

Live Guests

Last Updated: December 26, 2015

  • Benjamin Chandler (replacing Brad Delson)
  • Warren Willis (replacing Joe Hahn)


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 Writers

  • Mark Wakefield: writer


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



In Other Media

  • "Runaway" is featured in the extended promo trailer for The WB's TV series Birds Of Prey.

Other Uses

  • This song was sampled by Mac Miller in the song "Whateva" on the mixtape "Northern Lights" released in 2011.

External Links