Goodbye, Chester Bennington: My Top 15 Linkin Park Songs


Last week, I woke up to the shocking news that Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington is gone. It is hard to accept his passing, more so when it was ruled with finality that his death is a suicide. More than being an icon of 21st-century rock music or bringing nu-metal music into the mainstream, Chester was one of the most recognizable voices that lent credence to a generation’s angst, sorrow, helplessness, and anger. There is no question in his skills as a vocalist – he can transition from a mellow tone to a deep growl at the drop of a hat. But what set him apart from other rock vocalists of his time was the authenticity to his rage and the vulnerability to lay it all open for all to hear and feel. The raw emotions he delivers in every song were fueled in part by his personal issues. He has been upfront regarding his struggles with bullying, sexual abuse, and drug addiction when he was growing up, as well as his life-long battle with depression, which he eventually lost.

I am one of those kids that grew up listening to Linkin Park to vent out negative emotions that you can never really express openly for fear of being ridiculed or belittled. Ironically, it brought relief to whatever pain it was that I felt at the time. Just pouring my heart out singing along with Chester’s retort to the world that has failed him repeatedly made me feel less alone. Even up to now, Linkin Park is still one of my go-to artists when I need to let off some steam or when I feel like everything’s crashing down on me. I know I am not alone when I say that losing Chester was like losing one of your childhood friends that helped you through some of the roughest times in your life.

In honor of Chester Bennington’s death, I’d like to share my top fifteen Linkin Park songs with you. I’ve selected the songs based on how heavily I played them and then ranked them according to which ones had the most impact on me personally.

Here it goes:

15. Bleed It Out (from the album Minutes to Midnight)

I’ve opened up these scars
I’ll make you face this
I’ve pulled myself so far
I’ll make you face this now

14. Iridescent (from the album A Thousand Skies)

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failure’s all you’ve known
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go. Let it go

13. Shadow of the Day (from the album Minutes to Midnight)

In cards and flowers on your window
Your friends all plead for you to stay
Sometimes beginnings aren’t so simple
Sometimes goodbye’s the only way

12. Waiting for the End (from the album A Thousand Skies)

All I want to do
Is trade this life for something new
Holding on to what I haven’t got

11. From the Inside (from the album Meteora)

Take everything from the inside
And throw it all away
‘Cause I swear for the last time
I won’t trust myself with you

10. Nobody Can Save Me (from the album One More Light)

I wanna fall wide awake
Watch the ground giving way now
You tell me it’s alright
Tell me I’m forgiven, tonight
But nobody can save me now
I’m holding up a light
I’m chasing out the darkness inside
‘Cause nobody can save me

9. One More Light (from the album One More Light)

Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
Or quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

8. Points of Authority (from the album Hybrid Theory)

You love the way I look at you
While taking pleasure in the awful things you put me through
You take away if I give in
My life
My pride is broken

7. One Step Closer (from the album Hybrid Theory)

Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I’m about to break!
I need a little room to breathe
‘Cause I’m one step closer to the edge
I’m about to break!

6. Papercut (from the album Hybrid Theory)

It’s like I’m paranoid lookin’ over my back
It’s like a whirlwind inside of my head
It’s like I can’t stop what I’m hearing within
It’s like the face inside is right beneath my skin

5. Breaking the Habit (from the album Meteora)

I don’t know how I got this way
I’ll never be alright
So I’m breaking the habit
I’m breaking the habit tonight

4. Numb (from the album Meteora)

Can’t you see that you’re smothering me,
Holding too tightly, afraid to lose control?
‘Cause everything that you thought I would be
Has fallen apart right in front of you.

3. Somewhere I Belong (from the album Meteora)

I will never know myself until I do this on my own
And I will never feel anything else until my wounds are healed
I will never be anything ’til I break away from me
I will break away, I’ll find myself today

2. Leave Out All the Rest (from the album Minutes to Midnight)

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed
And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

1. In the End (from the album Hybrid Theory)

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter

Thank you for the music, Chester. You will be sorely missed.

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