Making of: Linkin Park – Meteora

Studio album by Linkin Park
Released March 25, 2003
Recorded April 2002–December 2002
Genre Nu metal, rap metal, alternative metal, alternative rock
Length 36:43
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Don Gilmore, Linkin Park
Linkin Park studio album chronology
Hybrid Theory
Minutes to Midnight
Singles from Meteora
  1. “Somewhere I Belong”
    Released: March 17, 2003
  2. “Faint”
    Released: June 9, 2003
  3. “Numb”
    Released: September 8, 2003
  4. “From the Inside”
    Released: January 12, 2004
  5. “Breaking the Habit”
    Released: June 14, 2004

Meteora is the second studio album by American rock band Linkin Park. It was released on March 25, 2003 through Warner Bros. Records, following Reanimation, a collaboration album which featured remixes of songs included on debut studio album Hybrid Theory. Linkin Park released singles from Meteora for over a year, including “Somewhere I Belong”, “Faint”, “Numb”, “From the Inside” and “Breaking the Habit”. The song “Lying from You” was released as a promotional single. Meteora takes its title from the Greek Orthodox monasteries.

Meteora is the most successful album in the history of the Alternative Songs chart, a chart that specializes in radio play of alternative songs. “Numb” was the biggest song of the year on the chart. As of 2013, the album has sold over 16 million copies worldwide, and is certified four times platinum by the RIAA. Meteora was also ranked number 36 on Billboards Top 200 Albums of the Decade. The song “Session” was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, losing to Jeff Beck’s “Plan B”. Some songs from the album were remixed with some of Jay-Z’s songs for the EP Collision Course.

Background and production

Meteora, which was co-produced Don Gilmore, features a mixture of the band’s previous nu metal and rap metal styles with newer innovative effects. “Nobody’s Listening” features a sample from the band’s track “High Voltage”, which appears on the B-side for the single “One Step Closer” and the bonus disc of Hybrid Theory. The sample is a distorted version of Mike Shinoda’s rapping line that is in the chorus of “High Voltage” where he states “Coming at you from every side”. The track also includes the induction of a shakuhachi, a Japanese flute made of bamboo. “Breaking the Habit” features a strong electronica-influenced opening, live strings and guitar. This is an exception from their previous nu metal/rap rock performances, as no distorted guitar riffs, nor any rapping vocals from Mike Shinoda are included – a style they would further explore on later albums. Linkin Park comprehensively rehearsed the album, recording more than forty choruses for the first single “Somewhere I Belong”.

Other editions

There is a special edition of Meteora, which includes the “Making of Meteora” DVD documentary. They are packaged together in a blue tinted case with the blue Meteora cover that can be found in some parts of Asia, United States, and more commonly in India. The India version contains an alternate DVD and alternative cover that is packaged in a slimline case with the disc in original packaging. The “Tour Edition” of Meteora is packaged in a two disc set. The second disc, which is a Video CD, has the music videos for “Somewhere I Belong”, “Faint”, “Numb”, and “Breaking the Habit”. The tour edition is packaged in a standard Compact Disc case, rather than their trademark digipak case. The album was also released on a very limited quantity of vinyl records (spread across two LPs) under Warner Brothers. These are coveted by collectors and fetch high prices at auction.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 62/100
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars
The A.V. Club mixed
Blender 4/5 stars
E! Online A
Entertainment Weekly B+
NME 7/10
Q 3.5/5 stars
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars
Sputnikmusic 3/5 stars
Yahoo! Music UK 8/10 stars

In its first week it sold an estimated 810,000 units. It sold 5,913,000 copies in the US alone and over 20 million copies worldwide. The album was ranked number 36 on Billboard’s Hot 200 Albums of the Decade. Meteora received generally positive reviews, although critics noted that the album’s musical style was similar to its predecessor, Hybrid Theory (2000). The overall Metacritic score is 62. E! Online rated it an A, and expected it to “shoot straight for the stars”. Entertainment Weekly described it as “radio-friendly perfection”. Dot Music described it as a “guaranteed source of ubiquitous radio hits”. Rolling Stone said the band “squeezed the last remaining life out of this nearly extinct formula”. Billboard Magazine described Meteora as “a ready-made crowdpleaser”. The New Musical Express said it had “massive commercial appeal” but left the reviewer “underwhelmed”.

Allmusic described it as “nothing more and nothing less than Hybrid Theory Part 2.”, adding “More importantly, the group has discipline and editing skills, keeping this record at a tight 36 minutes and 41 seconds, a move that makes it considerably more listenable than its peers and, by extension, more powerful, since they know where to focus their energy, something that many nu-metal bands simply do not.”

Blender described it as “harder, denser, uglier”, while Q described it as “less an artistic endeavor than an exercise in target marketing.” Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B+, calling it a “thunderously hooky album that seamlessly blends the group’s disparate sonic elements into radio-friendly perfection”

The song “Session” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 2004.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Linkin Park.

No. Title Length
1. “Foreword” 0:13
2. “Don’t Stay” 3:07
3. “Somewhere I Belong” 3:33
4. “Lying from You” 2:55
5. “Hit the Floor” 2:44
6. “Easier to Run” 3:24
7. “Faint” 2:42
8. “Figure.09” 3:17
9. “Breaking the Habit” 3:16
10. “From the Inside” 2:55
11. “Nobody’s Listening” 2:58
12. “Session” (Instrumental) 2:24
13. “Numb” 3:07
Total length:

Multimedia Part

  • The Art of Meteora – 17:04
  • “Somewhere I Belong Video”
  • LPTV
  • Website tool-kit
  • Extra
  • Merch
  • LP Underground

Limited Edition Bonus DVD

  • Making Of Meteora – 34:19


Linkin Park
  • Chester Bennington – vocals
  • Mike Shinoda – MC, vocals, sampling; strings arrangement on “Faint” and “Breaking the Habit”
  • Brad Delson – guitars, backing vocals
  • Dave “Phoenix” Farrell – bass, backing vocals
  • Mr. Hahn – records, sampling, backing vocals
  • Rob Bourdon – drums, backing vocals
Additional musicians
  • David Campbell – strings arrangement on “Faint” and “Breaking the Habit”
  • Violins – Joel Derouin, Charlie Bisharat, Alyssa Park, Sara Parkins, Michelle Richards, Mark Robertson
  • Violas – Evan Wilson, Bob Becker
  • Celli – Larry Corbett, Dan Smith
  • David Zasloff – shakuhachi flute on “Nobody’s Listening”