A Thousand Suns

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A Thousand Suns
Studio album by Linkin Park
Released September 8, 2010 (2010-09-08)
Recorded November 2008–August 2010[1][2] at NRG Recording Studios
(North Hollywood, California)
Genre Electronic rock, alternative rock, industrial rock, experimental rock, rap rock
Length 47:48
Label Warner Bros., Machine Shop.
Producer Rick Rubin, Mike Shinoda
Linkin Park studio album chronology
Minutes to Midnight
(2007)
A Thousand Suns
(2010)
Living Things
(2012)
Singles from A Thousand Suns
  1. "The Catalyst"
    Released: August 2, 2010
  2. "Waiting for the End"
    Released: October 1, 2010
  3. "Burning in the Skies"
    Released: March 21, 2011
  4. "Iridescent"
    Released: May 27, 2011

A Thousand Suns is the fourth studio album by American rock band Linkin Park. It was released on September 8, 2010, under Warner Bros. Records. The album was written by the band, while production was handled by Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda and Rick Rubin who previously worked together to produce the band's third studio album Minutes to Midnight (2007). Recording sessions for the album took place at NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood, California from 2008 until early 2010.

A Thousand Suns is a multi-concept album dealing with human fears such as nuclear warfare. The band has acknowledged that the album is a drastic departure from their previous work, as they experimented on different and new sounds for A Thousand Suns. Shinoda stated in an interview with MTV that the album references numerous social issues, as well as blending human ideas with technology. The album's title comes from the line "God save us everyone, we'll be burned inside the fires of a thousand suns" from the first single of the album, "The Catalyst".[3] It is also a reference to the nuclear bombing of Japan in 1945, the flash of the detonation described by those who survived as "as bright as a thousand suns".

The lead single for the album, "The Catalyst", was sent to radio and released to digital music retailers on August 2, 2010. "The Catalyst" peaked at the Billboard Alternative Songs and Rock Songs charts, as well as reaching #27 at the Billboard Hot 100 upon the album's release. Three more singles were released to promote the album, namely "Waiting for the End", "Burning in the Skies" and "Iridescent". "The Catalyst" and "Waiting for the End" have been both certified gold by the RIAA. The band promoted the album through the A Thousand Suns World Tour from October 2010 to September 2011.

Upon release, the album was met with positive reviews, but it polarized critics and fans over the band's new direction. Despite this, the album has been a commercial success debuting at number one on over ten charts. The album was certified gold by the RIAA in February 2011.

Writing and recording[edit]

Linkin Park co-vocalist Mike Shinoda (left) and Rick Rubin (right) served as producers for A Thousand Suns.

Recording for the album began in 2008, shortly after the release of Minutes to Midnight (2007).[4] As with their previous album, Minutes to Midnight, Shinoda and Rick Rubin served as the album's producers.[5] Primary recording sessions for A Thousand Suns took place at NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.[6] In November 2008, lead singer Chester Bennington claimed the new record was a concept album, and stated that it "sound[ed] a little daunting to me, so, I think my confidence level will drop, but when it was presented to us by this friend of ours, we liked the idea. It was an inspiring idea, and it was something we could relate a lot of the things we like to write about to."[4] In May 2009, a Billboard magazine story was published where Shinoda revealed info on the album, saying: "I feel like we've been writing a lot. I'd say we've got about half the music done, though I shouldn't say halfway because who knows how long the next batch of songs will take. But all the material's just kind of coming together, and every week we meet up and assess the situation and for the rest of the week we just go and work on whatever we find exciting."[7] He also explained the experimentation that the band would be working with. "It's not going to be Hybrid Theory. It's not going to be Minutes to Midnight. And if we do it right, it'll have a cutting edge sound that defines itself as an individual record separate from anything else that's out there."[7]

Bennington continued composing for the album while touring with Dead by Sunrise in support of their 2009 studio album Out of Ashes.[8] He claimed that the band was still making a concept record, stating in another interview with MTV that "we might need to just make a record and still try to do a concept but figure out a way to do it without actually waiting another five or six years to put out a record, to try to pull off all the grandiose insanity we were thinking of doing. And we're doing that."[8] Bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell predicted that the band's fans will be divided on A Thousand Suns, saying, "We've known [the album is] going to be different, and if fans were expecting Hybrid Theory or Meteora, they're going to be surprised. It's going to take people some time to figure it out and know what to do with it."[9]

Drummer Rob Bourdon referred to himself and the band as "perfectionists" when asked about the new project. "We tend to be perfectionists and its sort of how we work. We like being in the studio and when we get in there we write a ton of material."[10] Bourdon admitted that the album was a challenge to complete. "We've been making music for a long time so one of the challenges was to evolve and make something to keep us interested and also have a lot of fun in the process. We've been used to making a certain type of music and using sounds to accomplish that. So to break out of that and push ourselves to grow is definitely challenging."[10] Shinoda later denied that the album was a concept record,[11] saying, "People asked us if it's a concept record, and in the middle of the process, we were contemplating whether or not that was what we wanted to do," although he stated that eventually A Thousand Suns at its completion has no narrative and is "more abstract" than many concept albums.[11]

Style and composition[edit]

27-Second sample of “The Catalyst”, the first single from A Thousand Suns. The song features vocalists Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington singing simultaneously, accompanied by keyboard, guitar and bass loops.

21-Second sample of “Waiting for the End”, the second single from A Thousand Suns. The song features a heavily layered reggae-like tune, accompanying Bennington's verses.

Problems playing these files? See media help.

In an interview with Rolling Stone in May 2009, Shinoda revealed that the band was in the process of writing and recording material for the album.[12] The album was originally scheduled for an early 2010 release, but Shinoda was largely concerned with "the quality of the tunes" and stated that "if we need to take a step back and make sure everything is top, top quality by our standards, we will."[12] Shinoda also stated that, in comparison to Minutes to Midnight, the new album would have a bigger "thread of consistency" and would be more experimental and "hopefully more cutting-edge".[13]

Christopher Weingarten of The Village Voice compared the album to Radiohead's third studio album, OK Computer, describing the record's composition as "uninhibited hooks, daffy left turns, piano-soaked bathos, explorations of the human relationship with technology, [and] a complete avoidance of metal."[14] Weingarten noted various elements and styles the band incorporated in A Thousand Suns, commenting that the band was "sink[ing] their distortion pedals into a tender oblivion, embracing the pulseless Vocoder syrup of Imogen Heap, the cuddly heavenward synths of Yeasayer, the post-apocalyptic stutter-hop of El-P, the head rush of Ibiza house."[14] Jordy Kasko of Review Rinse Repeat compared the style of A Thousand Suns to Pink Floyd's eighth studio album The Dark Side of the Moon and Radiohead's fourth studio album Kid A.[15] James Montgomery of MTV echoed similar thoughts, comparing the album to Kid A due to the album's lack of guitars, the style being completely different from the band's previous works, and the album's message, described by Montgomery: "None of these problems, these terrors or these specters that haunt us in 2010 are particularly new. Quite the opposite, in fact. We've just chosen to ignore the warnings. And now it might be too late."[16] According to turntablist Joe Hahn, the album's title is a reference to the Hindu Sanskrit scripture, the Bhagavad Gita: "If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one," which was made famous by J. Robert Oppenheimer in reference to the atomic bomb.[17] The band stated that Oppenheimer's comments about the nuclear bomb influenced the apocalyptic themes of the album, as said by the band in the album's liner notes:

Samples of notable speeches of J. Robert Oppenheimer (left), Mario Savio (center) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (right) were used in A Thousand Suns.

The band has also stated that the album's tenth track, "Wretches and Kings", pays homage to the hip-hop group Public Enemy.[19] Speaking to NME about the song's reference to Public Enemy, Shinoda stated "There is a homage to Chuck D on there. It's probably the most hip-hop song on the record and one of the most aggressive... Public Enemy were very three-dimensional with their records because although they seemed political, there was a whole lot of other stuff going on in there too. It made me think how three-dimensional I wanted our record to be without imitating them of course, and show where we were at creatively."[19] Ian Winwood of Kerrang! noted that "Wretches and Kings" references the Public Enemy song "Fight the Power", as well as comparing the album's content to Public Enemy's third studio album, Fear of a Black Planet.[20] Chuck D would later provide vocals on a remix by HavocNdeeD.[21][22] Fifth track "When They Come for Me" referenced The Blueprint2: The Gift & The Curse, the seventh studio album of hip hop artist Jay-Z, whom the band collaborated with in the 2004 EP Collision Course.[23] The album also features samples of notable speeches by American political figures,[16] including Martin Luther King, Jr., J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Mario Savio.[19]

"When it came to doing things that felt very much like older Linkin Park, like mixing hip-hop with a rock chorus, [we] felt like, if we were going to do it, we need to really do it in a way that felt natural and felt original and felt like it was something we hadn't done in the past," Chester Bennington stated in an interview with MTV News who referred to Linkin Park's new style as being less technical and instead being more organic: "[While] there are hip-hop songs on the album — 'Wretches and Kings', 'When They Come for Me' — they're like nothing the band have tried before: snarling, raw, dark and [...] strangely organic."[24] Some critics noted the use of multiple genres within the album, including electronic rock, alternative rock, industrial rock, experimental rock and rap rock.[24][25][26][27][28]

Compared to their previous record, Minutes to Midnight (2007), the amount of vocals contributed by Shinoda is greatly increased, while Brad Delson's guitar riffs are put more in the background, described by Gary Graff of Billboard as "on the back burner (and barely even in the oven)".[29] Shinoda raps in three tracks, specifically "When They Come for Me", "Wretches and Kings" and second single "Waiting for the End", while he sings on numerous songs (specifically verses), such as third single "Burning in the Skies", "Robot Boy", "Blackout", fourth single "Iridescent" and first single "The Catalyst". Bennington and Shinoda sing simultaneously together on "The Catalyst", "Jornada del Muerto" and "Robot Boy", while "Iridescent" features all band members singing together.[30]

Release and promotion[edit]

Linkin Park performing in Berlin, Germany to promote A Thousand Suns

The entire album was exhibited at a 3-D laser exhibition at Music Box Theater in Hollywood on September 7, 2010.[31] A Thousand Suns was officially released on September 10, 2010 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland[32] and on September 14, 2010 in the US.[33] The band started worldwide promotion of the album through the A Thousand Suns World Tour, which started on October 7, 2010 and ended in September 25, 2011. The band performed an entire setlist in the Puerta de Alcalá Gate in Madrid, in which their live performance of "Waiting for the End" was shown in the 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards.[34]

The band also promoted A Thousand Suns by featuring songs from the album in numerous video games. Joe Hahn revealed that "The Catalyst" would be included in the video game Medal of Honor.[35] Hahn also announced that he would direct a trailer for the game; it was released on August 1, 2010,[35] one day before the single's release.[36] Dave "Phoenix" Farrell stated that the band believed that the song's "dark undertones...fits with the subject matter" of the game, which was why "The Catalyst" was chosen for Medal of Honor.[36] During the Japanese release of the album on September 15, 2010, Warner Music Japan announced that "The Catalyst" would be the official theme song of Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs.[37] The song "Blackout" was featured in the soccer video game, FIFA 11.[38] The band released another video game called Linkin Park Revenge (an edition of Tap Tap Revenge), which features four new songs from the album as well as six songs from previous albums.[39] The song "Wretches and Kings" is featured in the trailer for the video game EA Sports MMA.[40] Six songs from the album ("Blackout", "Burning in the Skies", "The Catalyst", "The Messenger", "Waiting for the End", and "Wretches and Kings") were available as downloadable content in the "Linkin Park Track Pack" for the rhythm video game Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.[41] The track pack was released on October 19, 2010 on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Wii Shop Channel.[41] In addition, for those who purchased Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock from Amazon.com between October 17 and October 23, they received a copy of A Thousand Suns.[41] Three songs will also be remixed and released as downloadable content for the rhythm video game DJ Hero 2 in the winter (2010).[42] On January 11, 2011, a Linkin Park track pack was released for the rhythm video game Rock Band 3. This pack includes "Waiting for the End" and five other songs from previous albums.[43]

On March 5, 2011, Mike Shinoda announced the European release of A Thousand Suns +, a limited re-issue of the album, which would later be released on March 28, 2011. The re-release includes a live DVD of the band's full MTV Europe Music Awards concert at Puerta de Alcalá, Madrid on November 7, 2010, as well as a free MP3 of the show.[44]

Singles[edit]

"The Catalyst", the album's first single, was first performed live at the Griffith Observatory (pictured).

During the announcement of the album's release date, the band revealed that the album's first single would be "The Catalyst", which was released on August 2, 2010.[45] From July 9, 2010 until July 25, 2010, Linkin Park held the contest "Linkin Park, Featuring You".[46] In the contest, fans could download stems from "The Catalyst", remix the stems and/or write their own parts for the song on any instrument.[46] The winner of this contest was Czeslaw "NoBraiN" Sakowski from Świdnica, Poland, whose remix is featured as an additional track on the album, available via Best Buy and Napster.[47][48][49] The album's liner notes also credit Sakowski with "supplemental programming" on "When They Come for Me".[18] The top 20 remixes that were selected by the band are being considered for future use as b-sides and online downloads.[47] Two of the remixes (by DIGITALOMAT and ill Audio) have since been released via the band's webpage as free mp3 downloads,[50] while two others have (by Cale Pellick and DJ Endorphin) been released on an exclusive German release of "The Catalyst".[51] The music video for "The Catalyst", directed by Joe Hahn, premiered on August 26, 2010.[52] On August 31, 2010, It was announced that the band would perform the single live for the first time at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2010.[53] The venue of the debut live performance was Griffith Observatory, an iconic location used in numerous iconic Hollywood films.[54] However, the venue was held secret until the performance, although it was revealed to be a prominent landmark of Los Angeles.[55] The single peaked at the number-one spot at the Billboard Rock Songs and Alternative Songs charts,[56] as well as the UK Rock Chart.[57] The single also peaked at number twenty-seven in the Billboard Hot 100 upon the release of A Thousand Suns, and spent five weeks on the chart.[58] "The Catalyst" was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in July 2011.[59]

On September 2, 2010, Linkin Park released the promotional single "Wretches and Kings" to those who had pre-ordered the album.[60] On September 8, 2010, the band further debuted two more tracks "Waiting for the End" and "Blackout" on their Myspace page.[61] The band announced on their official website the "Full Experience Myspace Premiere", streaming the entire album on their Myspace page on September 10.[62] A remix of "Blackout" by Renholdër was included in the soundtrack of Underworld: Awakening.[63]

"Waiting for the End", the album's second single, was performed at the Puerta de Alcalá Gate (pictured).

"Waiting for the End" was released as the album's second single on October 1, 2010.[64] The music video for the song premiered on October 8, 2010 and was also directed by Joe Hahn.[65] The group's performance of "Waiting for the End" at Puerta de Alcala in Madrid was broadcast in the 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards.[34] The single, as well as "When They Come for Me", was also performed live on Saturday Night Live on February 5, 2011.[66] The song was also featured in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on CBS on October 14, 2010.[67] The single reached the number-one spot on the Alternative Songs chart (the band's tenth number-one on the chart), number two on the Rock Songs chart and number forty-two on the Billboard Hot 100, spending nine weeks on the chart.[58] The single also achieved success in other countries, peaking at number 34 in Austria,[68] number 20 in Belgium,[69] number 29 in Germany,[70] and number 34 in Japan.[71] "Waiting for the End" was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in April 2011.[59]

The radio edit of "Iridescent", the album's fourth single, was performed live at Red Square (pictured) in Moscow.

On January 22, 2011, Linkin Park announced that their next international single would be "Burning in the Skies".[72][73][74] The music video, directed by Hahn, premiered February 22,[75] with the single's release on March 21. The single reached respectably high positions in other countries, reaching number 35 in Austria,[76] number 35 in Portugal,[76] number 26 in German airplay,[77] and number six in Mexico.[78]

On April 13, 2011, Shinoda confirmed that the album's third US, fourth international and overall final single would be "Iridescent". He also confirmed that there will be a new, slightly shorter version of the song, which will be part of the soundtrack of the movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon, as well as the fact that a music video directed by Hahn was shot for the single.[79] The band performed the single remix of "Iridescent" at the film's premiere at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on June 23, 2011.[80] The single peaked at number eighty-one at the Billboard Hot 100, spending three weeks on the chart, number nineteen at the Alternative Songs chart and number twenty-nine at the Rock Songs chart.[58] Despite these low peaks, the single has achieved moderate success in other countries, peaking at number 39 in Australia,[81] number ten in Israel,[82] number two in South Korea,[83] and number two on the UK Rock Chart.[57]

Reception[edit]

Commercial[edit]

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 241,000 copies in the United States,[84] beating out Trey Songz's Passion, Pain & Pleasure by 1,000 sales (Nielsen SoundScan).[85] It is the band's fourth US number-one album,[86] although the first-week sales were significantly lower than their previous album, Minutes to Midnight (2007), which opened at 623,000 copies.[84] The album also entered at number one on Billboard's Rock Albums, Alternative Albums, Hard Rock Albums, and Digital Albums charts.[87] In the second week, the album slid to number three with 70,000 copies, and two months into its release, in December 2010, it had already passed a half million in sales.[88][89] On January 11, 2011, A Thousand Suns was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of five hundred thousand copies sold in the US.[59] It spent 30 weeks on the Billboard 200,[84][90] and, as of December 2010, sold 600,000 copies in the United States and 1,700,000 copies worldwide.[91] To date the album sold 901,000 copies in United States and 2,600,000 copies worldwide (according to SoundScan).

In Canada, the album peaked at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart with 23,000 copies sold.[92] On February 2011, the album was certified platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association for 80,000 units sold.[93] In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number two with first-week sales of 46,711 copies, behind The Script's album Science & Faith,[94] on which it spent seventeen weeks.[95] On September 10, 2010, two days after the album's release in the United Kingdom, A Thousand Suns was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), marking shipments of 100,000 copies to retailers.[96] In Australia, it also debuted at number one on the ARIA Top 50 Albums,[97] and retained the top position for four weeks.[98] The album retained in the chart's top 50 for 18 weeks.[98] By the end of 2010, A Thousand Suns received a gold certification from the Australian Recording Industry Association,[99] and was eventually certified platinum the following year.[100]

Critical[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 66/100[101]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[102]
Artistdirect 5/5 stars[103]
Consequence of Sound 3.5/5 stars[104]
Entertainment Weekly B[105]
Kerrang! 4/5 stars[20]
Melodic 4/5 stars[106]
New York Daily News 1/5 stars[107]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[108]
Rock Sound 7/10[109]
Spin 6/10[110]

A Thousand Suns polarized critics upon release, with some proving very receptive to the album and others much less so. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 66 based on 10 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[101]

Rick Florino of Artistdirect gave the album five stars out of five, saying that "after A Thousand Suns, all rock 'n' roll will revolve around Linkin Park" and credited Linkin Park for creating their own genre.[103] Ian Winwood with Kerrang! gave it an "excellent" rating, saying that it "can only be best described as a political album".[20] He praised the writing of the songs, saying that "These are songs that have been constructed as much as they've been written" and said that its closest comparison was Public Enemy's 1990 album, Fear of a Black Planet.[20] Dave de Sylvia with Sputnikmusic called it "an extremely well-crafted rock album," saying it was somewhat better than its predecessor Minutes to Midnight (2007), but doesn't live up to their debut, Hybrid Theory (2000). David Buchanan of Consequence of Sound gave the album three-and-a-half out of five, saying, "Some might argue this new sound is posturing, complete mutation to the point of absurdity; in the band’s associated artwork and videos, evolution has been touted from day one. In essence, Linkin Park has been chasing this all along, and now it has become tangible, complete."[104] Johan Wippsson from Melodic felt that Linkin Park "have created a very cool and unique sound" and described the tracks "Blackout" and "When They Come for Me" as "really innovative."[106] Ian Winwood of BBC Music, opening his review of the band's succeeding album, Living Things, expressed praise for A Thousand Suns, describing it as "a body of work startling enough that it gambled with the massive commercial success the group had achieved since their debut album, 2000's Hybrid Theory."[111]

James Montgomery of MTV praised the album for being "sprawling, discordant, ambitious and an all-out game changer" while comparing it with English alternative rock band Radiohead's 2000 album Kid A, but pointed out that A Thousand Suns is more optimistic.[16] Jordy Kasko with Review Rinse Repeat gave it a perfect rating, calling it an "epic quest".[15] He compared it to Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon and Radiohead's Kid A, saying "A Thousand Suns is an ALBUM. It is not a collection of songs. It is not meant to be listened to as such. The band is going so far as to release an iTunes version that is one track, 47 minutes and 56 seconds long. This is no more an 'album' by conventional standards than Dark Side of the Moon or Kid A are. Sure, there are identifiable songs, but to understand or to appreciate any of them you must take them in the context of the entire album".[15] Christopher Weingarten of The Village Voice praised the album, calling it "2010's best avant-rock nuclear-anxiety concept record", as well as comparing it to Radiohead's OK Computer.[14]

Mikael Wood with Spin gave it six out of ten stars, saying that it "contains plenty of aggressively arty material" and called the track "The Messenger" the "most unexpected track on the boldly conceived A Thousand Suns".[110] Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B rating and said "on A Thousand Suns at times the band's odd mélange of industrial grind, hip-hop swagger, and teenage-wasteland angst feels jarring".[105] Jody Rosen with Rolling Stone gave it three out of five stars, saying they are "feeling their way toward a new identity", although she defined their skill for melody as "obvious" and said that they sounded like "a killer Linkin Park tribute band".[108] Australia's Music Network magazine gave the album a mixed review, stating it is "a radical shift for the band, but it’s also a very uneven one... while there's some commanding moments ('The Catalyst,' 'Wretches and Kings'), many of the tracks feel like experiments rather than fully-formed songs".[112]

However, Johnny Firecloud with Antiquiet condemned the album, referring to it as a "melodramatic farce", and said it was a "mechanized mess of sentimentality [...] the 15 track collection is entirely unconvincing as a call to action for uprising and activism".[113] Stephen Thomas Erlewine with Allmusic commented that the album was a "clear continuation" of its predecessor, referring to it as "recycled ideas" and saying that "the problem is, the subdued rhythms, riffs and raps of A Thousand Suns winds up monochromatic".[102] Jim Farber of The New York Daily News gave the album one star of five, stating that "no fewer than 15 cuts crowd the tight 47-minute length of the CD, many of them fragments or, more accurately, sonic non sequiturs".[107] Jamie Primack of The Badger Herald wrote that "there are at least five filler tracks that contain nothing more than noise and sound bites [....] the full-length songs aren’t particularly daring or interesting".[114]

Fans of the band were equally polarized with A Thousand Suns. Initial signs of the fans' division over the band's new material was when "The Catalyst" was released. MTV conducted a poll on how fans received the song; most were positive, however a large amount were dissatisfied.[115] Fans then therefore debated on what they thought of the new sound.[115][116] Sara Ferrer of Orange County Reloaded stated that the album split the views of fans and critics into "love-it versus hate-it groups".[117] Montgomery expressed similar sentiments, saying that the album "alternately thrilled and thinned LP's substantial fanbase with its vast swaths of sonic sprawl (and overall lack of guitar solos)."[118] Shinoda shared his thoughts on the divided reception of the fans; he thanked the people that accepted the album, while he defended it from the criticism of the people who dislike A Thousand Suns.[119] Commenting on the album's polarized response from fans, Bennington said: "[A Thousand Suns] is definitely something that we knew people would need to digest and get over the fact that it's not what they thought we would do."[86]

Accolades[edit]

Kerrang! listed A Thousand Suns as the nineteenth best album of 2010.[120] James Montgomery of MTV listed the album as twentieth best album of 2010, calling it "the year's most ambitious major-label rock album...there's no denying the dense, dark power it packs".[118]

The album received numerous awards and nominations. At the 2011 MTV Video Music Aid Japan, A Thousand Suns was nominated for Album of the Year, while "The Catalyst" was nominated for Best Group Video and Best Rock Video.[121] The album received two 2011 Billboard Music Award nominations: Best Rock Album and Top Alternative Album, while "Waiting for the End" was nominated for Top Alternative Song.[122] The music video for "Waiting for the End" was nominated at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Special Effects.[123] The band won the Best International Rock/Alternative Group for A Thousand Suns at the 2011 ECHO Awards.[124] "Blackout" won Best Song in a Video Game award from the MTV Video Game Awards, for its use in FIFA 11.[125] "Waiting for the End" was nominated at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards for Choice Rock Song.[126]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Linkin Park. 

No. Title Length
1. "The Requiem"   2:01
2. "The Radiance" (featuring a speech from J. Robert Oppenheimer) 0:57
3. "Burning in the Skies"   4:13
4. "Empty Spaces"   0:18
5. "When They Come for Me"   4:55
6. "Robot Boy"   4:28
7. "Jornada Del Muerto"   1:34
8. "Waiting for the End"   3:51
9. "Blackout"   4:39
10. "Wretches and Kings" (featuring the speech "Operation of the Machine" from Mario Savio) 4:15
11. "Wisdom, Justice, and Love" (featuring a speech from Martin Luther King, Jr.) 1:38
12. "Iridescent"   4:56
13. "Fallout"   1:23
14. "The Catalyst"   5:39
15. "The Messenger"   3:01
Total length:
47:48

iTunes Deluxe Edition Bonus Content[edit]

The iTunes deluxe edition of A Thousand Suns has numerous features and bonus content.[128]

  1. Note From The Band
  2. 20 'In the Studio' Exclusive photos
  3. Meeting of A Thousand Suns (Making Of The Album) – 29:46
  4. Linkin Park Visualizers
  5. Secret Code Puzzle
  6. The Catalyst (Music Video)

A Thousand Suns – Live Around the World[edit]

A Thousand Suns – Live Around the World
Live album by Linkin Park
Released June 19, 2012
Recorded 2010–11
Genre
Length 49:15
Label
Producer Mike Shinoda
Linkin Park chronology
Minutes to Midnight – Live Around the World
(2012)
A Thousand Suns – Live Around the World
(2012)

A Thousand Suns – Live Around the World is a live album which features live versions of ten songs from the fourth studio album, A Thousand Suns. They were recorded in various cities around the world from 2010 to 2011.

Track listing[edit]

A Thousand Suns – Live Around the World
No. Title Length
1. "The Requiem" (Live from London, 2010) 2:30
2. "Burning in the Skies" (Live from Hamburg, 2011) 4:12
3. "When They Come for Me" (Live from Paris, 2010) 5:06
4. "Jornada Del Muerto" (Live from Hamburg, 2011) 1:50
5. "Waiting for the End" (Live from Berlin, 2010) 3:56
6. "Blackout" (Live from Hamburg, 2010) 4:34
7. "Wretches and Kings" (Live from Las Vegas) 3:54
8. "Iridescent" (Live from Paris, 2010) 4:58
9. "The Catalyst" (Live from Paris, 2010) 5:54
10. "The Messenger" (Live from Las Vegas, 2011) 3:53

Personnel[edit]

Source: Allmusic[129] and A Thousand Suns booklet.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Song Peak chart positions
US[58] US
Alt.

[58]
US
Rock

[58]
AUS
[81]
NZL
[185]
UK
[186]
UK
Rock

[187]
AUT
[68]
BEL
(FL)

[69]
BEL
(WA)

[188]
FIN
[189]
FRA
[190]
GER
[70]
ITA
[191]
IRL
[192]
NLD
[193]
POR
[194]
SWE
[195]
SWI
[196]
MEX
[78]
2010 "The Catalyst" (Gold) 27 1 1 33 27 40 1 18 56 44 11 95 27 31 29 17
"Waiting for the End" (Gold) 42 1 2 90 3 34 70 29 26 58 10
2011 "Burning in the Skies" 16 35 43 35 41 6
"Iridescent" 81 19 29 39 93 2 52 70 46 69 26

Other charted songs[edit]

Year Song Peak chart positions
US[58] US
Alt.

[58]
US
Rock

[58]
AUS
[81]
NZL
[185]
UK
[186]
UK
Rock

[187]
AUT
[68]
BEL
(FL)

[69]
BEL
(WA)

[188]
FIN
[189]
FRA
[190]
GER
[70]
ITA
[191]
IRL
[192]
NLD
[193]
POR
[194]
SWE
[195]
SWI
[196]
MEX
[78]
2010 "Blackbirds" 21
"Blackout" 28

Album number-one chart successions[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
Australian Albums Chart number-one album
September 20, 2010 – October 17, 2010
Succeeded by
There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret by Bring Me the Horizon
Austrian Albums Chart number-one album
September 24, 2010 – October 7, 2010
Succeeded by
Meine Zeit by Rainhard Fendrich
European Albums Chart number-one album
October 2, 2010 – October 7, 2010
Succeeded by
Going Back by Phil Collins
Preceded by
Passive Me, Aggressive You by The Naked and Famous
New Zealand Albums Chart number-one album
September 20, 2010 – September 26, 2010
Succeeded by
Ignite by Shihad
Preceded by
The Greatest Hits Sessions by Bellamy Brothers & Gölä
Swiss Albums Chart number-one album
September 26, 2010 – October 1, 2010
Succeeded by
The Greatest Hits Sessions by Bellamy Brothers & Gölä
Preceded by
Große Freiheit by Unheilig
German Albums Chart number-one album
September 24, 2010 – October 7, 2010
Succeeded by
Rock Symphonies by David Garrett
Preceded by
Kaleidoscope Heart by Sara Bareilles
US Billboard 200 number-one album
October 2, 2010 – October 8, 2010
Succeeded by
You Get What You Give by Zac Brown Band
Preceded by
A Place Called Love by Johnny Reid
Canadian Albums Chart number-one album
October 2, 2010 – October 8, 2010
Succeeded by
A Place Called Love by Johnny Reid
Preceded by
The Final Frontier by Iron Maiden
Czech Republic Albums Chart number-one album
October 2, 2010 – October 8, 2010
Succeeded by
Není na co čekat by Chinaski
Preceded by
O Melhor De Beto by Beto
Portuguese Albums Chart number-one album
October 2, 2010 – October 8, 2010
Succeeded by
O Melhor De Beto by Beto

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s)
Australia[197] September 8, 2010 Digital download,
CD, LP, DVD
Austria[198]
Belgium[199]
Canada[200]
Denmark[201]
Finland[202]
France[203]
Germany[204]
Greece[205]
Ireland[206]
Italy[207]
Luxembourg[208]
Mexico[209]
Netherlands[210]
New Zealand[211]
Norway[212]
Portugal[213]
Spain[214]
Sweden[215]
Switzerland[216]
United Kingdom[217]
Hungary[218] September 9, 2010
Poland[219] September 13, 2010
Brazil[220] September 14, 2010
United States[221]
Japan[222][223][224] September 15, 2010
September 29, 2010
November 24, 2010
Digital download,
CD, CD+DVD
Gunpla 30th Edition

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