One Step Closer (Linkin Park song)

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"One Step Closer"
Linkin Park - One Step Closer CD cover.jpg
Single by Linkin Park
from the album Hybrid Theory
  • "My December"
  • "High Voltage"
ReleasedSeptember 28, 2000
StudioNRG Studios
GenreNu metal[1][2][3]
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Linkin Park
Producer(s)Don Gilmore
Linkin Park singles chronology
"One Step Closer"
Music video
"One Step Closer" on YouTube

"One Step Closer" is the debut single by the American nu metal band Linkin Park. It was released as the first single and second track of their debut album, Hybrid Theory.[4] The song was featured in the 2008 music video games Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades, and the soundtrack to the 2000 film Dracula 2000 in the end credits.

A remixed version of the song entitled "1Stp Klosr" was featured on Linkin Park's remix album, Reanimation.

This song was merged with another song off Hybrid Theory, "Points of Authority" and "99 Problems" by Jay-Z on the EP Collision Course.

Live performances[edit]

Until 2007, Linkin Park has closed every concert to date with "One Step Closer", excluding Live 8, and their live performances at Summer Sonic. In 2007, Linkin Park played "One Step Closer" toward the beginning of their live performances and sometimes at the end. The song is always played in Drop C#. In 2008, they ended some of their shows with either "One Step Closer" or "Bleed It Out". In 2009, every show they played was ended with "One Step Closer", excluding the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen premiere.

During the 2001 MTV VMA performance of the song, the band had The X-Ecutioners do an extended break before the bridge. This part was somewhat similar to the atmosphere on the remix, with synth parts and faint vocal parts being scratched.

From 2003 to 2006, performances of the song include a verse originally sung by Korn frontman Jonathan Davis in the Reanimation remix of the song before the "Shut up when I'm talking to you!" bridge, which can be heard on LP Underground 4.0. At the end of the verse, Davis repeats the line "Blood is pouring" while the song builds up to the bridge. During their Projekt Revolution tour in 2004, the band actually got Jonathan Davis himself to sing his part on the song before Chester starts screaming his part.

On occasion, Shinoda sings "Blood is pouring" under Bennington's screaming during this part, as is done by Jonathan Davis on the remix. This is half-done on the performance at 2004's Rock am Ring (in that Mike Shinoda only sings the part during the second half of the bridge) and fully done during a performance during 2003's Projekt Revolution tour, which was completely recorded and included as a B-side on the "Faint" single and is available as a bonus track for Reanimation when purchased on iTunes. On the single cover, it is called "One Step Closer" (Reanimated Live)". It can also be heard on the Live from Nottingham Rock City 2003 Live from Nottingham record. During the 2006 live performances in Japan, the Reanimation bridge was played with the main riff of the song.

During the band's 2007 tour, "One Step Closer" became the opening song of Linkin Park's performances, and the Reanimation verse was removed. It also featured a new, extended intro featuring Shinoda on rhythm guitar. In 2008, it had a new extended outro, and sometimes it was performed as the last song.

For the 2010 A Thousand Suns World Tour, the song was used as the final song of the main Europe/North America set, with an extended outro featuring a guitar solo by Shinoda while Brad Delson plays an extended rhythm section during the solo. In the main Australia set list, as well as many random sets, the song was the final song of the concerts. in 2017 they added new intro that was very similar to the one in 2007. On October 30th 2017, Jonathan Davis performed the song again with the remaining Linkin Park members alongside former members Dead By Sunrise (a supergroup formed by Chester Bennington himself) during the Chester Bennington Tribute Concert.

Music video[edit]

Joe Hahn of Linkin Park and director Gregory Dark came up with the concept for the video. The original version of the video was supposedly meant to be live footage of the band with fans (similar to their music video for "Faint").

The video was directed by Gregory Dark[5] and shot in Los Angeles, sixty-three feet underground in an abandoned LA Subway tunnel, that is adjacent to an abandoned V.A. hospital. The video starts out with a group of teenage friends hanging out around a dark alley. Two of them (the male is played by local LA artist Tony Acosta who goes by the moniker "TonyMech") follow a strange man wearing a black hooded robe into a door which leads them to a dark, misty room where the band is playing. Monk-like men are performing martial arts moves throughout the video. Midway through the song, they knock over a crate, drawing the attention of the monk-like men, causing them to flee the tunnel. Eventually the strange man appears at the end of the video. While Bennington screams the songs bridge, he is also upside-down as if gravity is inverted for him.[6]

Stand-in bassist Scott Koziol can be seen in several shots in the video.

"One Step Closer" is the only Linkin Park music video to be filmed with SD cameras, which can be seen in 480p and is available in the US exclusively on the Warner Bros. Records YouTube channel.


Linkin Park

  • Chester Bennington – lead vocals
  • Mike Shinoda – samplers, additional vocals, keyboards, programming; additional guitar (credited on Linkin Park tours: from "Minutes to Midnight World Tour" to "One More Light Tour")
  • Brad Delson – electric guitar, bass guitar
  • Joe Hahn – turntables, samples, programming
  • Rob Bourdon – drums, percussion

Additional personnel

  • Scott Koziol - additional bass guitar

Track listing[edit]

Maxi single (Europe)
1."One Step Closer"Linkin Park2:39
2."My December"Mike Shinoda4:21
3."High Voltage"3:45
4."One Step Closer" (Video)Linkin Park2:55
US promo
1."One Step Closer" (Album Version)Linkin Park2:36
2."One Step Closer" (Rock Mix)Linkin Park2:36
10" vinyl
1."One Step Closer"Linkin Park2:39
2."My December"Shinoda4:21


Chart (2000–01) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[7] 4
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 38
Germany (Official German Charts)[9] 32
Italy (FIMI)[10] 46
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11] 57
Poland (LP3)[12] 16
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[13] 46
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[14] 42
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 24
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 75
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[15] 4
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[15] 5
Chart (2017) Peak
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[16] 75
Portugal (AFP)[17] 77
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[18] 14


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[19] Gold 35,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[21] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Green, Chris. "Linkin Park have launched a venture capital brand, but can such a company ever be rock n' roll?". The Independent. (June 25th, 2015). Retrieved on October 11th, 2015
  2. ^ Diver, Mike (September 6, 2009). "Top Ten - Nu-Metal Anthems". Clash. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  3. ^ "Top 10 Linkin Park Songs". Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "One Step Closer (Official Video) on YouTube". from the Warner Bros. Records YouTube Channel
  7. ^ " – Linkin Park – One Step Closer". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ " – Linkin Park – One Step Closer" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ " – Linkin Park – One Step Closer". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  10. ^ " – Linkin Park – One Step Closer". Top Digital Download.
  11. ^ " – Linkin Park – One Step Closer" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  12. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |".
  13. ^ " – Linkin Park – One Step Closer". Singles Top 100.
  14. ^ " – Linkin Park – One Step Closer". Swiss Singles Chart.
  15. ^ a b c Linkin Park. "Linkin Park - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-06-29.
  16. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – SINGLES DIGITAL – TOP 100 and insert 201730 into search. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  17. ^ " – Linkin Park – One Step Closer". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  18. ^ "Linkin Park Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  19. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  20. ^ "British single certifications – Linkin Park – One Step Closer". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type One Step Closer in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  21. ^ "American single certifications – Linkin Park – One Step Closer". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]