A Thousand Suns

A Thousand Suns is the fourth studio album by American rock band Linkin Park. It was first released on September 8, 2010. The album was written by the band and co-produced by Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda and Rick Rubin, who previously worked together to produce Minutes to Midnight (2007). The lead single for the album, “The Catalyst”, was sent to radio and released to digital music retailers on August 2, 2010.[dated info] The band is currently promoting the album through the A Thousand Suns Tour.

A Thousand Suns is a concept album dealing with nuclear warfare and themes of war in general. “On this record, the concepts blend human ideas with technology […] Human fears, your fear of what’s going to happen in the world, the music kind of references that”, said Mike Shinoda on an interview with MTV. The album’s title comes from 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,” a quote made famous by J. Robert Oppenheimer in reference to the atomic bomb.

Although commercially successful, the album received mixed reviews upon release. It has been compared to the work of Radiohead and Pink Floyd.

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. 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.” 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”.

It has also been stated that the album honors the hip-hop group Public Enemy. On the song “Wretches and Kings”, 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.” The album also features samples of notable speeches by American political figures, including Martin Luther King, Jr., J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Mario Savio.

“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[13] 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.

A Thousand Suns
Studio album by Linkin Park
Released September 8, 2010 (2010-09-08)
(See release history)
Recorded 2008–2010
Genre Alternative rock
Length 47:56
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Rick Rubin, Mike Shinoda
Linkin Park studio album chronology
Minutes to Midnight
A Thousand Suns
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
  • Burning in the skies
  • Robot Boy
  • Blackout
  • Fallout
  • Iridescent
  • The Catalyst
  • The Messenger
  • The Radiance
  • Waiting for the end
  • When they come for me
  • Wisdom, Justice, and love
  • Wretches and kings
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