Top 100 singles of all time: 64 – Linkin Park – One Step Closer

I stand by this song. However much they’ve sucked since, I think this song – and Meteora and Hybrid Theory – are worth defending. Linkin Park were the right band at the right time.

Most people I knew liked Limp Bizkit’s Rollin’ but were uncomfortable about doing so because Fred Durst was such a complete tw*t. When One Step Closer came out, we could all breathe a sigh of relief because it did exactly the same things but instead of a posturing playground bully we had nice, clean-cut sweet kids with skater-culture street cred. Instead of moronically yelling “chocolate starfish”, we had someone who would later sing, “I know I will end up failing too / but I know / that you were just like me with someone disappointed in you“. (Cue the sound of a thousand teen voices wailing, “It’s like they GET me!” while their manager takes another bath in liquid cash. 

I was, at one point, a fully paid up member of the Linkin Park fan club. I have the t-shirt – still – but I only wear it around the house. They weren’t the pinnacle of innovation, but there were subtly different blends of riffs and breaks – enough to differentiate them. They wrote song after song of memorable pop hooks with emotive choruses carefully designed to reel in the maladjusted teenager. They were the Nine Inch Nails of their generation.

And there was Chester Bennington’s pitch-perfect Geddy-Lee-meets-grunge croon.

The first time I heard this song was blaring out of our office radio in the middle of the day. I almost fell off my chair I was so impressed.



One Step Closer reached number 14 in the UK charts in September 2000.


I also stand by these songs:



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