Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition) is the 20th anniversary celebratory release of Linkin Park's debut album Hybrid Theory. It was released on October 9, 2020 through Warner Records, a rebranding of Warner Bros. Records after WMG's license to the "Warner Bros." name and shield logo with WarnerMedia expired. Two songs were released in advance to promote the album: "She Couldn't" and "In The End (Demo)".
In preparation for the 20th anniversary of Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park asked LP Underground members to send them material to be used in the celebration. An e-mail sent to the fan club on March 5, 2020 reads: "LP Street Soldiers, This year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of HYBRID THEORY. We have some very special things planned throughout the year and want you to be a part of it. We’re looking for photos, videos, ticket stubs, merch, flyers, souvenirs and anything else you collected from the early days of the band in the late 90’s through the HYBRID THEORY era of 2000-2002. Some great examples include (but are not limited to) live concert footage and photos, pictures of band members and signed goodies from LPU meet and greets. All you have to do is click here and you will be taken to an upload site and asked to grant rights to Warner Records to use the content. Please upload by March 16, 2020."
On March 24, 2020, Joe, Dave and Mike went live on YouTube to react to a previously unreleased live concert footage from 2001 recorded at the Canes Bar and Grill in San Diego. The entire show was later uploaded to YouTube without the commentaries.
Mike Shinoda was live on YouTube on April 1st and, in celebration of the album's 20th anniversary, he created an instrumental in the style of Hybrid Theory which was later released to LPU members. He wrote, "Today I felt like making a Hybrid Theory / Meteora-inspired instrumental demo, and I wanted to give the final product to you in the LPU."
During another one of Mike Shinoda's streams, on April 13, he was questioned about the possibility of more LP Underground releases in the future to which he answered, "This year is the Hybrid Theory 20th anniversary so we are putting a lot of love into that. It'd be silly to like… we've released so many Hybrid Theory demos that I don't know that we have much more to do that with after the 20th anniversary release." On the 23rd, he accidentally showed a Dropbox folder named "Masters For Review" with 12 files of Hybrid Theory demos, 10 of which had their names visible. They were "Dialate", "PB Edit 2020", "She Couldn't", "Could Have Been", "Reading My Eyes", "Rhinestone", "Esaul", "Stick N Move", "Carousel" and "Points of Authority".
Mike Shinoda was a guest on the AWOLNATION Instagram Live on May 6th and mentioned that Linkin Park would be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hybrid Theory with a release. "This year is the 20 year anniversary of Hybrid Theory. And we are doing a release for it and a celebration for it with the band and the fans. All of us have had to go back and watch stuff from that era. It is the cringiest stuff… I can't believe the things we were saying between songs. I was like "who is this guy?" Chester was talking like a wrestler, it was insane. I remember talking to Chester four or five years ago and we would argue about who was the most embarrassing person. But at the time, that was the shit. That's what we did." On May 19, the band started selling Hybrid Theory inspired face masks to benefit COVID-19 relief. On the 22nd, One Step Closer themed merch was added to Linkin Park's official store. They wrote, "In celebration of Hybrid Theory's 20th anniversary, we will be commemorating the album’s iconic singles with capsule collection releases throughout the year. First Up: One Step Closer".
In late June, a leaked list of upcoming Funko POP! releases listed Hybrid Theory under "Pop! Albums: Linkin Park". Pre-orders started in early August.
Amidst promotion of his Dropped Frames albums in late July, Mike started teasing the Hybrid Theory anniversary. He told ABC News, "With the 20th anniversary celebration, I expect it to be pretty big. Not big in terms of numbers or sales or whatever. I just expect it…to feel good and be important to those of us who care about the record. It is the equivalent of having a big birthday. I wanna have a big party for it." During a Kerrang! Face-To-Face interview, he revealed Linkin Park had been working closely with key people from throughout the band's history to celebrate the album's 20 years. "We’ve done our best to go to a lot of people who are family, in a sense, and say, ‘What do you think we should do? What would be a good celebration of Hybrid Theory?’ and try our best to do a bunch of those ideas."
Jeff Blue, the band's A&R executive during the recording of Hybrid Theory, launched a pre-order for his book One Step Closer: From Xero to #1: Becoming Linkin Park, set for a December 8, 2020 release. The description reads: "This against-all-odds story chronicles the early days of Linkin Park, from their first demo and Whisky a Go Go performance as Xero, through their tireless efforts to perfect their iconic sound and the discovery of Chester Bennington. Jeff Blue was there when no one else believed—first as their publisher, then as their A&R guy. This is his memoir of that incredible journey."
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