Acoustic Sounds
Linkin Park One Step Series
By: Michael Fremer

June 29th, 2024



"Because Sound Matters One-Step"/Warner Records Series Launches With Three Linkin Park Releases

"Hybrid Theory", "Meteora" and "Minutes to Midnight" for audiophiles?

Below is the press release for a new and some might think surprising "One-Step" audiophile vinyl release for three classic Linkin Park releases, under the "Because Sound Matters" banner relaunched by Warner Records, which now has an online store using that name. "Because Sound Matters" was a vinyl series originally created almost twenty years ago by Tom "Grover" Biery when he was working at Warner Brothers Records. The vinyl enthusiast convinced the company to let him release a series of titles cut from tape, including albums from Dire Straits, Van Morrison, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell among others. This was before vinyl made its big comeback and the powers that were gave Biery the green light so he could "play". The vinyl resurgence is no longer a side show.

This "One Step" series (surely no need to explain "One Step" to Tracking Angle readers) may seem odd for older audiophiles but for a younger generation now into vinyl and appreciative of better sound, Biery and Warner Records is betting this limited to 3000 copies series available August 9th will quickly sell out to the hardcore Linkin Park fans who are sure to appreciate the added clarity and musicality these releases promise to offer compared to the original CDs. Yesterday, while at RTI I spotted some of the records.

I have test pressings here and will report ASAP on how they sound and for those unfamiliar, cover the hard core music—a combination of hard rock, hip-hop, heavy metal, and even emo as well, with the late, troubled lead singer Chester Bennington's impassioned lead vocals distinguishing the group from ones fronted by inconsequential shouters. The TPs arrived as I was leaving for a day trip to Los Angeles to visit Fidelity Record Pressing in Oxnard and RTI in nearby Camarillo so I only got to listen to the super-intense certified RIAA Diamond seller 2000 debut Hybrid Theory, which sold almost five million copies in its first release year alone.

The band was/is huge, but I doubt a track by this group has ever been played at a hi-fi show. One of vinyl's great attributes is that it gets music lovers into unfamiliar genres and artists, whether it's moving rockers to jazz and classical, or jazz and classical lovers into hard core bands like Linkin Park or Mars Volta. First play, Bennington's vibe, for some reason, brought to mind the equally intense late comedian Sam Kinneson—though the lyrics, about paranoia, mental instability, self-doubt (etc.) are hardly comedic.

It will be interesting to see how this audacious experiment in bringing the best sounding editions of these super popular albums to the so-called "vinyl community" plays out!

LOS ANGELES—Linkin Park and Warner Records will release a limited edition “One-Step” audiophile vinyl for Hybrid Theory (2000), Meteora (2003), and Minutes To Midnight (2007). These releases mark the launch of “Because Sound Matters One-Step,” a series of high-quality audiophile vinyl.  Each release includes the original album artwork and details of the audio sourcing and processing and is housed in a newly designed slipcase. Following these releases, audiophile versions of albums by The Flaming Lips and other artists will be made available later this year. The Linkin Park "One-Step" releases will be 1-LP limited edition pressings on 180-gram black vinyl, numbered to 3,000. All three titles will be available on August 9th. Pre-order HERE.

Additionally, color vinyl variants for Hybrid Theory, Meteora, and The Hunting Party (2014) will also be available on July 26. Hybrid Theory will be available on 1-LP translucent yellow vinyl, Meteora on 1-LP gold and red splatter vinyl, and The Hunting Party on 2-LP translucent light blue vinyl. Notably, this is the first time the album CD art has been used on any vinyl format of The Hunting Party. Pre-order Hybrid Theory HERE, Meteora HERE, and The Hunting Party HERE.

Hybrid Theory, their groundbreaking debut, is a fusion of heavy alternative rock, hip-hop and electronic elements. It was instrumental in defining a new genre and inspiring generations of fans and new bands. The album features iconic singles such as “In The End,” “One Step Closer,” “Papercut,” and “Crawling,” and was the best-selling album of 2001 in the U.S. 

The band’s sophomore release, Meteora, saw their continued success with “Somewhere I Belong,” “Faint,” and “Numb,” which has been streamed over 5 billion times. The album topped the Billboard 200 and has earned 8x platinum status in the U.S.

Minutes To Midnight, the band's multi-platinum third studio album, reflected a desire to experiment and push the sonic boundaries of the band. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and features top tracks “What I’ve Done,” “Shadow Of The Day,” and “Bleed It Out.” This was the first album Linkin Park worked with producer Rick Rubin. 

The Hunting Party marked Linkin Park’s stylistic return to loud, aggressive rock and boasted several guest features from Daron Malakian (System of a Down), Page Hamilton (Helmet), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine / Audioslave) and Rakim. 


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Because Sound Matters One-Step” is a series of vinyl releases where meticulous care is taken to create the best-sounding records possible. Each release will be numbered and limited-edition.

The “One-Step” vinyl process is a specialized manufacturing technique renowned for its superior sound quality. Traditional vinyl pressing involves multiple steps with the potential for quality loss at each stage. The “One-Step” process eliminates these steps, with the lacquer master being used to create a stamper, which is then used to press the records.  This results in a vinyl record that faithfully preserves the original sound with exceptional clarity and depth, capturing the recordings' nuances and subtleties. The “One-Step” process is highly regarded among audiophiles and collectors for its unparalleled sound fidelity and represents the pinnacle of vinyl manufacturing craftsmanship.


  • 2024-06-29 07:57:51 PM

    tim davis wrote:

    Hells Yeah! Can't wait to hear what you think of the SQ Mikey! All I know about L.P. for sure is they share initials with the lp & cared enough about their live sound to get one Brad Divens, F.O.H. specialist to be part of their concert productions, that cat really knows about good sound presentation in the arena world. He also used to front the best damn live rock band I've ever seen in concert, admittedly & sadly in much smaller venues however.

  • 2024-06-30 10:14:25 PM

    Mtglass wrote:

    From digital I see…

  • 2024-07-01 12:22:46 PM

    Rich@ Treehaus Audiolab wrote:

    Ive played a few times "My December" on Hybrid Theory and "Forward/ Don't Stay" on Meteora (It has some interesting string additions to it;Meteora is a remix of the Hybrid Theory tracks)

    Need to keep it interesting at shows.. only so many times one can listen to the same standards..

  • 2024-07-02 08:28:41 PM

    Paul Robertson wrote:

    Yeah is right, I too can't wait to hear what you think of how they sound. I have all of their regular vinyl releases except the last album, which I couldn't bring myself to get.............following Chester's passing, streaming it, hearing the lyrics, and feeling I wouldn't play it. I can't say I'm drawn to this genre of music in general but I do have eclectic tastes and something about LP drew me in big time. I'm glad I have the Linkin Park records that I do becuase they're great, but man I'm gonna have to be convinced here. My bank manager is saying so. MF's forthcoming review or reviews might do the trick, we'll see. When it comes to sound critiquing nobody does it better, period, so the trust is there. Now if one of these One Step's was LP's "A Thousand Suns" it would be an automatic purchase, as it for me personally is their masterpiece. Not nearly as big a seller as these 3 coming out were though, so that will probably not happen.

    As a side thought. The UHQR's and Mo-Fi's I have are outstanding but even more expensive, and I do respect what goes into pressing them. But AP's Atlantic 75 series has been stealing the show for me lately. And of course AP's other 45 RPM releases. For 60 bucks the value is ridiculously great.

  • 2024-07-05 04:25:23 AM

    chet wrote:

    Less than mediocre music is still the same no matter repressing or technology.Cheers,Chet

    • 2024-07-05 02:25:28 PM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      "Less than mediocre" to me means better than mediocre!