"Breaking the Habit" is an electronica-influenced song by the alternative rock band Linkin Park, from their 2003 album Meteora. It was released as the sixth and final single from the album in 2004. It became the fifth consecutive single from Meteora to reach #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, a feat unmatched by any other artist in the history of that chart. It was also the second single from the album to reach #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It was a pop hit, peaking at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Breaking the Habit features many electronics, piano and guitar. There are no distorted guitar riffs, and it is the first single released by Linkin Park to include no vocals from Mike Shinoda.
A common misconception about this song is that it was written by lead singer Chester Bennington, when in fact, band member Mike Shinoda was the original writer. The song was based on a close friend's drug addiction. It is a common idea that it was written about Bennington due to his extended drug abuse issues, although Shinoda began writing the song before he met Bennington. The rumour has its roots in Bennington's reluctance to play the song at early live shows, because he was able to relate to it so closely.
In an issue of Kerrang, Mike Shinoda mentioned that the song was originally going to be an instrumental track over ten minutes long, but was convinced by the band to change it.
The video was shot of the band performing the song and was later rotoscoped. The animation style is tied closely to the animated segment from Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1(2003). This video has also been a favorite among MTV viewers going so far as to winning the 2004 MTV VMA Viewers Choice Award.
At the beginning of the video, a man is shown lying on a car's roof. The car has been surrounded by police tape, and a crowd is beginning to gather. Police are shown investigating the reason for the fall. The video then cuts to other characters, many shown to be depressed or frustrated with their lives. The first noteworthy character is a girl who breaks a mirror, then writes "I'm nothing" onto a sheet of paper. She then picks up a shard of broken glass, clenches it in her hand, and smears her blood on the paper. Throughout the whole video, a wisp of smoke twists around the characters as their stories are played out, and Chester Bennington's face flashes around various scenes. Suddenly, the smoke flows into the mouth of the dead body, and video rewinds itself, revealing more about the characters and their stories. The dead body rockets upwards and lands on the roof of a tall building, where it is revealed that it was Chester who died. Once Chester lands on the roof, the entire band is shown playing, and finishes the song on the roof.
There is also a second music video, entitled "Breaking the Habit (5.28.04 3:37 PM)", showing the band in their studio performing the song. The video was directed by Kimo Proudfoot and is available on the Breaking the Habit DVD.
|Australian ARIA Singles Chart||23|
|Austrian Singles Chart||43|
|Dutch Top 40||19|
|France Singles Chart||27|
|German Singles Chart||25|
|Ireland Singles Chart||46|
|New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart||27|
|Swiss Singles Chart||56|
|U.K. Singles Chart||15|
|United World Chart||39|
|U.S. Hot Modern Rock Tracks||1|
|U.S.Billboard Hot 100||20|