Twenty-five years ago, a young SoCal act named Rage Against the Machine were just about to finish recording their debut album. To hype its release, the alt-metal four-piece secured themselves a performance spot at Zed Records, a tiny but beloved counter-cultural music store which was the first in California to stock only hardcore and punk titles.

Filmed by YouTube user CowProd, this mesmerising footage shows a then-22-year-old Zach de la Rocha spitting some of the band’s first ever tracks from his absolute guts. If you really want to feel your hairs stand on end, jump to 23:54 when the frontman announces Killing in the Name, and no one responds – because they’ve never heard it before.

Eight months after this video was made, Rage Against the Machine was released by Epic Records and went three times platinum in the States, five times in Australia, and two times in the UK. Warning: swears included.


0:44 – Bombtrack

4:52 – Darkness (or Darkness of Greed)

8:31 – Take the Power Back

13:48 – Bullet in the Head

19:23 – Settle For Nothing

24:06 – Killing in the Name

29:42 – Extended jam by Tom Morello

30:02 – Know Your Enemy

34:37 – Freedom