Watch Linkin Park rehearse a demo version of A Place For My Head in 1999

Linkin Park rehearsing in 1999
(Image credit: YouTube / Getty)

When Linkin Park unleashed squillion-selling debut album Hybrid Theory onto an unsuspecting public, it changed rock music forever. As well as being the biggest-selling rock album of the 21st century, it also presented a new peak for the overflowing nu metal scene, confirming its biggest ever graduates and consolidating the genre as the most mainstream-dominating thing metal had ever produced. 

Over two decades later, its impact remains immeasurable. Sonically, the production on classics like Crawling, One Step Closer and In The End sounds as vital and cutting edge as it did in 2000, and the album's influence on countless rock and metal bands remains fully present - check out our recent piece detailing 10 songs that show nu metal is alive and well for evidence of that. 

Few could have imagined a gaggle of angsty teens from the modest city of Agoura Hills in California could have had such an incredible, longstanding effect on the evolution of rock music, but one only need dip into some of the earliest videos of Linkin Park to see that the potential for greatness was always there.

This rare footage of the band rehearsing an early version of Hybrid Theory banger A Place For My Head was taken all the way back in 1999 - the year beloved and much-missed frontman Chester Bennington first joined the fold, back when they were called Xero. Originally titled Esaul after a friend of the band, the song was clearly approaching final form by the time this clip was filmed, already sounding like a certified nu metal anthem-in-waiting. 

Still, without all the production sheen and extra bells and whistles it'd be afforded come Hybrid Theory, there's a strange thrill in hearing A Place For My Head in such raw surroundings, as well as witnessing the crackle of energy and chemistry that was so evidently running through the band at this point. Soon, they'd make history. 

Watch the video below:

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.