Rage Xmas no. 1!

Rage against the Machine have made History and claimed the Christmas no.1 spot in the UK singles charts, after a succesful facebook campaign to prevent another X-factor single reaching number one.

‘Killing in the Name’ sold 500,000 donwloads, easily beating Joe Mcwho’s ‘The Climb’ by 50,000 copies.

Speaking on the Radio 1 chart show, Zack de la Rocha from Rage said: “We are very, very ecstatic about being number one. [it was] an incredible organic grassroots campaign. It says more about the spontaneous action taken by young people throughout the UK to topple this very sterile pop monopoly.”

The Los Angeles rock band’s hit also set another record: it has achieved the biggest download sales total in a first week ever in the UK charts.

The facebook campaign has already raised well over £70,000 for the Homeless charity shelter. Rage against the Machine have pledged to give all their income from sales of the single to Shelter too, and there are calls for Simon Cowell to match whatever is raised. God knows he can afford it more than anyone.

Rage against the Machine have also promised to play a huge victory show in the UK soon to celebrate this historic campaign.


So thats the News. But what do I think, personally?

I think its great that something that had become so stale, bland, monopolised, has been given a real shake-up.

I think its incredible that the whole thing was started by a bloke and his wife in their own home, and it caught the imagination of almost a million people who felt the same way. It was completely democratic – the band themselves didn’t even know about it until earlier this week.

There has been a lot of rubbish written about the campaign, and about Rage. They are a band who live what they preach. They live modestly, write and play their own music, and stand up for what they believe in. Even though I might not necessarily agree with all of their points of view – and they probably wouldnt with mine either – I applaud their courage for having points of view at all, and for standing up for them.

Simon Cowell, X-factor and the whole celebrity culture has really affected British society. It encourages people, especially younger people, to just accept what they are given, to like what they are told to like, because their is no other choice. All the time, somebody – Simon Cowell – is making a lot of money out of public humiliation and exploitation. It has strangled real music in Britain. Cowell might say that ‘nobody puts a gun to people’s heads and forces them to buy X-factor’, but it is more subtle than that.

Maybe it is unfortunate that Rage have to be on a record label to get their message heard, but if they weren’t, no-one would hear their music at all. Karl Marx’s books are sold in bookshops. If they weren’t, no-one would read them. Its a terrible system, but there is nothing wrong with working within it to expose it flaws. Sony have made money out of it, of course – but how can you do anything nowadays without somebody making money out of it?

I just hope that the underlying messages in all this arent lost. This is bigger than music, than Rage against the Machine, than Simon Cowell.

This is about almost a million people joining together in a common cause, against an established monopoly, and taking back ownership of something that belongs to everyone, not just the chosen few.

When was the last time something so huge happened in the UK? I’m not exactly sure, but theres a General Election in a few months time… if we won’t have Simon Cowell owning Christmas no.1, why should we let corrupt, out-of-touch MP’s get away with it?


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Filed under debate, Music, social history

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