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How Rage Against The Machine went to number one because of the rage against 'X Factor'


A campaign in networks catapulted in 2009 his song 'Killing in the Name', which was 17 years old, to unseat the Christmas talent contest bet

The most shocking duel for number one on the British record charts occurred in 2009. On one side,

The X Factor

(known in Spain as

Factor X


a popular vocal talent contest that had gathered 19 million viewers at its end. and he always placed his


at the top.

To the other, the least expected rival: Rage Against The Machine, one of the most atypical bands of the nineties, heir to punk, funk and


heavier, but characterized by the rap that Zack de la Rocha sings over the unique guitar playing of Tom Morello.

The Californian group—with a clear leftist militancy, with the red star and the raised fist as its hallmarks—was the antithesis of the commercial pop of the charts.

To make matters worse, his best-known song,

Killing in the Name,

was then 17 years old: it was from 1992.

Could a worn song from a group so alternative to the

X Factor

bet for the Christmas campaign dethrone?

It could, and the feature film

Rage Against The Machine in concert

(on Movistar Plus+) proves it.

Around the time we were discovering viral, a couple of activists, Jon and Tracy Morter, launched their campaign on Facebook to put

Killing on the Name

at number one by Christmas.

It was presented as a slap in the face to a music industry that bet everything (in Spain too) on


and derivatives.

Downloads already counted on the list, which were taking off and made a record in a week.

The band got involved and promised to donate the proceeds to the homeless.

On Christmas Day 2009, the gritty

Killing on the Name

ousted the mellow

The Climb from number one.

the version made by

The X Factor

for the occasion, a song by Hannah Montana (today Miley Cyrus) performed by Joe McElderry.

The film collects the free performance that RATM offered in London's Finsbury Park, in June 2010, to celebrate the feat before a crowd that did not stop bouncing.

And with the Morter invited to the stage, as applauded as the musicians.

The success is still remembered: last Christmas, 41,000 voters chose

Killing on the Name

as the best UK Christmas song ever, even if it's not exactly a Christmas carol.

What happened in 2009, in any case, was a short-lived victory:

reality shows

continued to colonize the record business to the detriment of those who, like Rage Against The Machine, always insisted on creating and being different.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-08-05

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