Rage Against The Machine Win UK Chart Upset, Issue Statement, Plan Free 'Thank You' Concert
Typically, your standard-issue Christmas miracle concerns such causes as peace on Earth, but willfully launching a nearly 20-year-old single with "Killing" in its title to the top of the charts during the holiday season? Well, we're not quite sure what to call that, but Rage Against The Machine has given a name to the bizarre fan-led campaign aimed at pushing a Simon Cowell prodigy out of the number one spot in U.K. song sales using the perennial heft of RATM's 1992 hit "Killing In The Name." In a statement issued by the band, the unprecedented event has been dubbed "The Anarchy Christmas Miracle 2009." Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, so it's a good thing the name came after the movement's success. Oh, right... by the way, the numbers are in and the Rage fans won.
What did they win, exactly? Well, bragging rights first and foremost. As West Coast Sound's Gustavo Turner explained last week, the winners of Simon Cowell's Idol-like English show, The X Factor, typically dominate the Christmastime charts overseas (specifically, the week before Christmas). This time around, Joe McElderry's "The Climb" was expected to be a shoo-in, until a Facebook-formed army calling themselves Rage Against The X-Factor emerged, led by a logistics expert named Jon Morter.
But fans are also getting a free concert for their troubles. According to a press release, "the group vows to return to U.K. shores sometime in 2010 for [a] massive "thank you" gig .... and invite 2nd Place finisher and X-Factor impresario Simon Cowell to MC the show!" Considering Cowell's initial "punk bitch" reaction to the campaign, we have our doubts about his accepting that invitation. Also, RATM guitarist Tom Morello commanded his legions of "freedom fighters" to "Knock over ladies buying X-Factor," which is just kind of mean.
Here's the full statement from Rage.
"Rage Against the Machine is honored to have been drafted by this historic grassroots campaign to make our song 'Killing in the Name' the No. 1 song on the UK Christmas Week pop chart. This is a huge victory by and for fans of real music and we extend our heartfelt thanks to every fan and freedom fighter who helped make our anthem of defiance and rebellion the Anarchy Christmas Miracle of 2009.
"As promised we will play a free concert in the UK in celebration of this incredible upset victory over the heavily favored X-Factor single. We are also pleased that so much money has been raised for homeless charity Shelter and are happy to donate as well to aid this important cause. While there are many lessons that can be drawn from this historic upset, the main one is this: that ordinary people, banding together in solidarity, can change ANYTHING, be it the pop charts or the world."
And Morello's pre-victory rallying cry.
"Attention Freedom Fighters! RAGE VS. X-FACTOR WILL BE DECIDED BY SATURDAY'S SALES. Spread the word! Knock on doors! Host downloading parties! Knock over ladies buying X-Factor! The clock is ticking. And if 'Killing in the Name' is No. 1, WE ARE COMING. And it will be the victory party to end all victory parties."
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.