A few weeks ago, we came across a truly grassroots Facebook group dedicated to overthrowing Simon Cowell’s long ruling regime of X-Factor contestants topping the UK charts. Their plan is simple: Everyone buys a bunch of copies of Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name in the weeks leading up to December 20th, to place it atop the list of top Christmas singles. The number one spot has gone to X-Factor winners every year since 2005.
The full band (including the elusive Zack De La Rocha) made an appearance on BBC Radio 5 this morning to discuss the campaign, and perform the song… At least until the radio hosts made it back from their smoke breaks just in time to cut the live feed after the fourth “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!”
And those four f-words screamed on live radio represented the only truly respectable act of rebellion in this whole misguided schoolyard jihad. Both Simon Cowell’s Syco Music and Epic, who gets the checks for RATM sales in the UK, are owned by Sony Music.
We love Rage and appreciate the sentiment, but we have to call this for what it is: a bunch of people into one particular type of popular music, picking a pointless fight with another type of popular music, driving sales of popular music up briefly, and putting more money into the very machine they think they’re raging against. It wasn’t conceived in a boardroom, but had it have been, someone would be looking good for a promotion right about now.
Could we not have picked an independent artist’s song for the battle cry?
On the bright side, at least Rage is currently winning.
Thanks to Paul Kiristy for the audio.