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Rage Against the Machine v Simon Cowell’s X-Factor

Posted by LiveFor on December 15, 2009

This is very cool. Always good to hear Rage Against the Machine – saw them at a festival years ago and they were most excellent. Cheers to Andy M for sending me the story from the Guardian.

Despite his proficiency in the dark arts of publicity, Simon Cowell is struggling to shield his latest X Factor protege from a new foe: the internet-driven protest waged through a group of relentlessly political, fortysomething California punk-rap-metal-funksters.

Joe McElderry may have won Sunday’s final but he is currently trailing Rage Against the Machine in the race for the Christmas No 1 thanks to an anti-X Factor Facebook campaign. The online initiative – which Cowell has dismissed as “stupid” – aims to ensure that the US band’s 1992 hit Killing in the Name outsells McElderry’s cover of the Miley Cyrus song The Climb.

Today, the Official Charts Company said Rage Against the Machine were 10% ahead on sales, and HMV also reported that the angry anthem was outselling McElderry’s ballad 10-1.

But there are signs that the Facebook campaign is losing momentum. The Climb sent Killing in the Name tumbling down iTunes’s best-selling songs list today, and the newly crowned prince of reality TV pop will launch the CD version of his song tomorrow. HMV predicted: “Whilst it’s true that, since Sunday night, quite a few more fans have been downloading the Rage track, we believe this trend will be reversed in a big way once the physical CD single of Joe’s The Climb officially goes on sale.”

That – and the fact that X Factor winners have had the yuletide No 1 for the past four years – suggests Cowell could get what he wants for Christmas. Again.

“I think we all have this belief that the Christmas No 1 was just amazing songs, a real special occasion, but actually when you look at them over recent years, it was Bob the Builder one year, Mr Blobby … there’s a tradition of quite horrible songs,” Cowell told this week’s NME. “I think I’ve done everyone a favour.”

Which one do you prefer?

RATM guitarist Tom Morello lent his Twitter voice to the cause today, likely spurred on by the fact that the campaign has also raised £20,000 for the UK charity Shelter. A champion of musical activism, Morello just released a two-song Live at Lime session in conjunction with Amnesty International, with all net proceeds benefitting Amnesty’s work around the world. So if you’re in the mood to rage, go buy “Killing in the Name” and help topple Scrooge Cowell’s Christmas number one empire. And then go download Morello’s stellar Live at Lime session. Power to the people!

4 Responses to “Rage Against the Machine v Simon Cowell’s X-Factor”

  1. Del said

    as sony owns the rites to both so giving money to the machine either way,

  2. katwalk65 said

    2 problems I have with this whole campaign [although I like the idea of charity called ‘Shelter’]:
    1. Rage should have done an amazing NEW song to put up against the insipid pop song, something that tells us where we are NOW in the world;
    2. I don’t want to hear the lyric ‘…killing in the name of…’ this week, sure I know it’s hypocritical to take a break from the badness in the world, (in fact the way I deal with this is listening to Tool’s “Opiate” every day now, kind of my advent calendar on the whole issue of faith] — I’d rather hear the theme from “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Ave Maria” or “The Christmas Song” by NKC.

    Just my thoughts on this — do a subversive piece like Radiohead that you don’t know is really telling the truth…this reflective time of year

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