Skip to main content

Net Campaign Helps RATM Become Xmas No.1

The Christmas number one is kind of a tradition in the UK. Sometimes, it's woeful (Bob the Builder in 2000), sometimes it's great (The Beatles grabbed the coveted spot four years running) but whatever it is, it's played relentlessly. Since music mogul Simon Cowell launched the X Factor, it's been a whole other story. The final episode of Cowell's search for the next popstar always airs just before Christmas, and because of the show's popularity, the winner's single always shoots straight to number one. Dodgy number ones were replaced by Leona Lewis one year and Alexandra Burke the next.

One group of people got rather fed up with the idea that Simon Cowell's latest project would be always be guaranteed the number one, year in and year out. The UK couple decided to launch a Facebook group to try and have Rage Against the Machine's 1992 hit "Killing in the Name" beat this year's winner Joe McElderry.

Over 450,000 RATM fans joined the Facebook group that carried the following message:

Fed up with Simon Cowell's latest karaoke act being Christmas No.1? Me too... So who's up for a mass-purchase of the track 'KILLING IN THE NAME' from December 13th as a protest to the X-Factor monotony?

The band themselves also jumped on board. Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha told fans that a "large portion" of the sales would go to homeless charity Shelter while guitarist Tom Morello said, "It's trying to save the UK pop charts for this abyss of bland mediocrity." The band performed their song on BBC radio but were cut off when they began to swear as per the lyrics of the song. BBC had asked the band not to curse on the air but seeing as how the lyric is, "F*ck you, I won't do what you tell me," no one was really surprised when they didn't obey instructions.

After a close race, Rage beat McElderry (and Simon's choice of song, Miley Cyrus' "The Climb") by about 50,000 and raised over £80,000 for Shelter.

Check out both videos below.

  • sliem
    unumber one...? = not number one?
    Reply
  • matt87_50
    "After a CLOSE race, Rage beat McElderry (and Simon's choice of song, Miley Cyrus' "The Climb") "

    that is the saddest thing I have ever heard.
    oh well, atleast they won...

    Reply
  • matt87_50
    Curnel_DAs much as the idea seems a noble one, Rage against the machine was an awful replacement. It seems the entire reason this song was chosen is for the single line lyric at the end of the song. Boring. Glad RATM turned it into a good cause though.

    yeah... also cause it's awesome! it's not just one line anyway, its the whole song and Band for that matter.

    I can't believe how terrible that Xfactor clip was, and it WAS an Xfactor clip! had the actual show in it! and clearly the song was chosen as a way to convey the "XFactor journey" had nothing to do with the """artist""" at all.

    just... terrible...
    Reply
  • ukcal
    I loved listening to Radio 1 that night :D
    Reply
  • ukgooey
    ^+1 They properly let the result drag on didn't they..... bit like the X-Factor does. It was amazing to hear the start of The Climb at number two :)

    Anyway, I think the choice of tune was more about the rebellious nature of the protest rather than picking an alternative Xmas song. They tried and failed to find a band called Rage Against the X-Factor Machine.
    Reply
  • tstebbens
    Good choice, although PWEI would have been a good choice as well.
    Reply
  • ukcal
    Ukgooey, yeah you're telling me they let it drag on, but i agree, hearing The Climb at number two was great!
    About time the UK number 1 wasn't an X-Factor song though and RATM was perhaps the most appropriate, considering the lyrics, band ethics and the nature of the entire protest.
    Reply
  • JMcEntegart
    matt87_50yeah... also cause it's awesome! it's not just one line anyway, its the whole song and Band for that matter.I can't believe how terrible that Xfactor clip was, and it WAS an Xfactor clip! had the actual show in it! and clearly the song was chosen as a way to convey the "XFactor journey" had nothing to do with the """artist""" at all.just... terrible...
    Yeah, he sang a great rendition of Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross for his audition. He also did an amazing job with Elton John's Sorry Seems To Be. The song choice for his first single was absolutely awful.
    Reply
  • cappster
    RATM was the perfect band to take over the top of the charts. They are all about rebellion so it was like a hand fitting the glove. About time someone did something about all of this pompous, sissy pop, and manufactured music from reigning supreme even if for just one week. The people said F*CK YOU I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME! Never underestimate the power of the people!
    Reply
  • Shadow703793
    So folks what did we learn?: NEVER under estimate the power of the Internets!
    Reply