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Music: Rage Against the Machine Second Favourites for UK Christmas Number 1

Rage Against the Machine CD Sleeve
Rage Against the Machine CD Sleeve

Following the victory for Joe McElderry in X Factor 2009, many see him as a clear-cut favourite for Christmas Number 1 in the UK, however, an internet movement to oust the X Factor winner from the top spot is quickly gathering pace, with the surprise addition of Rage Against the Machine into the running for this year’s Xmas top spot.

Users of social networking websites have been imploring their friends not to bow to peer pressure and, instead of ordering Joe McElderry’s “The Climb”, to purchase a copy – or more – of Rage Against the Machine’s track “Killing in the Name” which has the rather appropriate chorus of “F**k you, I won’t do what you tell me” repeated over and over.

As the more acerbic in the blogosphere have pointed out, more than once, it is somewhat ironic that people are doing precisely what they are told by buying the RATM track, however, this is unlikely to deter the growing band of internet users exhibiting “anti-X Factor” sentiment and purchasing at least one copy in the next week or so.

Online bookmakers Paddy Power now make RATM 1/5 in their “without X Factor” market for Christmas Number One while, in the past 24 hours, one user on internet betting exchange Betfair has piled over £7,000 on Rage Against The Machine in the same market.

Amazon UK’s music chart would indicate that this movement is achieving good success thus far – Amazon UK has the top 3 songs in the following order (note that there are 2 copies of Rage Against the Machine “Killing in the Name” which may have to be accounted for when official charts are drawn up):

  1. Joe McElderry “The Climb”
  2. Rage Against the Machine “Killing in the Name” [explicit]
  3. Rage Against the Machine “Killing in the Name”

Source, Amazon UK MP3 Chart

Whether or not this internet coup on music’s most watched chart succeeds, it is highly likely that Simon Cowell and his X Factor friends will not be disappointed by the likely increase in purchases such a “battle for number one” creates – with those who want Joe McElderry to chart at the top now more likely than ever to bulk buy their beloved’s single in order to help him to achieve the spot.

If Rage Against the Machine can claim the top of the Christmas chart, it will demonstrate just how powerful the internet is when it comes to orchestrating a public chart or vote: politicians, with the UK election year coming in 2010, will likely watch with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.

About Robin Scott

Robin Scott
Robin Scott is co-founder and publisher of The Global Herald.

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  1. whos number one

  2. the reason i want ratm to win is im fed up of havin music that is stupid and for morons forced down my throat every year and want it stop and not only that but the ragtm is a better song and opf better qaulity its not spoon fed to its listeners

  3. I’ve been waiting for somebody to take over the christmas number one from x-factor. But why RATM? I think the christmas number one should be a christmas song. Hopefully next year someone will release a christmas song, and set up a facebook promoting their song against x-factor.

  4. for a start the song is about institutionalised racism in the police. So, ‘fuck you i wont do what you tell me’ has nothing to do about buying the record. durrrrrr.

    • Editor

      That the chorus is “rather appropriate” for the anti-X Factor cause has little or nothing to do with the original motivation behind the RATM track.

      In case you were wondering, we at The Global Herald do not think that Rage Against the Machine had a premonition in 1992 that, some 17 years later, their track would be needed in a fight for the UK Christmas Number 1.

      The true meaning of the RATM track is unrelated to the purpose of this article, hence it is not mentioned.

  5. the lyrics are not what matter in this campaign but if they are talked about then it has to be said that the people buying the ratm song are not doing what they are told they are opting out of free will to buy the track and they are not being forced to battle against the x factor winner they are doing it because they want to. may be they wouldn’t if some one like olly murs had won who was a bit different and was an entertainer not joe who has an incredible voice but nothing else no personality no stage presence and if you look at the pictures where he isn’t smiling he looks like evil its self

  6. Define Irony:

    “Users of social networking websites have been imploring their friends not to bow to peer pressure”

  7. Robin: the idea that buyers of the RATM track are “just doing what they are told” misses the bigger picture. The choice for music lovers – as well as those of us opposed to the corporatism that creates manufactured performers – is whether Cowell’s superficial creations should be allowed to go unchallenged.

    In fact, surely the hundreds of thousands of X-Factor viewers – though most surely would not regard themselves as easily manipulated – have done what a glossy soap-opera production told them to do? People are of course free to disagree on whether they like Rage Against The Machine – but the songwriting is their own, and the lyrics are sharp, intelligent, angry and political (just how music should be!). The X Factor single – no offence to McElderry intended – is the product of a cynical marketing machine. Covers require no further songwriting talent and are chosen for their saccharine and inoffensive content.

    This perspective is not to detract from the singing abilities of the X Factor finalists – they can all hold a tune. But none of them (all guaranteed millionaires, say the papers) are likely to do anything to rock the boat, even if they find time to stop and wonder whether the machine will spit them out when the next sensation is created.

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