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Music: Rage Against the Machine “Killing in the Name” is UK Christmas Number One 2009

Rage Against the Machine - UK Christmas Number One 2009

“Killing in the Name” by American band Rage Against the Machine is this year’s UK Christmas Number One.

Following Joe McElderry’s win on this year’s UK X Factor series – the show which had produced the Christmas Number One single every year since 2005 – he was installed as the early favourite to make it five in a row for X Factor.

However, an inspired campaign by Jon Morter and his Facebook friends saw over 800,000 join a group “Rage Against the Machine for Christmas Number 1” with many of them pledging to buy the track – which they clearly did in their hundreds of thousands.

Early this week we reported how RATM had become clear second favourites for 2009 Christmas Number One and, after much mainstream publicity, the effort snowballed to overtake the X Factor winner in terms of UK downloads in most charts to the middle of the week.

Interest in the Rage Against the Machine track – or, rather the campaign to get it to the top of the Xmas charts – was so great that fans and followers saw the Facebook group go offline many times in midweek, prompting some to make claims of foul play.

When Joe McElderry’s track was released in a hard copy on CD and therefore available in supermarkets unlike Rage Against the Machine, the popular X Factor winner from South Shields began closing the gap on the American rap-rock group once more.

Bookmakers had a torrid time splitting the two tracks and many markets on Christmas Number One were frozen during periods where RATM looked to tbe getting the upper hand before McElderry was once more installed as odds-on favourite heading into Saturday – the final day of sales – but this result must be seen as a shock win by many who had McElderry as favourite right to the last.

Rage Against the Machine eventually lifted the 2009 UK Christmas One having recieved the largest ever one week download total, in the process becoming the only track to reach Christmas Number One based solely on downloads.

About Robin Scott

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

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25 comments

  1. Can’t help thinking Take The Power Back would have been a better choice of track to make the point…

  2. Revolution was never so easy, remember the days before the Pop-idol/X-factor sugary rip off ballads monopolised the Christmas charts ? well this may be a blip to Simon Cowells world domination plans, but it still feels good to have stuck two fingers up at the machine, well done to the facebook guys, best and most effective 99p I ever spent.

  3. look at it this way
    a track performed by a true band playing instruments by the people who wrote it

    against a karaoke singer busking along to a copy of a song played by session musicians

    quality will out

  4. Well done, everybody. It’s about time a statement was made about the mass-manufactured, soulless, poppy drivel that’s being pumped into our ears.

  5. chris from walsall wood

    WOOO! RAGE GET IT DONE, PEOPLE CAN SAY THAT IT SHOULDNT BE NUMBER ONE BUT I THINK THAT ITS A FANTASTIC RESULT, GOT NOTHING AGAINST JOE JUST AGAINST THE WAY THE X FACTOR WORKS TO MANIPULATE THE PUBLIC INTO BUYING SUGAR COATED POP DRIVEL, I MEAN THEY COVERED A HANNAH MONTANA SONG! WHO IN THE RIGHT MIND WOULD WANT THAT? WITH ALL THE MONEY MADE AT LEAST THEY SHOULDVE HAD A FRESH NEW SONG WRITTEN FOR THEM NOT SOMEONE ELSES TO COVER!! SIMON COWELL SAYS HES GIVING THESE PEOPLE A CHANCE TO SUCCEED, MORE LIKE A CHANCE TO LINE HIS POCKETS BY PUMPING OUT RUBBISH COVERS!! CANT WAIT FOR NEXT XMAS!!

  6. this is a victory for music , as paul mccartney said it would be interesting if rage won even though he performed on x factor last week. nice one macca. i thought id lost hope.
    Killing in the name!!!

  7. Watched this year’s “race” with some interest but I think its clear RATM did not win because the track has any special merit.

    “Popular” music, especially at Christmas, tends to be light, fluffy and tuneful … though not great. X Factor simply taps into that.

    The “protest” song makes a valid point against police violence and is OK (if not great) … but then there have been many worse number ones.

    This event simply demonstrates social networking has a greater power to mobilise people to spend 79p than X Factor generates CD sales. Isn’t it interesting that people don’t want to do what Simon Cowell tells them but are more than happy to do whatever Facebook tells them!

    Surely this was simply a race between two flocks of sheep!

    • I can see your point here but there are some people out there, like me, who didn’t do what facebook said. I just heard about the campaign and agreed with the sentiment. I bought the rage track cos I have hated the tv ‘talent’ show bull for years and saw a chance to finally, and publicly, have my voice heard. Cowell obviously benefits from this whole thing but it’s a symbolic victory. It shows that not everyone wants this kind of ‘entertainment’ rammed down their throats all the time. Enough is enough, can we have some more variety please? Hugs, elmo.

  8. Thing that people arent getting is that Cowell just earned more from this campaign than he would have if there was no RATM campaign. RATM are owned by sony which Cowell is a major share holder in, and sony also own syco records, which is owned by Cowell. Win win situation for him

  9. well done RATM it’s amazing that a 17 year old track can make it to the top. real talent wins in the end

  10. Hey hey.. Lets hope this is the beginning of the end for pathetic and corrupt t.v so called talent shows! ( though sadly I don’t think it will be!)

    Decent music has prevailed..
    Read it and weep simon cowell!

  11. at least they wrote their song and didnt just cover a hannah montana song, they deserved it more

  12. YESSSSSSSS!! Suck on it

    • not just the x thing, in my top 3 eva, made my year wot a tune yyyeeeeeeaaaaaahhh makes me believe in god, killing in the name of dont do wot they tell ya

  13. excellent. and no more a ‘fix’ than X Factor is in claiming the number one year after year.

    one in the eye of plastic pop.

  14. great – what a laugh! and it is all publicity o x factor so ultimately may help joey wassisface

  15. absolute fix shame on you public it should be about the best song not just to stop someone there have been instances before when a song has got number 1 straight in but on its merits this is not the in the right spirit

    • Your point would be valid except any song by RATM would be vastly superior on artistic merit to some mediocre talent who won a TV show.

    • Well, It is a blinking good track which deserved better attention in its day, as opposed to the utter F*cking drivel that the actually fixed x-factor content which is not only heavily edited with voice correction, but mass marketed for economic viability.

  16. Good on RATM! I bet they never thought this was possible for a track thats 17 years old! Stuff poxy X Factor!

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