“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.