Every year for the previous four years, the #1 single in Britain during the week of Christmas has been whoever won Simon Cowell’s “X Factor.” I guess Christmas number one is a big deal over there, because fans of music that doesn’t suck organized a Facebook campaign to make Rage Against the Machine’s 1992 anthem “Killing in the Name” the top single in the country — and it worked. “X Factor” winner Joe McElderry sold 450,000 downloads of whatever crap he made, while Rage sold 500K.
Guitarist Tom Morello confirmed that the band will play a free show in the UK to celebrate the win, and talked about the nature of the campaign in an interview with NME:
“We were followers in this campaign, we tried to lend some wind to its sails, but it began at a completely grassroots level without the band’s involvement,” he explained. “Once we got in, we got in all the way, in those last four hours of the campaign I sent about 50 of the most storm the barricade Twitters that a man could send to try and encourage one last push.
YEAH! REVOLUTIONARY TWEETS! FREEING THE MINDS OF SHEEPLE IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS!
“Make no mistake about it, this was a political act! This was an entire nation delivering a stinging slap of rejection to the whole notion of pre-fabricated pop ruling the charts.”
I dunno, man. Rage Against the Machine used to be all about freeing Tibet with its militant revolutionary spirit. Now they’re logging on to Facebook to get more downloads than a teenager whose last name sounds like Dingleberry. Things were just a little more badass and scary in the ’90s. Rich people died of AIDS back then.