Rage Against The X Factor


You all know about this. I’ll keep it brief.

There’s a campaign (hereafter called #RATM4XMAS) to get Rage Against The Machine‘s 1992 track “Killing In The Name” to Christmas number one.

It’s not a direct attack on Simon Cowell or the X Factor or little Joe McElderry; it’s an attack on the lack of choice and the lack of representation for fans of real music.

Normally what happens is that everyone buys the music they like, and that includes people who like and buy X Factor music. But many more people don’t like the X Factor and believe that it is unoriginal, lowest common denominator humiliationtainment.

How can people who feel that way make an impact and get their voices heard? By grouping together and choosing a song that says “Anything but X Factor”. Otherwise, they would buy anything but X Factor and therefore X Factor would be the number one. Divide and conquer, if you will.

What the #RATM4XMAS campaign achieves is the opposite. People get together and challenge the smug notion that winning X Factor automatically leads to Christmas number one. Unite and fight.

Some people are asking why did they choose this song? I would ask why not. It is a great rebel rock song. And at the moment, this song is “Anything but X Factor”.

Some people are saying that it’s a shame for poor Joe McElderry to deny him of his Christmas number one. Surely, that’s the point. Number one does not belong to him or Simon Cowell or anyone. It belongs to the people. Hey, buy whoever’s record you want. It’s a free country. For now.

Some are saying that the X Factor song raises money for charity. Well, so does the Rage Against The Machine song. The organisers have raised nearly £50k for Shelter so far. Also, CompareDownload are donating their affiliate link money to Shelter. And Tom Morello says that the band are honoured that their song was chosen, not because they want the money, in fact they are giving all their profits from this to UK charity Youth Music.

Lastly, some point to the fact that because Rage Against The Machine are signed to Epic, which is part of Sony Music, as is Syco, Simon Cowell’s company, that somehow Simon Cowell will benefit from people buying Rage Against The Machine. He won’t. He is not happy at all. He wants his Christmas number one and he believes that it is his right. How wrong he is.

Here are the band themselves, (who didn’t organise this themselves in a vain attempt to get rich, and let’s face it they won’t get rich on this, when Amazon are selling it for 29p), performing the song live on Radio 5Live on 17th December 2009:

You can have a look at the #RATM4XMAS Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=info&gid=2228594104 or if this is down, which it seems to be on a regular basis, because Facebook can’t cope (no conspiracy theories here) then go here: http://www.ratm.co.uk/

You can check who will be number one as things stand here: http://www.livehits.co.uk/

You can donate to the #RATM4XMAS Shelter campaign here: http://www.justgiving.com/ratm4xmas

If you want to buy the Rage Against The Machine song, go ahead. It’s a free country. For now.



Filed under Awesome opinions, Videos

2 responses to “Rage Against The X Factor

  1. I respectfully disagree.

    Naturally, you can buy the RATM single if you want, more power to you. But if your only form of “protest” against a commercial industry is feeding that industry with more money, how is that even a protest?

    Also, let’s quash the notion that this is about “the people” uniting. “The people” unite every Christmas to buy the X Factor single. The X Factor winner is product of a social movement. It is democracy in action. Yeah, Simon Cowell is a fat capitalist pig, but so are the executives in charge of Epic. Lining their pockets isn’t going to change anything.

    And caring about Christmas number ones to begin with is just playing in Simon Cowell’s hands.

    The whole thing is so capitalist it makes my brain hurt. Karl Marx is weeping in his grave.

  2. A bit late to comment on this I admit, but I have to respectfully disagree with Sally.

    While I do take the point that money going to Epic is essentially going to Sony, I think that the important thing is that people banded (no pun) together to:
    a) take the Christmas number 1 back from Cowell and X-Factor
    b) support a song and artists that they believe in.

    However I’m also likely to agree with what Elliot said 8 years ago here:


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