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Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" is the UK's Christmas #1

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  • Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" is the UK's Christmas #1

    Rock band Rage Against The Machine has won the most competitive battle in years for the Christmas number one.

    The band's single, Killing In The Name, sold 500,000 downloads beating X Factor winner Joe McElderry's The Climb by 50,000 copies to clinch the top spot.

    Their success followed a Facebook campaign designed to prevent another X Factor number one.

    One retailer said it was a "truly remarkable outcome - possibly the greatest chart upset ever".

    'Sterile pop'

    Speaking on the Radio 1 chart show, Zack De La Rocha from Rage said: "We are very, very ecstatic about being number one."

    He added it was an "incredible organic campaign" against "the sterile pop mentality".

    McElderry, 18, praised the campaign, adding: "It's been exciting to be part of a much-hyped battle and they definitely deserve congratulations."

    Thanking all the fans who bought his single, he said: "This time last year I never thought for one minute that I'd win The X Factor, never mind about having a debut single out, so I'm just delighted to be in the charts.

    "It's been such an incredible couple of months and I got the best Christmas gift I could ever have asked for in winning The X Factor."

    Despite earlier in the week calling the campaign "stupid", X Factor judge Simon Cowell offered his congratulations to the couple behind it, Jon and Tracy Morter.

    He said: "I am gutted for Joe because a number one single meant a lot to him but I have to congratulate Jon and Tracy, who started the Facebook campaign.

    "I called Jon on Saturday to congratulate the two of them that, win or lose, they turned this into a very exciting race for the Christmas number one.

    "I am proud of Joe - he worked really hard this week, but he has a great year ahead of him."

    The Los Angeles rock band's hit also set two records: it is the first single to reach the top of the charts on download sales alone and has achieved the biggest download sales total in a first week ever in the UK charts.

    McElderry's song was only released digitally after his victory in the X Factor, giving it less time to rack up sales than Rage Against The Machine.

    On Friday the band's lead was just 9,000 copies, but sales then soared by 200,000 to secure victory.

    Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot said: "Congratulations to Rage Against The Machine on their number one - as we have seen in recent years, overhauling any X Factor winner in the race for the Christmas number one is no mean achievement.

    "The popular support we have seen for the record this week has been truly amazing - and handed them two all-time records."

    Free concert

    He added the bad weather may have prevented McElderry fans getting to the shops to buy his CD, which was released on Wednesday.

    Rage Against The Machine are signed to Epic Records, which is part of Sony BMG, the same label as McElderry.

    Mr De La Rocha said the band would perform a free concert in the UK in 2010 to celebrate their chart win.

    The past four Christmas number ones have all been by X Factor winners; Alexandra Burke's version of Hallelujah last year was one of the biggest selling festive singles ever.

    Guitarist Tom Morello said it had "tapped into the silent majority of the people in the UK who are tired of being spoon-fed one schmaltzy ballad after another".

    He added that all proceeds from the single would go to homeless charity Shelter.

    Gennaro Castaldo, from high street retailer HMV, said it was a "truly remarkable outcome - possibly the greatest chart upset ever".

    "Everyone thought the momentum was with Joe going into the weekend, but, clearly, off the radar a whole load of people were downloading the Rage track right up to the last minute as they sensed they might pull off a shock.

    "It's not so much that Joe lost the race - sales of his single have matched those of recent X Factor winners, and he shouldn't take this personally; this is all about the stunning impact of the Rage Against The Machine internet campaign in galvanising music fans to protest against the dominance of the reality show in recent years."

    The expletive-laden song is a "powerful protest", he said, adding: "Rage Against The Machine may not be the ideal expression of the Christmas spirit - and many people will have preferred a more appropriate song to top the festive charts, but their anti-corporate message proved a perfect vehicle through which to register such a powerful protest."

    The last big Christmas battle on a similar scale was between the Spice Girls' Goodbye and South Park character Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls in 1998. The Spice Girls won with 380,000 to their rival's 375,000.

    Despite losing out on the single top spot, Cowell kept a hold on the album chart, with Susan Boyle's I Dreamed A Dream remaining at number one for a fourth week.
    Having bought about 7 copies of it this week, I had to chuckle when I heard the result. I hope this campaign does change the face of the music industry in this country, I hardly listen to the radio because there's so little diversity and people simply aren't exposed to so much brilliant music. But at the very least I'm enjoying a little bit of Christmas anarchy.

    Elvon Millervil eat grues for breakfast.

    Pey-Pey to Bey-Bey for the Tey-Dey.

  • #2
    Bought it twice on saturday. Truely epic story.


    • #3
      So let me get this straight, RATM isn't sterile pop?



      • #4
        i am really confused. did they set it to holiday music or something?

        Because this song is really old.

        Or is the UK just now getting it? If so you have a lot of good rage ahead of you, then when zac leaves the band and....crap- the sound garden singer...forgot his name. comes in then they become audio slave.
        So far:
        FA- Melvin Gordon. Brandon Scherff
        1. Kenneth Murray LB; 2. Shenault WR; 2B. Biadazz Center, 3. OT


        • #5
          You can download songs online, which is basically how it reached number one, people downloaded it alot, and hundreds of thousands of people did it, making it number one

          Its been out since 1992, and it was released here. It was just the actual song itself, no changes

          It had alot to do with the message behind the song, not following the authorities, breaking away from the status quo, as per "**** you, I won't do what you tell me"


          • #6
            gothcya. Oh yea they are way political. thats why they zack left in the first place. The record lable asked him to stop with all that he said no, so he left the band so they could keep playing and making money. otherwise they wouldnt stick with rage anymore.

            Thats why they are awesome though.
            So far:
            FA- Melvin Gordon. Brandon Scherff
            1. Kenneth Murray LB; 2. Shenault WR; 2B. Biadazz Center, 3. OT