Rage Against The Machine are UK Christmas Number One
Dec 20th 2009
Rage Against The Machine has beaten 'X Factor' winner Joe McElderry to the UK Christmas No. 1 spot with its 1993 song 'Killing In the Name.' Frontman Zack de la Rocha, pictured, called it a victory over a "very sterile pop monopoly," NME reports.
Announced as the winner this evening in the UK, the RATM track sold some 500,000 copies, a victory margin of about 50,000. Bookies had named McElderry's song, a cover of Miley Cyrus' 'The Climb,' the favorite, but RATM began edging out the 18-year-old singer last week.
The band has promised to celebrate the win with a free concert in the UK that guitarist Tom Morello said will be "the victory party to end all victory parties."
'Killing In the Name' resurfaced this holiday season thanks to a grassroots campaign by two fans, husband and wife Jon and Tracy Morter, who were motivated by the fact that 'The X Factor' and its creator Simon Cowell's "music machine" has had a four-year run atop the Christmas chart.
The fans, who gathered in the hundreds of thousands on a Facebook group, were encouraged buyers of 'Killing In the Name' to donate to the charity Shelter, which fights homelessness. A portion of proceeds from 'X Factor' sales are also donated to charity.
RATM was fully behind the campaign, with Morello recently explaining to the press, "I think people are fed up of being spoon-fed some sugary ballad that sits on top of the charts. It's a little dose of anarchy."
But will the RATM track get any airplay? There is a clean version of the song, but lately, the band has seemingly been reluctant to edit out the song's offending line, "F--- you, I won't do what you tell me."
On Thursday, the band performed the song for the BBC's Radio 5Live Breakfast, repeating the expletive in the final minute of the song despite orders from the BBC not to. The performance was interrupted with co-host Shelagh Fogerty saying, "Get rid of it."
She then added, "Sorry. We needed to get rid of that because it suddenly turned into something we weren't expecting. Well, we were expecting it, and had asked them not to do it, but they did it anyway, so buy Joe's record." The BBC was later forced to apologize.
Watch a video of the interview and the entire performance on Rock Pit.