Now, normally I’m not into these kinds of things. Last year the three way Hallelujah contest really pissed me off. And again this year, both songs are owned by the same record label. But here’s what I think is different this time:
Firstly, lyrically, conceptually, musically, Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name is an anthem of defiance. “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me.” Plus, it’s actually a pretty cool song. I’ve accidentally grown to quite like Rage without having any of their music.
Secondly, does anyone really want a fifth (yes, it’ll be FIVE YEARS IN A ROW) X-Factor Christmas no.1? Does anyone even remember 2007? Does anyone who watches that stupid show (note, that I’m making a distinction between the people who watch that stupid show and the show itself) care about these bland singers singing tepid covers of lukewarm material in the least exciting way possible? Isn’t it all about the judges and their ridiculous ego-battle? And a Miley Cyrus song? What the fuck? I guess people really do like that kind of thing for some bizarre reason, but come on.
But hey, maybe, just maybe, there’s more of us, the ones tired of it, who have this one chance to beat them. So why not take that chance? And hey, even if you do like the X-Factor song, wouldn’t you rather it were not Christmas no.1, so that you won’t be overexposed to it by New Years Day? It’s not like they’ll play Rage that much even if they do get the top spot, even if they use the censored version.
So, if you’re on Facebook (which I am not), go visit the group for more details of this grassroots FUCK YOU campaign.
Can this work? Normally I’d say no. But here’s the thing – Rage Against the Machine is currently in the lead in download sales. Apparently the X-Factor CD single comes out tomorrow, so now’s the time to act. The label, and therefore Simon Cowell, will be getting the money either way, but at least this’ll destroy his arrogant assumption that the X-Factor is entitled to a Christmas No.1 every year, just because.
Here’s the download links, for all of the three mysterious people who read this blog. But here’s the thing: If you buy a load of them from the same place, the official chart folks are smart enough to eliminate those sales to make it fair.
So buy one. And tell your friends. It’s cheap.
iTUNES – 99p – track #2 (click on ‘view in itunes’ on the right) http://bit.ly/ratm-itunes
PLAY.COM – 65p – it’s the only track on the page http://bit.ly/ratm-play
7DIGITAL – 50p – track #2 http://bit.ly/rage-7digital
HMV.COM – 79p (careful – this is track #1) http://bit.ly/ratm-hmv
TUNETRIBE – 49P – track #2 – LIVE version (yes it counts) http://bit.ly/ratm-tunetribe or http://bit.ly/rage-tunetribe (Studio Version)
TESCO DIGITAL – 67p – track #2 http://bit.ly/ratm-tesco
AMAZON – 29p – YES IT COUNTS: CONFIRMED http://bit.ly/rage-amazon
WE7 – £1.07p – track #2 http://bit.ly/ratm-we7
Also, give £1 to Shelter if you can http://www.justgiving.com/ratm4xmas/
Yes, we will probably lose this battle, but not without a godsdamn fight.
Edit: Had a long discussion with my cousin about this, he’s in the same camp I was in last year, regarding the whole giving money to a major label thing, but at this stage that war has been lost. His position is, as mine usually is, 100% against this. But I don’t think the money is the issue this time, but the message. I know last year people claimed it was about that, but it was the same song, and it was split across two earlier versions of it. This time there seems to have emerged, by accident, one song, a protest song then, retooled as a protest song now. Is this a futile gesture? Yes and no. Sure you’re lining the same label with money, but this is a song without promotion, available in almost the same places as the XFactor song, that could actually pull this off. And besides, saying “oh it’s the same label” is something of a bullshit argument at this stage because the big labels own pretty much everything that’s ever going to be in the charts. There’s almost no way around it, now that they’ve consolidated, the few independent labels that are around, they’re so far on the fringes you’re not going to find a song like Killing in the Name with a proven popular mainstream track record that’ll make this strategy effective.
Does the Christmas #1 mean anything in real world terms? To Rage Against the Machine? No. But it clearly means something to Simon Cowell, and to the commercial music industry. So in this case I say that the ends might well justify the means, that to fight this system you have to work within this system, and use their own weapons against them. This wouldn’t work with Sunn O))) or with Faith No More, but it might just work with Rage Against the Machine.
Also to clarify, I’m saying you should totally do this. Me, I’m not going to. Why? Because I don’t buy single songs, and I certainly don’t buy (nor do I pirate) downloads. But those of you who operate in that spectrum, who get music in that way, you guys totally should. Yeah. Listen to me… Man, that’s my whole argument flown out the window. Still, do it man. It’ll be awesome.