The UK music charts are currently dominated by Simon Cowell, who has a ridiculous proportion of the top 10 singles, at least last week had the top 11 albums. The winner of Cowell’s X Factor (like American Idol but with a wider catchment in terms of age… yet the winners always end up being in their 20s) has been a shoo-in for Christmas no. 1 for the past few years. Yawn.
So a few weeks ago a couple started a Facebook group to assault Cowell’s dominance of the charts, and a huge number of people, including me, went crazy downloading their suggested alternative Christmas no. 1.
And we won.
The UK’s Christmas No. 1 single is now the 1992 Rage Against the Machine track Killing in the Name. They just had to play a censored version of it on the national BBC Radio 1 chart show. I am in stitches.
An instant classic: I look forward in years to come, to joining hands around the tree with a twinkle in my eye, singing “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me!”.
I’m almost sorry I never heard of that (I don’t have a radio in my room and there’s restrictions on streaming, due to being in a university dorm). The almost is because I’m glad to hear of it now. off to BBC’s webpage
I don’t think I’ve heard the song, and I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t like it, from the description, however, I am utterly tired of X Factor and other similar format shows - so I’m secretly quite pleased by this.
This is just crazy. It’s a TV show that makes celebrities who make songs that dominate pop charts. That was all unseated for a short time by a 17-year-old single. That’s something that makes you “so proud?” It was a pop culture coup, not like we fought off a foreign invasion again, or something. People take pop culture waaaay too seriously. Get over it.
Wha’s more, “Killing in the Name” is one of RATM’s worst songs from their second worst album (Renegades being the worst).
It’s a proof of concept. It sends a message that you aren’t going to just take what the corporate fatcats want you to take. It showcases the power of Facebook. It lets people who like a popular song get it popular again.
The show being designed to create pop hits is exactly why this sort of thing needs to be done. No show should be able to control the music industry.
Dunkirk was a plucky effort, rather than a crowning achievement like this. (Also, we probably shouldn’t mention anything to do with crossing the channel at the moment, given the current fiasco - and the disproportionate effort put into rescuing a German during it.)
I think it’s the same concept as when something that had started as a joke landed in Eurovision representing Spain.
My PoliSci teacher has spent the whole course bemoaning the lack of participation in referenda… here, have some musical-political opinions! It’s not Rage Against the X-Factor contestants (you wanted to be a singer and won a record contract in a contest? more power to you!), but against the X-Factor machine, the “pay per play” machinery of many radio stations, etc.
If you don’t want to take what the corporate fatcats want you to take then turn your radio off and don’t buy the albums they push. It’s as simple as that.
As for a popular song, the contestants from music reality shows and the singles they spawn wouldn’t be popular if someone out there didn’t like them. Clearly any dumbass who won one of those shows and made it big did so because someone liked him and bought his music. All the shows (and the industries behind them) do is promote a musical act. It’s up to the music consumer to actually buy the final product. As far as I know, no show does control the music industry. The music industry is dependent on consumers buying or downloading the music it churns out.
As for the power of Facebook :rolleyes:
RATM is one of my favorite bands. I’ve seen them several times (including once when they opened for U2), but this is just crazy. I’ll say again: it’s just pop culture! Don’t pay attention to it if you don’t like it!
Also, I really am hoping (as inferred above in another comment) that that “historic people’s campaign” comment was RATM’s attempt at humor…or just their webmaster’s hyperbolic statement. For one of the only bands in the world who ever actually had something to say, one of the few bands who actually DID push genuine “people’s movements” (the Zapatistas, the Nepalese), to call some Internet mob of middle-class music consumers a “people’s movement”… that makes me lose at least some of the respect I had for them.
And, Christ, again: IT’S A TERRIBLE SONG! That was one of their very few songs that had very little substance to the lyrics. “Some of those who work forces/Are the same that burn crosses.” Does that match the lyrical depth of “Bulls on Parade” or “Testify” or “Wind Below” or “Calm like a Bomb?”