Rage Against the Machine Win U.K. Christmas Chart Race
While we’ve all been living our ‘American Idol’ free lives here in the States, Simon Cowell, the acerbic ‘Idol’ judge with the affinity for V-necks, has been wowing British television audiences with ‘X Factor,’ the U.K. reality series that inevitably spawned ‘American Idol.’ And for the last few years, the winners of Cowell’s competition have dominated the Christmas-week singles chart, taking the top spot on the U.K.’s sales chart. But this year, thanks to a grassroots campaign spearheaded by England’s rock fans, a song that was first releasted nearly 20 years ago has delivered an epic upset to Cowell’s camp.
Those who have been following media reports regarding the weeks-long campaign will no doubt be shocked that Rage Against the Machine‘s ‘Killing in the Name’ tops the singles chart in England this week, selling 500,000 copies. That’s 50,000 more copies than ‘X Factor’ winner Joe McElderry‘s ‘The Climb.’ The campaign to deny Cowell’s latest discovery from topping the charts was launched online, mostly on Facebook. One retailer called the victory a “truly remarkable outcome — possibly the greatest chart upset ever.”
As promised, Rage Against the Machine will now play a massive free concert in the U.K. to thank British fans for the win. Tom Morello promised it would “be the victory party to end all victory parties.”
In a statement reacting to the win, Rage Against the Machine said they were “honored to have been drafted by this historic grassroots campaign to make our song ‘Killing in the Name’ the #1 song on the U.K. Christmas Week pop chart. This is a huge victory by and for fans of real music and we extend our heartfelt thanks to every fan and freedom fighter who helped make our anthem of defiance and rebellion the Anarchy Christmas Miracle of 2009.”
The band will not be commenting further on the win, but confirmed they will “play a free concert in the U.K. in celebration of this incredible upset victory over the heavily-favored ‘X Factor’ single.” Rage plans to donate all proceeds from sales of the single to homeless charities. “While there are many lessons that can be drawn from this historic upset, the main one is this: that ordinary people, banding together in solidarity, can change anything, be it the pop charts or the world,” the statement concludes.