I first noticed this meme when my colleague Laura Strong tweeted about it earlier today. When I opened my email, I had a raft of Facebook group recommendations as well.
There is a strong groundswell of support to make Killing In The Name by Rage Against The Machine the christmas number one in the UK music sales charts in order to displace the manufactured efforts of Simon Cowell’s X Factor media property. I must admit the delights of Killing In The Name past me by as was more of a Stone Roses, The Farm, Flowered Up, Inspiral Carpets, Northside and Happy Mondays kind of guy. But most of the time I was listening to the plethora of dance music out at that time and Flowered Up’s Weekender wasn’t entertainment but reportage.
The reaction is almost like Newtonian physics, where an equal and opposite reaction as swelled up to counter the success of X Factor. The group seems to be well on its way to a million members and by the sounds of it sales of Killing In The Name is doing well on individual download services.
Amazon seem to have tried to steal a march on their competitors by offering the track as a 29p download in order to facilitate trial of their service. At the time of writing Killing In The Name is number two in the iTunes download chart, not bad for 17-year old track.
My last thoughts were with the artists though, if they give it any thought at all, would they see this ‘success’ as demeaning their artistic endeavour as many of the purchasers won’t be buying the track to listen to and enjoy their musicianship but as two fingers to a media company?
Or will they see themselves as the Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth -like protest song against souless factory-produced media?
Update: Hitwise have some interesting datapoints that supports the groundswell against X Factor, factor in the price war that you have going on between the online music services and things are about to get interesting.
Rage Against The Machine have embraced the campaign, interestingly they are donating part of the proceeds to Shelter, they gave a controversial interview to BBC Radio 1. Fair play to them.