As I write this, music fans across the UK are rejoicing at Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” getting to Christmas Number 1.
This all started last year when someone got fed up of X Factor dictating the charts with it’s particularly vile brand of manufactured pop. For 3 years running at the time, X Factor had it’s winner at Christmas number one with a pretty average cover of an otherwise good song. In response to this, a Facebook group was set up to encourage everyone to buy Jeff Buckley’s version of Hallelujah, instead of the X Factor version. Unfortunately, the campaign died on its arse somewhat and X Factor got it’s 4th Christmas Number one.
However, this year we saw something even more out there. Instead of encouraging people to buy the original version of X Factor’s cover, a campaign was set up to get people buying the classic funk metal record “Killing in the Name,” previously reaching 25 in the singles chart in 1993, for Christmas number one. The difference this time round, is that it worked.
Why do I care? It’s not like I listen to pop music, and while I think Rage are an excellent band, they’re not one of my favourites. I think that point is here that it shows the music industry that people have moved on. Killing in the Name was *only* available via download, not on CD, while the X Factor single was available in both formats, yet Killing in the Name still won. There was an expectation that Rage’s download-only lead would be crushed when the CD single hit the shops, but it wasn’t. Some people said it wasn’t work trying anyway, but I’ve made it pretty clear by now that it was.
I hope that the rest of the entertainment industry pricks up its ears and listens to what’s going on here. There’s a huge commercial force out there who aren’t interested in manufactured crap, and don’t go into shops to buy their entertainment. They entertainment made with passion, and it available on line, at a reasonable price, where ever they are. Let’s see it!
P.S. Sorry if that last bit sounded like a Morrison’s advert.