RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE is THE seminal rap-metal group. The combination of hard hitting riffs, Tom Morello's creative solos, and Zack de la Rocha red-hot left-wing fire creates a combination that the world has never heard before.
This legendary hard rock group has released four perfectly produced studio albums in their career: Rage Against The Machine (1992), Evil Empire (1996), The Battle of Los Angeles (1999), and their cover album Renegades (2000). Since they are tentatively back together, maybe there's time for another album? One can dream.
On November 27th, 2012, RATM released a XX 20th Anniversary Edition to commemorate the release of their eponymous debut album so to celebrate, here is my Top X songs of the band:
10. "Bombtrack" - album: Rage Against The Machine (LISTEN)
"Another funky radical bombtrack, started as a sketch in my notebook
And now dope hooks make punks take another look"
What a killer to open their album with. Right from the start RATM perfects their sound with this splendid blend of rap and metal.
9. "Township Rebellion" - album: Rage Against The Machine (LISTEN)
"Why stand on a silent platform? Fight the war, f*** the norm"
I love the pulsing bass that carries this song, leading to that oh so memorable chorus. Add in one of the best Morello solos I've ever heard and you have a very interesting and very prog song.
8. "People of the Sun" - album: Evil Empire (LISTEN)
"The vultures came, they tried to steal your name
But now you got a gun, yeah this is for the people of the sun"
The guitar of the verse is such an interesting sound and the band just explodes in the hard hitting chorus. A lot of pretty effects are applied for a song about something so ancient as the fall of the Aztec empire.
7. "Tire Me" - album: Evil Empire (LISTEN)
"Why don't you get from in front of me? We're already dead!"
This song is on full tilt for the whole 3:03 of its length! This high-octane song won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 1997.
6. "No Shelter" - album: Godzilla OST (LISTEN)
"Godzilla pure motherf***in' filler. Get your eyes off the real killer"
Even though the bass is almost hypnotic on this track, the real winner in this song is the damning lyrics that takes shot at the American entertainment industry saying it is distracting us from the real issues (and they're right!). So ironic that this was one of the big singles from the very good Godzilla OST.
5. "Vietnow" - album: Evil Empire (LISTEN)
"Turn on the radio. Nah f*** it, turn it off. Fear is your only god on the radio"
This song has an awesome METAL sound and an interesting riff. Like most RATM songs this is a song of epic proportions that builds and builds but my favourite part is the sinister sounding, two-note riding bridge before the explosive ending.
4. "Guerrilla Radio" - album: The Battle of Los Angeles (LISTEN)
"It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now?"
This song is awesome despite it's more conventional structure and sound.
3. "Killing in the Name" - album: Rage Against The Machine (LISTEN)
"F*** you, I won't so what you tell me."
This song is so simple yet so powerful. It really builds with such a mastery, boiling your blood with every repeated phrase. FUN FACT: Based on some good ol' trolling, this song hit number one on UK's 2009 Christmas weekend in online sales in order to prevent the winner of X-Factor from achieving that spot for the fifth year in a row.
2. "Bulls on Parade" - album: Evil Empire (LISTEN)
"Walk the corner to the rubble. That used to be a library, line up to the mind cemetery now"
What an awesome riff! While the first record focused on the message and lyrics, I swear that RATM focused more on their musical sound on Evil Empire and this right here is their crown jewel. This is heir most well-known song and highest charting single in their too-short career.
1. "Wake Up" - album: Rage Against The Machine (LISTEN)
"He turned the power to the have-nots - and then came the shot!"
Everything about this song screams RATM to me: the furious vocal delivery and even angrier lyrics; the altered-beyond recognition guitar sound; the steady bass; the crashing symbols; the sheer epic-ness to this song. This song gives me shivers to listen to it. And no, I did not choose this to be number because it closed the first Matrix movie.
Here's a hilarious less angry version of "Killing in the Name"