Sometimes I wonder if there really is any influence to be had with social media, until now I remained agnostic, my road to Damascus came in the form of the UK Christmas number 1 this year which was dragged back out of history, namely, the tune ‘Killing in the Name of’ by Rage Against the Machine.
Oddly, I actually have this CD in my car (pic related), it is one of the heavier ones I listen to sometimes (The Exploited, Slayer, and Fugazi provide alternatives). The big deal though, is that it was two guys in the UK who thought up this idea of chart-busting ‘X Factor’ in 2009, they were fed up with the near definite #1 Christmas Hit being whoever wont X-Factor so they decided that they would campaign for Rage Against the Machine, on twitter the #RATM and others were showing up everywhere, and in the end it took more than a half a million willing participants to pull of this master stroke.
This is a serious commercial issue, because for the first time social media has manipulated the charts in a way that only big labels with lots of TV spin have the ability to do, no doubt in the future there will be many resurfacing campaigns, looking for group participation, I don’t know that any will make the same impact as this, it was definitely a ground and rule breaking effort.
The famous tag-line in the tune, delivered in a guttural scream that only Zack La Rocha can deliver is ‘F”£k you, I won’t do what you tell me’ and it seems that Christmas 09′ is certainly an example of the rank and file members of Joe Public letting the ‘Machine’ know that they haven’t given in to their every whim just yet!