Rage Against The Machine Rages (And Wins) Against Simon Cowell : Monitor Mix It truly is a Christmas miracle! For the past four years, a Simon Cowell (American Idol) act has ruled the U.K. chart at Christmastime. It was topped by Shayne Ward in 2005, Leona Lewis in 2006, Leon Jackson in 2007 and Alexandra Burke in 2008. ...
NPR logo Rage Against The Machine Rages (And Wins) Against Simon Cowell

Rage Against The Machine Rages (And Wins) Against Simon Cowell

It truly is a Christmas miracle!

For the past four years, a Simon Cowell (American Idol) act has ruled the U.K. chart at Christmastime. It was topped by Shayne Ward in 2005, Leona Lewis in 2006, Leon Jackson in 2007 and Alexandra Burke in 2008.

This year, Cowell planned on another easy victory with his X-Factor artist Joe McElderry's Christmas song "The Climb." But Rage Against The Machine had other plans for Cowell. The band joined an online campaign urging fans to buy its song "Killing in the Name," which had been originally released back in 1992. The song contains the memorable line, "F--- you, I won't do what you tell me."

According to the Telegraph U.K.:

"Morello, the band's guitarist, joined in by posting on Twitter: "Rage's Killing in the Name & the X-Factor's goofy Christmas single are neck and neck for num one spot on UK chart. England! Now is your time."

The RATM campaign began with a Facebook group which asked: "Fed up of Simon Cowell's latest karaoke act being Christmas No 1? Me too... So who's up for a mass-purchase of the track Killing In The Name as a protest to the X Factor monotony?"

Cowell was supposedly angered by Rage's antics, calling its attempts at thwarting McElderry's chances "stupid" and "cynical." You can read the entire Telegraph piece here.

Well, Cowell must really be furious, because Rage Against The Machine won! That's right, its 1992 song sold more than 500,000 copies this past week, while McElderry's song fell short of the top spot, with 450,000.

According to the NME: "In taking the title for 2009, 'Killing in the Name' also set two new landmarks, becoming the U.K.'s first download-only Christmas Number One and notching up the biggest one-week download sales total in British chart history, according to the Official Charts Company."

On RATM's Web site, the band posted this statement in response to its No. 1 single:

"We've shown that we can make a difference and that you don't have a right to Number One just because Simon Cowell says so, especially with a bad cover!

Finally I would like to say thank you to all of you, we've raised 64,726.00 pounds for Shelter at the time of writing this, the difference that this will make to peoples lives is truly amazing.

We gotta take the power back - Rage Against The Machine - Merry Christmas."

Merry Christmas, indeed!