Rage Against the Machine was the genre-spawning debut album by rap-metal band Rage Against The Machine, released November 11, 1992. The songs tend to feature political mantras as rapped vocals. The album peaked at #17 in the UK albums chart, #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and #45 on the Billboard Top 200 chart.
The rapped vocals and funk-metal guitars mixed with hard hip-hop/funk beats and grooves were a massive deviation from the traditonal rock/metal of the time, but before long “Nu-Metal” arrived on the scene, making such genre crossovers commonplace.
Tom Morello’s guitar technique stays on fairly traditional territory on this album, compared to subsequent albums, tending to be more influenced by funk and metal, as opposed to the more experimental hip-hop-influenced guitar styles Morello strays towards on later Rage albums.
What do magazines know, anyway?
In 2001 the album Rage Against the Machine was named in Q magazine as one of the “50 Heaviest Albums Of All Time” (which is rubbish, as anyone that has heard the wealth of thrash and death metal that is out there would agree). The album is included in the book “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die”. In 2003, the album was ranked #368 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums Of All Time”.
Turn it up to 11
The album is known for its high production values, which are almost to the strictest audiophile standards. Some audiophile magazines and websites even go as far as using the album — in particular the song “Take the Power Back” — to test amplifiers and speakers.
“Acclaimed” BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe named Rage Against the Machine as one of four albums to be added to his list of ‘Masterpieces’, and his personal favourite album, on December 2nd, 2008 (although repeatedly naming the singer as ‘De La Rocker’).
That man’s on fire!
The cover artwork features a famous photo of Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, burning himself to death in Saigon in 1963. The monk was protesting President Ngô Đình Diệm’s administration for oppressing the Buddhist religion. The photograph drew international attention and persuaded U.S. President John F. Kennedy to withdraw support of the Ngô Đình Diệm’s government. It was taken by Associated Press correspondent Malcolm Browne; a similar photograph earned the award of World Press Photo of the Year in 1963.
Activists such as Provisional IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton are listed in the “Thanks For Inspiration” section. Also thanked were Ian and Alec MacKaye – De La Rocha was “Straight Edge” at the time, though he later took up smoking.
The lyrics for each song were printed in the album booklet with the exception of those for “Killing in the Name”, which were omitted; the booklet reads “2. KILLING IN THE NAME”, skips the lyrics and continues with the next song.
The statement “no samples, keyboards or synthesizers used in the making of this record” appears at the end of the sleeve notes, and similar statements were made in the band’s subsequent albums. The band also refer to themselves as “Guilty Parties” in the sleeve notes of each album.
“Bombtrack” – 4:05
“Killing in the Name” – 5:14
“Take the Power Back” – 5:37
“Settle for Nothing” – 4:48
“Bullet in the Head” – 5:09
“Know Your Enemy” – 4:55
“Wake Up” – 6:04
“Fistful of Steel” – 5:31
“Township Rebellion” – 5:24
“Freedom” – 6:06
Anger Is a Gift bonus disc:
Rage Against the Machine – Production, Art Direction
Zack de la Rocha – Vocals
Tim Commerford – Bass (credited as “Timmy C.”)
Brad Wilk – Drums
Tom Morello – Guitars
Maynard James Keenan – Additional vocals (“Know Your Enemy”)
Stephen Perkins – Additional percussion (“Know Your Enemy”)
Garth ‘GGGarth’ Richardson – Producer, Engineer
Stan Katayama – Engineer
Craig Doubet – Assistant Engieer
Jeff Sheehan – Assistant Engineer
Bob Ludwig – Mastering
Midas – Mixing / Production
Andy Wallace – Mixing
Steve Sisco – Mixing Assistant
and Nicky Lindeman – Art Direction
Just buy it already.
An inspiring album in so many ways, and not a weak track on the whole album. This album should be a definite purchase for any self-respecting rocker, metaller, nu-metaller, neo-goth, funkster, hip-hopper and/or fan of REAL music.
The RMF loves Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine. We hope you do too.
Tags: a perfect circle, album, albums you must hear before you die, amplifiers, anger is a gift, audiophile, bombtrack, Brad Wilk, bullet in the head, fire, fistful of steel, freedom, funk, hip-hop, killing in the name, know your enemy, live, Maynard James Keenan, metal, monk, music, nu-metal, production, Rage Against The Machine, rap, real music forum, remix, rock, settle for nothing, speakers, take the power back, Tim Commerforth, Tom Morello, tool, township rebellion, wake up, year of tha boomerang, Zack De La Rocha