This time last year, people across the country did what nobody before them did – they said ‘no’ to the traditional Christmas Number One.
Over 800,000 people joined together to take a stand against the Simon Cowell dominated festive music market. In a single week, over half a million people downloaded Rage Against The Machine’s classic track, “Killing In The Name”.
The track beat Cowell’s X Factor winner, Joe McElderry to the title, raising over £100,000 for the housing charity Shelter in the process.
The last time that an X Factor winner did not gain the Christmas crown was in 2004, when the charity single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas” reached number one. This year, it seems, people are trying to continue the trend and bring an end to the X Factor monopoly.
Numerous viral campaigns have cropped up on social networking sites. Some of the tracks that people are supporting include Slipknot/Stone Sour’s front man, Corey Taylor’s “XM@$”. A track which is also being backed by the likes of Metal Hammer and Kerrang! magazines. Watch the official video here.
Another track being supported is The Trashmen’s, “Surfin’ Bird” after “Family Guy” adopted the song.
One campaign that is being taken more seriously is ‘Cage Against the Machine’ – a reference to John Cage’s piece of conceptual art, “4:33” which was to record the sound of an orchestra not playing.
The ‘song’ was recorded on December 6th by the self-proclaimed ‘Anti-Cowell’ artists. Among them is ex-Libertines singer, Pete Doherty, politically motivated musician Billy Bragg and lyrical poet Scroobius Pip.
The Christmas number one will be decided on the figures for single sales between 11th-18th December. The elusive number one spot will be revealed on the evening of Sunday 19th.
Some of the biggest names in modern music have held the number one spot over Christmas, including Elvis Presley, The Beatles and Tom Jones. This has led to some people claiming that these campaigns are devaluing the esteem that the achievement carries.
Last year, Rage Against the Machine were selected as an attempt to show a middle finger to the manufactured, talent show nature of pop music. “Killing In The Name” was lyrically, emotionally and spiritually a message from those who did not want the title to be an inevitable gift-wrapped claim for the winner of the X Factor.
Now, the songs that are being touted for number one don’t have a message, they’re just simply not from Cowell’s empire. They have become just as much a novelty piece as “Mr Blobby” in 1993 or “Can We Fix It?” by Bob the Builder in 2000.
Perhaps these attempts have devalued what the Rage Against The X Factor campaign accomplished, but there’s still something to be said for the general dislike for reality television stealing Christmas. The Cowell mechanism might not stop, but it’s good to be a rebel once in a while.Tweet