Our friends in the UK take their holiday songs very seriously! The race for Christmas #1 is an annual cultural tradition there, as is placing bets on who will prevail. And those who have prevailed over the past few years have been the winners of the UK’s X Factor (think American Idol x 1000). Simon Cowell’s leveraged that show’s clout to dominate (ruin?) the race time and again, but this year Cowell’s manufactured karaoke crap du jour faces a real threat from a Christmas classic: Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name.” Over the past weeks a Facebook group has started a campaign (called Rage Against The X Factor) to dislodge the reality show’s vice grip on the honor by playfully championing RATM’s anti-establishment anthem in opposition to X-phile Joe McElderry’s “The Climb.” The race comes down to sales, and while Rage is on track to best the Factor flavor of the month, today McElderry’s single finally gets a physical release (it’s just been downloads until now), which is expected to give it a sizable boost. However it turns out, the quotes from Cowell and Rage guitarist Tom Morello are entertaining.

Tom’s publicly supporting the online effort to take the power back, saying that “Killing In The Name” winning would be a “wonderful dose of anarchy,” and offering some rationale. Via BBC:

The one thing about the X Factor show, much like our own American Idol, is if you’re a viewer of the show you get to vote for one contestant or the other, but you don’t really get to vote against the show itself until now … It’s this machinery that puts forward a particular type of music which represents a particular kind of listener … There are a lot of people who don’t feel represented by it and this Christmas in the UK they’re having their say.

For Simon’s part, he believes that the Xmas #1s were suffering in quality before he got involved, and that he’s helping sales of an ailing industry and thereby “done everyone a favour.” And in an interview with NME, Simon says the Facebook campaign is “stupid,” “cynical,” and “very Scrooge.” He must not know that Morello’s promised to donate a portion of the proceeds from this “unexpected windfall” to a charity benefiting the musical careers of British children. Total Dickensian asshole, that guy.

Whichever song has the most sales by the Sunday before Christmas (12/20, this year) is the winner. Shit just got real.

Comments (11)
  1. Craig  |   Posted on Dec 16th, 2009 0

    Coming from Scotland, I am right behind this campaign. It is our Obama mania. YES WE CAN

  2. yep, bought my two copies :)

  3. WHAT?  |   Posted on Dec 16th, 2009 0

    Wait i’m confused guys? are they trying to promote “killing in the name of ” as a christmas song or is it just something else

  4. Let’s all go a buy a song from major label that Simon Cowell is on the board for, you guys!

  5. Cweed  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2009 0

    And the winner is….. Sony.

  6. yeah well obviously the winner is always going to be sony, but at least it might as well be a song thats actually good… and good here basically means anything other than some x-factor garbage.

  7. Kiara  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2009 0

    The X Factor is ruining the music industry. What happened to writing ones own music, that’s whats defined as an artist. Not some muppet who takes someone else’s song and re sings it.Remember Pet Bhop Boys releasing always on my mind in 87, an Elvis Presley rel-eaase. That kept the Fairy Tale of New York off the number one spot that year, which is played every xmas. Who plays always on my mins by the PSB at xmas?. None of the 12 contestants this year were any good. Not worthy of a palce in the xmas number 1. I vote RATM

  8. We bloody did it!!
    If you think this means nothing in the scheme of things listen to what was almost number 1 and see what a glorious thing we did.

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