Fueled by Social Unrest and Protests, Rage Against the Machine Albums Have Re-Entered the Music Charts


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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There hasn’t been a new album from Rage Against the Machine since 2000, but the Los Angeles band remains as relevant as ever nonetheless — and this week, the group’s incendiary 1992 debut album re-entered the music charts.

The album, which originally peaked at No. 45 back in the ’90s, re-enters the Billboard 200 at No. 174, interest in the band’s music picking up a feverish pace in the wake of social unrest and protests in the streets stemming from the May 25 killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

Renewed interest in the band helped the Rage Against the Machine album land at No. 8 on the iTunes Top Albums chart (it’s now No. 9), while Evil Empire (1996) landed at No. 35 and The Battle of Los Angeles (1999) turned up at No. 39.

It’s Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled debut record, after all, that features “Killing in the Name,” a song inspired by the 1992 Los Angeles riots and specifically discussing protesting and police brutality.

Guitarist Tom Morello, meanwhile, has been extremely active on his social media pages (and on SiriusXM) in recent weeks, discussing the protests and, amusingly, dealing with people on the internet who somehow didn’t know his music was *always* political in nature:

“Killing in the Name” was also brought back to the current conversation recently by superstar rapper/actor Machine Gun Kelly and renowned drummer Travis Barker, who protested in the streets together before channeling their anger into a cover of the song:

10-year-old music prodigy Nandi Bushell has also tried her hand covering a Rage classic for the Black Lives Matter movement, as she premiered a rendition of “Guerrilla Radio” a few weeks back:

Were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic, Rage Against the Machine would be out on the road right now on a hugely anticipated reunion tour — but the pandemic ruined those plans, keeping the group off the road until (at least) Summer 2021.

There may not be Rage Against the Machine reunion concerts right now, but their music is still striking as powerful a chord as ever.


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