Rage Against the Machine Songs
Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine earned acclaim from disenfranchised fans (and not insignificant derision from critics) for their bombastic, fiercely polemical music, which brewed sloganeering leftist rants against corporate America, cultural imperialism, and government oppression into a Molotov cocktail of ...

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Rage Against the Machine earned acclaim from disenfranchised fans (and not insignificant derision from critics) for their bombastic, fiercely polemical music, which brewed sloganeering leftist rants against corporate America, cultural imperialism, and government oppression into a Molotov cocktail of punk, hip-hop, and thrash. Rage formed in Los Angeles in the early '90s out of the wreckage of a number of local groups: vocalist Zack de la Rocha (the son of Chicano political artist Robert de la Rocha) emerged from the bands Headstance, Farside, and Inside Out; guitarist Tom Morello (the nephew of Jomo Kenyatta, the first Kenyan president) originated in Lock Up; and drummer Brad Wilk played with future Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder. Rounded out by bassist Tim Bob (aka Tim C., born Tim Commerford), a childhood friend of de la Rocha's, Rage debuted in 1992 with a self-released, self-titled 12-song cassette featuring the song "Bullet in the Head," which became a hit when reissued as a single later in the year.

The tape won the band a deal with Epic, and their leap to the majors did not go unnoticed by detractors, who questioned the revolutionary integrity of Rage Against the Machine's decision to align itself with the label's parent company, media behemoth Sony. Undeterred, the quartet emerged in late 1992 with their official debut, Rage Against the Machine, which scored the hits "Killing in the Name" and "Bombtrack." After touring with Lollapalooza and declaring their support of groups like FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), Rock for Choice, and Refuse & Resist, Rage spent a reportedly tumultuous four years working on their follow-up; despite rumors of a breakup, they returned in 1996 with Evil Empire, which entered the U.S. album charts at number one and scored a hit single with "Bulls on Parade." During 1997, the group joined forces with hip-hop supergroup the Wu-Tang Clan for a summer tour and remained active in support of various leftist political causes, including a controversial 1999 benefit concert for death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal. The Battle of Los Angeles followed later in 1999, also debuting at number one and going double platinum by the following summer. In early 2000, de la Rocha announced plans for a solo project, and the band performed an incendiary show outside the Democratic National Convention in August. The following month, bassist Commerford was arrested for disorderly conduct at MTV's Video Music Awards following his bizarre disruption of a Limp Bizkit acceptance speech, in which he climbed to the top of a 15-foot set piece and rocked back and forth.

Plans for a live album were announced shortly thereafter, but in October, de la Rocha abruptly announced his departure from the band, citing breakdowns in communication and group decision-making. Surprised but not angry, the remainder of Rage announced plans to continue with a new vocalist, while de la Rocha refocused on his solo album, which was slated to include collaborations with acclaimed hip-hop artists including DJ Shadow and El-P of Company Flow. December 2000 saw the release of de la Rocha's final studio effort with the band, the Rick Rubin-produced Renegades; it featured nearly a dozen covers of hip-hop, rock, and punk artists like EPMD, Bruce Springsteen, Devo, the Rolling Stones, the MC5, and more. By 2001, Morello, Wilk, and Commerford had formed Audioslave with former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, and the group released an eponymous album by the end of 2002. With a de la Rocha solo album still not announced, Epic finally released the long-promised concert album Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium on CD and DVD in time for Christmas 2003.

Over the next few years, rumors of a Rage Against the Machine reunion always swirled but never came to fruition. Two Audioslave albums followed in 2005 and 2006 before the group split, then the next year Morello began releasing protest folk-punk as the Nightwatchman. That year also brought the long-anticipated Rage Against the Machine reunion. First, the band played the closing day of 2007's Coachella festival, then in 2008 several other gigs followed, usually coinciding with major festivals in Europe and the U.S. No new studio work from Rage Against the Machine materialized but de la Rocha collaborated with former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore in a group called One Day as a Lion, who released an EP that year. The next burst of Rage activity came in 2009 when there was an Internet campaign to get "Killing in the Name" to the top of the U.K. charts, all in the hopes of thwarting an X Factor winner from taking the pole position. The viral campaign worked and Rage played a free celebratory concert at Finsbury Park in the summer of 2010.

Despite all these gigs -- including a summer 2011 appearance at L.A. Rising, a festival the band arranged -- and word of a new album, no recordings appeared. In 2013, their debut album received a deluxe reissue and then the 2010 Finsbury Park gig saw a CD/DVD release in 2015. The next year, Morello, Wilk, and Commerford joined forces with Public Enemy's Chuck D and Cypress Hill's B Real to form the supergroup Prophets of Rage. ~ Jason Ankeny

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1
Rage Against the Machine - Bulls On Parade

Bulls On Parade

  Evil Empire

2
Rage Against the Machine - Killing In the Name

Killing In the Name

  Rage Against the Machine

3
Rage Against the Machine - Renegades of Funk

Renegades of Funk

  Renegades

4
Rage Against the Machine - Testify

Testify

  The Battle of Los Angeles

5
Rage Against the Machine - Guerrilla Radio

Guerrilla Radio

  The Battle of Los Angeles

6
Rage Against the Machine - How I Could Just Kill a Man

How I Could Just Kill a Man

  Renegades

7
Rage Against the Machine - Down Rodeo

Down Rodeo

  Evil Empire

8
Rage Against the Machine - People of the Sun

People of the Sun

  Evil Empire

9
Rage Against the Machine - Bombtrack

Bombtrack

  Rage Against the Machine

10
Rage Against the Machine - Sleep Now In the Fire

Sleep Now In the Fire

  The Battle of Los Angeles

11
Rage Against the Machine - Know Your Enemy

Know Your Enemy

  Rage Against the Machine

12
Rage Against the Machine - Wake Up

Wake Up

  Rage Against the Machine

13
Rage Against the Machine - Calm Like a Bomb

Calm Like a Bomb

  The Battle of Los Angeles

14
Rage Against the Machine - No Shelter

No Shelter

  Godzilla: The Album (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

15
Rage Against the Machine - Maggie's Farm

Maggie's Farm

  Renegades

16
Rage Against the Machine - The Ghost of Tom Joad

The Ghost of Tom Joad

  Renegades

17
Rage Against the Machine - Pistol Grip Pump

Pistol Grip Pump

  Renegades

18
Rage Against the Machine - Freedom

Freedom

  Rage Against the Machine

19
Rage Against the Machine - Take the Power Back

Take the Power Back

  Rage Against the Machine

20
Rage Against the Machine - Killing In the Name

Killing In the Name

  Rage Against the Machine - XX (20th Anniversary Special Edition)

21
Rage Against the Machine - Bullet In the Head

Bullet In the Head

  Rage Against the Machine

22
Rage Against the Machine - Revolver

Revolver

  Evil Empire

23
Rage Against the Machine - Fistful of Steel

Fistful of Steel

  Rage Against the Machine

24
Rage Against the Machine - Wake Up

Wake Up

  The Matrix (The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

25
Rage Against the Machine - Freedom (Demo)

Freedom (Demo)

  Rage Against the Machine - XX (20th Anniversary Special Edition)

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