ARTIST: Rage Against the Machine
TITLE: Rage Against the Machine
YEAR RELEASED: 1992
CHART ACTION: #45 US, #17 UK
SINGLES: Killing in the Name (#1 UK), Bullet in the Head (#16 UK), Bombtrack (#37 UK), Freedom
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Brother John / Iko Iko
LINEUP: Zack de la Rocha, Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk. Maynard James Keenan and Stephen Perkins add backing vocals on a track.+
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Incendiary debut from the rap / metal / alternative group wears you out with its constant haranguing, but the high points stick with you.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Rage is definitely the key word for this group, since the first album is all about rage, activism, and support for the oppressed.
The metal / hip-hop hybrid joins a great trio anchored by guitarist Tom Morello, who has a lot of fretboard tricks up his sleeve. Zack de la Rocha’s angry raps are powerful and sound fresh even today – it seems like not much as changed since 1992.
Yet, anger and rage can only carry you so far, especially when after about half of the album the songs and causes all blur together only to rally again with the closer “Freedom”.
Some part of me is sad that this record is still relevant – as we haven’t moved forward in society.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The video for “Freedom” highlights the cause of Leonard Peltier from the AIM.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Lots of bonus material in several editions
GRADE: A-: The high points are great enough to move this into the “A” category, even with the lack of diversity on the back half of the album.