5 Reasons Rage Against the Machine Should Be in the Hall of Fame
Rage Against the Machine first became eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 and landed their first nomination that year – way faster than plenty of other great bands left waiting much longer for one. While they didn't make the class of 2018, the band scored a second nomination for the following year.
The Los Angeles four-piece exploded onto the scene with a near-flawless self-titled debut album in 1991 and went on to create some of the most memorable and politically charged rock music of all time. Unashamedly left-wing in their views, Rage wore their heart on their sleeve at all times.
Angry and often anarchic, Rage Against the Machine backed up their bluster with music that was every bit as hard-hitting. That's just one of the reasons they deserve to be in the Rock Hall. Here are five more.
That Debut Album
Few records have had the impact of Rage's 1991 debut. Blending ear-piercing metal, toe-tapping funk and cutting rap vocals, it delivered a combination that had never been so successfully merged before. Four singles were released from the album, but in truth all 10 tracks are worthy of single status.
Zack de la Rocha Is a Better Rapper Than Most Rappers in the Hall of Fame
The Rock Hall isn't afraid of straying far from the genre from which its named. The inclusion of various rap artists has stirred up all manner of controversy over the years, but we argue that Rage frontman Zack de la Rocha is a cut above just about all of them. His delivery is furious, heartfelt and memorable – and lyrically, none of the Rock Hall rappers can touch him.
They Literally Closed the New York Stock Exchange
While shooting the video for "Sleep Now in the Fire" in 2000 with filmmaker Michael Moore on the steps of New York's Federal Hall National Memorial, Rage made the kind of statement other bands can only dream of. Backed by a gathering of loyal fans, the band stormed the doors of the New York Stock Exchange before being led away by security. Only Moore was arrested as a result of the stunt, but what a stunt it was. It made for some great footage in the video too.
Rage Still Blow People Away
We're not exaggerating when we say Rage Against the Machine's music still sounds as fresh today as it did when it was first released, with lyrics dealing with issues that are still relevant. The songs sound like they could have been written a quarter century after they were first penned. Need proof? Just check out the below video of a man hearing Rage Against the Machine for the first time and see if you aren't moved by his reaction.
Rage Dethroned the U.K. Manufactured-Pop Machine
In 2009, Rage landed the U.K. Christmas No. 1 single slot with "Killing in the Name" – a full 17 years after it was released. The Christmas No. 1 spot in the U.K. had been exclusively held by winners of Simon Cowell's X Factor TV talent show for each of the previous four years, until a campaign by music fans, sick of the predictability of it all, changed it. Rage held a massive free gig in London to thank their British fans the following year.