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#1
Old 12-17-2009, 06:53 PM
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RATM for UK Xmas #1 - Potential social media coup, but how?

Brief intro/recap:

A viral internet campaign has been looking to topple the 4-year domination of the singles chart Christmas number 1 spot (a big deal over here) by the X Factor (a UK 'make a pop star' type TV programme) by getting people to buy 'Killing in the Name' by Rage Against the Machine instead. The X Factor's recent winner, Joe McElderry, is pitching a cover of 'The Climb' (originally sung by Miley Cirus).

The campaign's doing pretty well:

- the FB group has ~850k members, and
- as of Wednesday RATM had ~250k sales vs ~215k for Joe
- big UK media coverage and backing by other artists

RATM were briefly odds on to win, but the bookmakers are now favouring Joe again and I agree:

- the majority of people who want to buy either single online, whether or not for campaign purposes, will have done so already
- Joe will get a big boost of CD sales on Saturday (likely ~200k) when people do their final Christmas shopping, whereas RATM won't


My question is: What should the RATM campaign do to win now?

It's got 2 days to pull something out of the bag and, if it does, this would be one of the best demonstrations of the power of social media yet (I do musically prefer RATM, but I'm not asking about taste, symbolism or record labels here).

A group has just been started to try to get people to do mass downloads on Saturday to counter Joe's CD sales, but I don't think that is likely to get far enough. To win they need to mobilise a new part of the market.

So, any ideas?

Last edited by twickster; 12-20-2009 at 04:17 PM. Reason: removed links
#2
Old 12-17-2009, 10:15 PM
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I follow both Q and Mojo on Twitter and I was confused about this whole thing... thanks for clarifying.

Just so I'm in the know, RATM have not reunited, yes? This is intended to be a thumb in the eye for Simon Cowell et al? Why was RATM chosen? I didn't even know they had a following in the UK.
#3
Old 12-17-2009, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippy Hollow View Post
I follow both Q and Mojo on Twitter and I was confused about this whole thing... thanks for clarifying.

Just so I'm in the know, RATM have not reunited, yes? This is intended to be a thumb in the eye for Simon Cowell et al? Why was RATM chosen? I didn't even know they had a following in the UK.
Possibly the choice of song has something to do with the repetition of the words, "fuck you, I won't do what you tell me" in the lyrics?
#4
Old 12-17-2009, 11:47 PM
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Surely there's been a song written to 'stick it to the man' since the early 90's

Last edited by Junior Spaceman; 12-17-2009 at 11:48 PM.
#5
Old 12-19-2009, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior Spaceman View Post
Surely there's been a song written to 'stick it to the man' since the early 90's
Unfortunately, most of them were written by the man.
#6
Old 12-19-2009, 11:22 PM
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I have this sneaking suspicion that the members of RATM wouldn't like to be involved in anything like this at all.
#7
Old 12-20-2009, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by kidneyfailure View Post
I have this sneaking suspicion that the members of RATM wouldn't like to be involved in anything like this at all.
From the Rage Against the Machine website:
Quote:
"RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE have just announced that if their single "KILLING IN THE NAME" is number one on the Christmas Week UK pop charts over the single from X-Factor winner they WILL PLAY A HUGE FREE CONCERT IN THE UK TO CELEBRATE THE VICTORY OF THIS HISTORIC PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN!!!! If the unprecedented grassroots movement to topple the X-Factor monopoly is successful in making Rage number one the group will return to UK shores sometime in 2010 for a massive "thankyou" gig.
#8
Old 12-20-2009, 01:06 AM
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Well, shit, I hereby admit that I was wrong. But an "historic people's campaign?" That's pushing it.

Last edited by kidneyfailure; 12-20-2009 at 01:07 AM.
#9
Old 12-20-2009, 02:27 AM
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I'm still gunning for the "Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody for Crimbo #1" campaign. And I'm American.
#10
Old 12-20-2009, 10:03 AM
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I have never understood the whole Christmas #1 concept (I first heard about it in Love, Actually) and this just further confuses me.

Why wouldn't some lame, harmless fluff win every year? That's how the music industry operates.
#11
Old 12-20-2009, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
"RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE have just announced that if their single "KILLING IN THE NAME" is number one on the Christmas Week UK pop charts over the single from X-Factor winner they WILL PLAY A HUGE FREE CONCERT IN THE UK TO CELEBRATE THE VICTORY OF THIS HISTORIC PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN!!!! If the unprecedented grassroots movement to topple the X-Factor monopoly is successful in making Rage number one the group will return to UK shores sometime in 2010 for a massive "thankyou" gig.
All Billy Mack needed to offer was a single nude Xmas performance. I guess that's inflation for you.
#12
Old 12-20-2009, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by kidneyfailure View Post
Well, shit, I hereby admit that I was wrong. But an "historic people's campaign?" That's pushing it.
The giant capital letters indicate a certain amount of ironic exaggeration. I think RATM get that this "campaign" is only semi-serious. But the size of the X Factor effect in Britain is something to behold. I was wondering what "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey was doing in the UK top 10, and the answer is that they apparently do that song on the X Factor sometimes.
#13
Old 12-20-2009, 12:51 PM
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Well, I'm very happy to be proved wrong
#14
Old 12-20-2009, 02:22 PM
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Via Q and Mojo I have seen Tom Morello comment on this a few times. I believe he most recently said that RATM would play a show in the UK if they were successful.

Justin_Bailey, it is usually fluff, and the Brits love their novelty records. So Chas and Dave, Slade, George Michael, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, or whomever goes in the studio, knocks out some pap in late November, and vies for the #1 spot. I remember this being a particularly huge deal during Band Aid's campaign for "Do They Know It's Christmas?" in 1985. There was some tax levied on the single, and Geldof was trying to get Thatcher to take it off. There was a particularly amusing exchange between the two at some function where Sir Bob was arguing with the PM... and true to her Iron Lady moniker, she didn't budge. But I do think they were successful, and ultimately, it was the number 1 single for Christmas that year.
#15
Old 12-20-2009, 04:20 PM
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#16
Old 12-20-2009, 04:35 PM
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Sorry about that, wasn't intending to break any rules. I posted those links to show what was driving the event - they felt like citations in the context.

Could be a more general issue with discussing social media...
#17
Old 12-20-2009, 05:27 PM
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And RATM declares victory:
http://guardian.co.uk/music/2009...stmas-number-1
#18
Old 12-20-2009, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puggyfish View Post
Sorry about that, wasn't intending to break any rules. I posted those links to show what was driving the event - they felt like citations in the context.

Could be a more general issue with discussing social media...
Not a problem -- I left the thread (and discussion) open and issued no warning, but felt that the links were too close to "go vote for this" to be appropriate.

It is, indeed, an interesting use of social media!
#19
Old 12-20-2009, 07:54 PM
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What a great victory for people power, and anti-capitalism. It must be nice for those anarchists at Sony BMG, getting the payoff from a two horse race where they own both horses.
#20
Old 12-20-2009, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Junior Spaceman View Post
What a great victory for people power, and anti-capitalism. It must be nice for those anarchists at Sony BMG, getting the payoff from a two horse race where they own both horses.
Not to mention the irony of a song with lyrics that say "fuck you, I wont do what you tell me" becoming number one because some people told everyone to download it.

Seriously, though, couldn't they have picked a better RATM song? Why not "Down Rodeo" or "People of the Sun?" Both are vastly superior to "Killing in the Name."

Last edited by kidneyfailure; 12-20-2009 at 09:42 PM.
#21
Old 12-20-2009, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior Spaceman View Post
What a great victory for people power, and anti-capitalism. It must be nice for those anarchists at Sony BMG, getting the payoff from a two horse race where they own both horses.
Bonus points for Simon Cowell, who's on the Sony payroll, and thus got even richer by stoking the fires of the the controversy (I'm assuming he did, he's a clever dick).
#22
Old 12-22-2009, 08:05 AM
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People, people - Everyone already knew about the Sony connections and irony of the lyrics. If people really thought it was about anti-capitalism, it wouldn't be at number one.

Everyone I know who bought it, did it simply because they are bored of the X-Factor nonsense and wanted to see what the TV/radio would do about the explicit lyrics.
#23
Old 12-22-2009, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Racer1 View Post
People, people - Everyone already knew about the Sony connections and irony of the lyrics. If people really thought it was about anti-capitalism, it wouldn't be at number one.

Everyone I know who bought it, did it simply because they are bored of the X-Factor nonsense and wanted to see what the TV/radio would do about the explicit lyrics.
Exactly. This ohh so clever meme about how people are being fools and just sucking on a different tit on the same animal is bollocks IMO.

People just didn't want the winner of the xfactor to have a number 1 again. There was a stage when the race for the xmas #1 in the UK was fun and interesting. Since xfactor and before that the idol shows it's become boring and predictable. I'd rather see Cliff Richard get another one than the xfactor winner.

Hopefully this becomes a yearly event or some big band comes out with a true xmas song like they used to back in the day, Slade and Wizard being the best examples of this.

Last edited by yojimbo; 12-22-2009 at 09:06 AM.
#24
Old 12-22-2009, 09:01 AM
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You mean to tell me that people are covering Miley Cyrus songs?
#25
Old 12-22-2009, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Ike Witt View Post
You mean to tell me that people are covering Miley Cyrus songs?
Yep. That's how bad it's gotten.
#26
Old 12-22-2009, 09:43 AM
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I think some people are getting whooshed by the whole "stick it to the piggies" theme. That whole angle is tongue in cheek. Everybody gets the irony. It isn't clever to point it out.
#27
Old 12-22-2009, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Ike Witt View Post
You mean to tell me that people are covering Miley Cyrus songs?
That was my thought too. Are there really people out there who really want to buy some talent show contestent's remake of an insipid teeny-bopper song that was moderately popular with children like 6 months ago? Who are the people who buy this shite? Are they adults? I wouldn't have thought it was possible to have worst taste in music than to buy Miley Cyrus music, but I guess it is.
#28
Old 12-22-2009, 11:10 AM
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Heh.

Mashup

http://rathergood.com/climb
#29
Old 12-22-2009, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by yojimbo View Post
Hah! Love the last two seconds.
#30
Old 12-22-2009, 01:36 PM
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Please tell me they were speeding that up, and that guy's voice doesn't really sound like that.
#31
Old 12-22-2009, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
I think some people are getting whooshed by the whole "stick it to the piggies" theme. That whole angle is tongue in cheek. Everybody gets the irony. It isn't clever to point it out.
I didn't think it was being clever, and I didn't realise everything I said was a meme. I just think giving more money to Sony through some phony 'campaign' pretty much sums up modern rebellion.

And the media will handle the lyrics the same way they did in 1992 - they'll either play it all and show how radical they are, or just censor them.

Next year, they could do it with King Diamond's No Presents For Christmas, which would be more appropriate, genuinely funny (in a stupid way), and would be stiffing Simon Cowell.

Last edited by Junior Spaceman; 12-22-2009 at 02:55 PM.
#32
Old 12-22-2009, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
I think some people are getting whooshed by the whole "stick it to the piggies" theme. That whole angle is tongue in cheek. Everybody gets the irony. It isn't clever to point it out.
Well, what miffs me the most is how RATM seems to be taking it rather seriously when they, of all people, should know better. Quoth Tom Morello:

"Rage Against the Machine was built for moments like this," the band's guitarist Tom Morello told The Associated Press. "We are honored to have the song that liberated the U.K. pop chart."

I hope that was a joke. What he should have said was, "Who gives a shit about this? While we have the luxury of bitching about music on the Internet, many people don't even have enough money to buy drinking water let alone a computer they could use to download our song." That's what the Tom Morello I respected back in the day would have said.

At least they said they'd donate all the profits to charities in the UK. Perhaps the end justifies the means.

Last edited by kidneyfailure; 12-22-2009 at 08:39 PM.
#33
Old 12-22-2009, 10:51 PM
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Morello is being tongue in cheek. He gets it.
#34
Old 12-22-2009, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Junior Spaceman View Post
I didn't think it was being clever, and I didn't realise everything I said was a meme. I just think giving more money to Sony through some phony 'campaign' pretty much sums up modern rebellion.

And the media will handle the lyrics the same way they did in 1992 - they'll either play it all and show how radical they are, or just censor them.

Next year, they could do it with King Diamond's No Presents For Christmas, which would be more appropriate, genuinely funny (in a stupid way), and would be stiffing Simon Cowell.
That would be a great choice. I love King Diamond.

Eric Idle's "Fuck Christmas" would be great as well.
#35
Old 12-22-2009, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
Morello is being tongue in cheek. He gets it.
I hope so, but you never can really tell...

I love King Diamond too,
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