Bulls on Parade

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"Bulls on Parade"
Bullsonparade domestic.jpg
Single by Rage Against the Machine
from the album Evil Empire
ReleasedFebruary 9, 1996
Songwriter(s)Zack de la Rocha
Producer(s)Brendan O'Brien, Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine singles chronology
"Year of tha Boomerang"
"Bulls on Parade"
"People of the Sun"
Alternative cover

"Bulls on Parade" is a song by American rock band Rage Against the Machine. It is the second song from their second studio album, Evil Empire (1996). It was released as the album's first single to modern rock radio on February 9, 1996.[4]


On the UK CD single release of "Bulls on Parade", the band's vocalist, Zack de la Rocha, explained how America (the U.S.), is building a wall between itself and Mexico.

…the wall that Germany fell and the US Government was busy building another one between the border of the U.S. and Mexico. Since 1986, as a result of a lot of the hate talk and hysteria, that the Government of the United States has been speaking, 1,500 bodies have been found on the border; we wrote this song in response to it.


The song is widely known for its popular guitar solo containing a vinyl scratch effect used by Tom Morello, done by toggling between two pickups, one on and one off, while rubbing his hands on the strings over the pickups to create the effect that someone is scratching a vinyl disc. Morello has stated that the sound he was going for was a "sort of 'Geto Boys' sound, menacing"[5] with E♭ tuning in both guitar and bass and a wah-wah pedal fully in the treble position to create a Houston 5th Ward gangland-style riff.

Live performances[edit]

"Bulls on Parade" made its live debut on January 25, 1996, at the Big Day Out festival in Sydney, Australia. The track then made its international debut on Saturday Night Live in April 1996. The band was going to play two songs, but were expelled from the building after hanging American flags upside down from their amplifiers.[6][7]

At various shows, the band has dedicated the song to Tony Blair.[8]


"Bulls on Parade" has been covered numerous times by different artists of various genres including British rapper Dizzee Rascal in 2009, among others.[citation needed]

On February 14, 2019, American rapper Denzel Curry performed a cover of the song on the Australian radio station Triple J as part of Like a Version. The cover was met with critical acclaim.[9][10]

Music video[edit]

The video for "Bulls on Parade", directed by Peter Christopherson and produced by Fiz Oliver at Squeak Pictures, premiered on MTV's 120 Minutes on April 14, 1996. On July 31, 1996 it was nominated for Best Hard Rock Video in the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards.

The video contains footage from the Sydney Big Day Out (January 25, 1996) and their side show at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney (January 27, 1996). Throughout the video shots of young people protesting in the streets with political signs, military drills, flags, and other similar images are montaged together. An antique-style film is used which promotes scratches, dust and film grain. Several scenes show people wrapping Evil Empire banners on walls, telephone posts and posting up other propaganda posters designed by Barbara Kruger. There is a scene where a character wearing a black "Libertyville" jacket with a baseball cap is painted by the renowned Phantom Street Artist Joey Krebs who paints his iconoclastic figures on city walls. This is the actual portrait created by the street artist of Tom Morello himself. Various lyrics are flashed on top of these scenes in a scrawled sort of chicken-scratch throughout.


In other media[edit]

Track listing[edit]

  1. Bulls on Parade
  2. Hadda Be Playing on the Jukebox (Live)


Charts (1996) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[14] 29
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[15] 31
Canada Rock/Alternative (RPM)[16] 3
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[17] 46
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[18] 1
France (SNEP)[19] 27
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[20] 22
Norway (VG-lista)[21] 4
Scotland (OCC)[22] 11
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[23] 9
UK Singles (OCC)[24] 8
UK Rock and Metal (OCC)[25] 1
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[26] 11
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[27] 36
US Radio Songs (Billboard)[28] 62


  1. ^ "The Ultimate Nineties Alt-Rock Playlist". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  2. ^ "30 Best Nu Metal Songs, Ranked". Spin Magazine.
  3. ^ Baker, Jeremy. "Rapper Denzel Curry covers Rage Against The Machine and it is dynamite". Corus Entertainment. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  4. ^ Childers, Chad (April 16, 2020). "24 Years Ago: Rage Against the Machine Release 'Evil Empire'". Loudwire. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  5. ^ "Tom Morello Guitar Lessons 03 Bulls On Parade" – via YouTube.
  6. ^ "Saturday Night Live Incident". musicfanclubs.org. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  7. ^ Whatley, Jack. "The ludicrous reason Rage Against The Machine were banned from Saturday Night Live". Far Out. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  8. ^ "Rage Against The Machine wear Guantanamo Bay-style outfits at Reading Festival | NME". NME | Music, Film, TV, Gaming & Pop Culture News. August 22, 2008. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  9. ^ Langford, Jackson. "The Entire World Is Losing It Over Denzel Curry's Like A Version". musicfeeds.com.au. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  10. ^ Chapstick, Kelsey (February 15, 2019). "SEE DENZEL CURRY'S STUNNING COVER OF RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE'S "BULLS ON PARADE"". Revolver. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 8, 2011. Retrieved December 4, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Langford, Jackson. "The Entire World Is Losing It Over Denzel Curry's Like A Version". musicfeeds.com.au. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  13. ^ "Denzel Curry Leaves Us Shook With Blistering Rage Against The Machine Cover For 'Like a Version'". Music Feeds. February 15, 2019.
  14. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 2962." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  17. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  18. ^ "Rage Against the Machine: Bulls on Parade" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  19. ^ "Lescharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  20. ^ "Charts.nz – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  21. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade". VG-lista. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  22. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  23. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade". Singles Top 100. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  25. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  26. ^ "Rage Against the Machine Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  27. ^ "Rage Against the Machine Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  28. ^ "Rage Against the Machine Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 27 April 2021.

External links[edit]