Rage Against the Machine (album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rage Against the Machine
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 3, 1992
RecordedApril–May 1992
StudioSound City Studios, Van Nuys, California
Rage Against the Machine chronology
Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine
Evil Empire
Singles from Rage Against the Machine
  1. "Killing in the Name"
    Released: November 2, 1992
  2. "Bullet in the Head"
    Released: December 29, 1992
  3. "Bombtrack"
    Released: June 20, 1993
  4. "Freedom"
    Released: August 23, 1994

Rage Against the Machine is the debut studio album by American rock band Rage Against the Machine,[3] released on November 3, 1992 by Epic Records. The band released their demo album, also called Rage Against the Machine 11 months prior which contained earlier recordings of 7 of the 12 songs found on this album. With politically themed lyrical content, the album artwork was notable for featuring a graphic photograph of Thích Quảng Đức committing self-immolation. Rage Against the Machine was a critical success upon release with several critics noting the album's politically motivated agenda as well as de la Rocha's strong delivery. Rated number 24 on the Rolling Stone's list of "100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time", the album peaked at number 1 on the US Billboard Heatseekers chart and number 45 on the US Billboard 200 and has gone on to achieve triple platinum sales certification in the US.

Artwork and sleeve notes[edit]

The cover features a photo of the self-immolation of Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, in Saigon in 1963. The monk was protesting President Ngô Đình Diệm's administration for oppressing the Buddhist religion. The photograph drew international attention and persuaded U.S. President John F. Kennedy to withdraw support for Diệm's government. It was taken by Associated Press correspondent Malcolm Browne; a similar photograph earned the award of World Press Photo of the Year in 1963.

The songs on Rage Against the Machine all feature political messages. Activists such as Provisional IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton are listed in the "Thanks For Inspiration" section. Also thanked were Ian and Alec MacKaye.[4]

The lyrics for each song were printed in the album booklet with the exception of those for "Killing in the Name", which were omitted; the booklet reads "2. KILLING IN THE NAME", skips the lyrics and continues with the next song.

The statement "no samples, keyboards or synthesizers used in the making of this record" can be found at the end of the sleeve notes. Similar statements were made in the band's subsequent albums. The band also refer to themselves as "Guilty Parties" for each album.


The album was supported by the Rage Against the Machine Tour which commenced in early 1993 and concluded on December 31, 1993.[5]

XX 20th Anniversary Edition[edit]

The band announced on October 9, 2012, via their Facebook page that they would be releasing a special 20th anniversary boxset to commemorate the group's debut album. The boxset contains never-before-released concert material, including the band's 2010 Finsbury Park show and footage from early in their career, as well as a digitally-remastered version of the album, b-sides and the original demo tape (on disc for the first time).[6][7] The collection was released on November 27, 2012.[7]

The release features 3 distinct versions:

  • Deluxe Box Set featuring two CDs, two DVDs, one 12" 180gm vinyl LP, one 40 page booklet and two-sided poster
  • Special Edition featuring two CDs and a bonus DVD featuring six tracks
  • Single compact disc (with three bonus tracks)

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[9]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[10]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[11]
Mojo4/5 stars[12]
Record Collector5/5 stars[15]
Rolling Stone4.5/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[16]

Rage Against the Machine received high critical acclaim. In a contemporary review, NME wrote that "what makes RATM more than just another bunch of prodigiously capable genre-benders is their total lack of pretension or contrivance ... the results burn with an undeniable conviction."[13] Q magazine deemed it "a record of real attitude and energy",[18] while Los Angeles Times critic Robert Hilburn hailed it as "a striking, politically conscious debut" and de la Rocha "a bona fide star who combines on stage a Bob Marley-like charisma and a Chuck D.-style rap command -- and the music itself is as tough and relentless as his raps."[11] Robert Christgau was somewhat less impressed in The Village Voice, summing it up as "metal for rap-lovers—and opera-haters" while naming "Know Your Enemy" and "Wake Up" as highlights.[19] AllMusic reviewer Eduardo Rivadavia wrote in a retrospective review, "it was the first album to successfully merge the seemingly disparate sounds of rap and heavy metal", he also praised the album's "meaningful rhymes and emotionally charged conviction" calling it "essential".[9]

In 2001, Q named Rage Against the Machine as one of the 50 Heaviest Albums Of All Time. The album is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In 2012, the album was ranked number 365 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time[20] and number 24 on the magazine's list of "100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time".[21]

BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe named Rage Against the Machine as one of four 'Masterpieces', and his favorite, on December 2, 2008.[3] In October 2011, Rage Against the Machine was ranked number five on Guitar World magazine's top ten list of guitar albums of 1992.[22]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Rage Against the Machine (Tim Commerford, Zack de la Rocha, Tom Morello, Brad Wilk).

Original track listing
2."Killing in the Name"5:14
3."Take the Power Back"5:37
4."Settle for Nothing"4:48
5."Bullet in the Head"5:07
6."Know Your Enemy" (featuring Maynard James Keenan)4:55
7."Wake Up"6:04
8."Fistful of Steel"5:31
9."Township Rebellion"5:24
Total length:52:55
XX CD 1 – Bonus tracks (b-sides)
11."Bombtrack" (live, taken from Bombtrack single)5:56
12."Bullet in the Head" (live, taken from Bullet in the Head single)5:44
13."Take the Power Back" (live, taken from Freedom single)6:09
Total length:1:10:45
XX CD 2 – "The Original Demos"
2."Take the Power Back"5:40
3."Bullet in the Head"5:09
4."Darkness of Greed"3:40
5."Clear the Lane"3:48
6."Township Rebellion"4:19
7."Know Your Enemy"4:19
8."Mindset's a Threat"3:56
9."Killing in the Name"6:28
10."Auto Logic"4:07
11."The Narrows"4:35
Total length:55:51
XX DVD 1 – The Battle of Britain at Finsbury Park, London, England (June 6, 2010)
4."People of the Sun"2:36
5."Know Your Enemy"5:17
6."Bulls on Parade"4:51
7."Township Rebellion"5:44
8."Bullet in the Head"10:32
9."White Riot" (The Clash cover)2:06
10."Guerrilla Radio"3:45
11."Sleep Now in the Fire"5:26
13."Killing in the Name"6:32
14."End Credits"2:52
XX DVD 1 – Music Videos
1."Killing in the Name - 1992"5:15
2."Bullet in the Head - 1993"4:51
3."Bombtrack - 1993"4:06
4."Freedom - 1993"6:01
5."Bulls on Parade - 1996"3:56
6."People of the Sun - 1996"3:00
7."No Shelter - 1998"4:15
8."Guerrilla Radio - 1999"3:43
9."Sleep Now in the Fire - 2000" (First Official Commercial Release)3:55
10."Testify - 2000" (First Official Commercial Release)3:44
11."Renegades of Funk - 2000" (First Official Commercial Release)3:54
12."How I Could Just Kill a Man - 2000" (Previously Unreleased)4:24
XX DVD 1 – Live material from 1997 video compilation
1."The Ghost of Tom Joad"5:13
2."Vietnow" (Irvine Meadows, CA – 1997)4:49
3."People of the Sun"2:38
4."Bulls on Parade"3:50
5."Bullet in the Head"5:48
6."Zapata's Blood" (Rock Am Ring Festival, Germany – 1996)1:45
7."Know Your Enemy"5:20
9."Tire Me" (Reading Festival – 1996)2:55
10."Killing in the Name" (Pink Pop Festival – 1994)6:21
XX DVD 2 – First public performance at California State University, Northridge (October 23, 1991)
1."Killing in the Name"2:20
2."Take the Power Back"6:34
4."Bullet in the Head"5:48
5."Hit the Deck"4:27
6."Township Rebellion"5:33
7."Darkness of Greed"3:59
8."Clear the Lane"4:19
10."Know Your Enemy"5:03
1."Freedom" (Pink Pop – 1994)6:40
2."Take the Power Back" (Vic Theatre – 1993)6:05
3."Fistful of Steel" (JC Dobbs – 1993)5:22
4."Bombtrack" (Soundstage performance – 1992)3:58
5."Wake Up" (Halfway House – 1992)5:35
6."Settle for Nothing" (Castaic – 1992)4:35
7."Clear the Lane" (San Luis Obispo – 1992)3:38
8."Untitled" (CWNN – 1992)5:10
9."Darkness of Greed" (Zed's Records – 1992)3:32
10."Wake Up" (Nomads – 1992)6:18

Anger Is a Gift bonus disc – released with the 1995 Australian CD re-release

  1. "Darkness" – 3:40
  2. "Year of tha Boomerang" – 4:02
  3. "Freedom" (Remix) – 6:14
  4. "Take the Power Back" (Live) – 6:12

Bonus Maxi 12" from the "Limited Tour Edition" red vinyl 1993 European re-release included this second LP labeled sides C and D

  1. C1 "Freedom" (Live) – 6:13
  2. C2 "Bombtrack" (From Mark Goodier's "Evening Session") – 4:08
  3. C3 "Bullet in the Head" (Remix) – 5:40
  4. D1 "Darkness of Greed" – 3:40
  5. D2 "Bullet in the Head" (Live) – 5:44
  6. D3 "Bombtrack" (Live) – 5:33

All songs from both bonuses are the versions from previously released singles and promos, except C1 which is from a different performance. No information is given on the 12" about the date nor venue.


Rage Against the Machine

Additional musicians




Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[35] 5× Platinum 350,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[36] Gold 25,000*
Belgium (BEA)[37] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[38] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[40] Platinum 437,500 [39]*
Germany (BVMI)[41] Gold 250,000^
Italy (FIMI)[42] Gold 50,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[43] Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[44] Platinum 15,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[45] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[46] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[47] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Lawson, Dom (October 26, 2016). "The 10 essential rap metal albums". Metal Hammer. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Catucci, Nick (November 27, 2012). "Rage Against the Machine – XX". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
  3. ^ a b The RMF Loves Rage Against The Machine - Rage Against The Machine (1992) Archived September 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Real Music Forum Archived April 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Kane, Rich (November 1999), Anger is a Gift. Retrieved February 27, 2007.
  5. ^ "Literature Study Guides - By Popularity - eNotes.com". eNotes.
  6. ^ "Rage Against The Machine". Facebook. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Rage Against The Machine XX 20th Anniversary | Rage Against The Machine Official Site". Ratm.com. July 9, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  8. ^ "Reviews for Rage Against the Machine XX 20th Anniversary Edition by Rage Against the Machine". Metacritic. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine". AllMusic. Retrieved April 12, 2011.
  10. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Rage Against the Machine". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  11. ^ a b Hilburn, Robert (December 1, 2002). "Too volatile a mix to last?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  12. ^ "Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against the Machine". Mojo (230): 106. January 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against the Machine". NME: 29. February 6, 1993.
  14. ^ Currin, Grayson Haver (December 17, 2017). "Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against the Machine". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  15. ^ McIver, Joel (January 2013). "Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine". Record Collector (410). Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  16. ^ Tate, Greg (2004). "Rage Against the Machine". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 672–73. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  17. ^ Lamacq, Steve (March 1993). "Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against the Machine". Select (33): 72.
  18. ^ "Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against the Machine". Q (78): 90. March 1993.
  19. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 9, 1993). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  20. ^ "500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  21. ^ Greene, Andy (June 21, 2017). "100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  22. ^ Grassi, Tony. "Photo Gallery: The Top 10 Guitar Albums of 1992". GuitarWorld.com. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  23. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  25. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  26. ^ "Lescharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  27. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  28. ^ "Charts.nz – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  29. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  30. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  31. ^ "Rage Against the Machine | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  32. ^ "Rage Against the Machine Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  33. ^ "Ultratop.be – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  34. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  35. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2015 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on August 10, 2020.
  36. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine" (in German). IFPI Austria.
  37. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 1995". Ultratop. Hung Medien.
  38. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine". Music Canada.
  39. ^ "InfoDisc : Les Meilleurs Ventes d'Albums "Tout Temps" (33 T. / Cd / Téléchargement)". www.infodisc.fr.
  40. ^ "French album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  41. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Rage Against the Machine; 'Rage Against the Machine')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  42. ^ "Italian album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Select "2017" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Rage Against the Machine" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Album e Compilation" under "Sezione".
  43. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Select 2005年7月 on the drop-down menu
  44. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine". Recorded Music NZ.
  45. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Rage Against the Machine; 'Rage Against the Machine')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  46. ^ "British album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Rage Against the Machine in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  47. ^ "American album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.