Re-Education (Through Labor)

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"Re-Education (Through Labor)"
Single by Rise Against
from the album Appeal to Reason
Released August 25, 2008
Recorded January–June 2008 at The Blasting Room, Fort Collins, Colorado
Genre Melodic hardcore, punk rock
Length 3:42
Label Interscope
Writer(s) Tim McIlrath
Producer(s) Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore
Certification Gold (RIAA)[1]
Rise Against singles chronology
"Behind Closed Doors"
"Re-Education (Through Labor)"
"Audience of One"
This article is about the song by Rise Against. For the Chinese prison system, see Re-education through labor.

"Re-Education (Through Labor)" is the first single from Rise Against's fifth studio album, Appeal to Reason. The single was released digitally to digital stores and radio stations on August 25, 2008. A music video was released on the same day.

A limited physical version of the single was released on 7" vinyl and can be obtained exclusively by pre-ordering Appeal to Reason. This version also includes a B-side titled "Minor Threat", which is a cover of the eponymous song by Minor Threat.[2]

The single's fifth week on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart made "Re-Education (Through Labor)" Rise Against's second-highest charting single to date, hitting number five. It has since reached a peak of number three. The band's previous highest charting single on the Alternative Songs chart was "The Good Left Undone", the third single from the band's previous album, which peaked at number 6. "Re-Education (Through Labor)" is also Rise Against's first song to appear on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.


The song has been used in TV spots for the MyNetworkTV premiere of WWE Friday Night Smackdown.[3] It was also used partially during the Spike TV Video Game Awards 2008.

The song appears in the video game Guitar Hero World Tour[4] and is available as DLC for the Rock Band series along with "Savior" and "Prayer of the Refugee".

It also appears in the offroad arcade racing game, Nail'd as a background music track.

The song was used by the NFL in their 2008/2009 end-of-season highlight package, as well as being used by Fox Sports (Australia) in 2009 during coverage of the NRL competition.

Re-Education (Through Labor) featured in 2009 horror film Orphan.[5]

The song is used in a video package the Boston Bruins show before each game.

The song also reached #84 Triple J Hottest 100 in 2008.

In 2012, the song was used for the 2012 Korean Grand Prix.

Song meaning[edit]

Frontman Tim McIlrath spoke to MTV News about this song: "It's talking a lot about the 9-to-5, dog-eat-dog lifestyle, and what we are asked to do to simply make ends meet nowadays, and I think it's a feeling shared by people all around the world and especially in this country."

Music video[edit]

The song's music video was directed by Kevin Kerslake (Faith No More, Green Day), filmed in the band's home city of Chicago and features members of the Chicago branch of the Moped Army and their mopeds. McIlrath admitted to MTV News that the promo does have a slightly political theme, which practically anyone will relate to. He explained: "One of the great things about doing a video is that your imagination is the only thing that's limiting you, so you can do anything. So we have a video that's going to encompass the anger and the angst that the youth of America feel toward society at large and the things that are demanded of them."

On September 22, 2008, Rise Against released the music video for "Re-Education (Through Labor)". The video begins with a quote from President John F. Kennedy: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable." It frequently switches between scenes of the band playing in the basement of an abandoned cinema and an army of moped riders. The group drives around Chicago and drops backpacks, presumably bombs, in various locations. The closing scene shows the row of moped riders watching the city burn in the night after the bombs have detonated. This links back to the J.F.K quote about violent rebellion.

There is another version of this video, with informative statistics on subjects such as deforestation, the death of children, and others. This version is called "uncensored", because the original video doesn´t show any of this information.

Award nominations[edit]

"Re-Education (Through Labor)" has been nominated for a 2009 MuchMusic Video Award in the category Best International Video (Group).[6]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Re-Education (Through Labor)"   3:42
2. "Minor Threat" (live Minor Threat cover) 1:40


Chart (2008) Peak
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles[7] 12
Hot Canadian Digital Singles[8] 56
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[9] 22
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[9] 3
Canadian Hot 100[10] 63


Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[11] Gold 0^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "RIAA Search for Rise Against" Retrieved on January 22, 2010.
  2. ^ "Pre-Order Appeal To Reason on Interpunk/Smartpunk" Geffen. Retrieved on August 22, 2008.
  3. ^ Friday Night SmackDown moving to MyNetwork TV with 1-2 Punch WWE. Retrieved on September 27, 2008.
  4. ^ Brudvig, IGN:Erik (September 12, 2008). "Guitar Hero World Tour Ultimate Set List". IGN. Retrieved 2008-09-27. 
  5. ^ "Orphan Soundtracks" Retrieved on November 16, 2009.
  6. ^ "2009 MuchMusic Video Awards Nominee" Retrieved on May 31, 2009.
  7. ^ "Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles - Re-Education (Through Labor)" Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  8. ^ "Hot Canadian Digital Singles - Re-Education (Through Labor)" Retrieved 2009-10-4.
  9. ^ a b "Artist Chart History - Rise Against" Retrieved 2008-10-15.
  10. ^ "Canadian Hot 100 - Re-Education (Through Labor)" Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  11. ^ "American single certifications – Rise Against – Ball". Recording Industry Association of America. July 15, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]