Can Rage Against the Machine compete with Joe McElderry?

Has the Facebook drive to thwart X Factor Joe McElderry's victory in the Christmas charts stalled? Or can Rage Against the Machine still grab a surprise festive number one?

Though a 17-year-old song by Rage Against the Machine took an early lead in the Christmas No 1 sweepstakes, the campaign against Joe McElderry's The Climb has been sideswiped – both by the X Factor winner's popularity, and by Facebook bugs. However, it appears RATM are still leading the way in the closest battle for the Christmas number one spot for some years.

Speaking to the Global Herald website, the founder of the Rage Against the Machine campaign said he was "concerned" about recent problems with the group's Facebook page. The site first disappeared on Sunday night, Jon Morter said, with a member of Facebook's "PR team" writing to tell him it was a "bug". "Later in the evening the group returned as normal, but now it's gone yet again," he said yesterday. The page is now back online. During its down-time, the group was not only inaccessible, but invisible to anyone searching the site.

Morter's campaign is simple and well-publicised : he and about 750,000 other people are calling for X Factor to be unseated from their residency at the top of the UK's Christmas charts. This year the reality TV golden boy is Joe McElderry, who 19 million people watched triumph in this week's season finale. But Morter and his confederates hate that stuff – and they're asking people to buy downloads of Rage Against the Machine's 1992 tirade, Killing in the Name, and to unseat Simon Cowell's new protege.

Rage Against the Machine soared to the top of the iTunes charts on Sunday night, when the Christmas charts race opened. A statement put out by the Official Charts Company this morning claims that Rage Against the Machine are still on top, holding on by a margin of around 10%. According to Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot: "This is shaping up to be a very exciting battle between two different records which have captured the nation's imagination. But, although Rage Against The Machine have started off in front, according to our initial sales estimates, there is no doubt that this tussle is far from over."

The UK Christmas No 1 will be announced on Sunday 20 December.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Rage Against the Machine v Joe McElderry: Chart update!

RATM still have the edge over X Factor winner Joe McElderry in the battle for Christmas number one, but the gap is closing

Rosie Swash

17, Dec, 2009 @12:14 PM

Article image
Rage Against the Machine for Christmas No 1: The celebrities wade in

Paul McCartney, Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell get dragged into the most heated race for Christmas No 1 in years

Rosie Swash

18, Dec, 2009 @12:01 PM

Article image
Why a Rage Against the Machine Christmas No 1 would be a great pop moment

Tim Jonze: If the sweary, shouty rap-rock mob prove to have the X(mas) factor it will be a victory for the democratised and downloadable nature of the pop charts in 2009

Tim Jonze

11, Dec, 2009 @12:30 PM

Audio: Rage Against the Machine swearing on BBC Radio 5Live

'We asked them not to, but they did it anyway', says BBC 5Live breakfast host Shelagh Fogarty as Rage Against the Machine perform Killing In The Name, explicit lyrics and all

17, Dec, 2009 @12:00 PM

Why I rage on behalf of the ordinary Joes | Barbara Ellen

Barbara Ellen: Rage Against The Machine aren't doing this for the people, they are sneering at the taste of the people

Barbara Ellen

20, Dec, 2009 @12:05 AM

Article image
Simon Cowell: Rage Against the Machine campaign is 'stupid'

At first, nobody believed an internet campaign could topple Simon Cowell's Christmas chart dominance. But now the X Factor mogul has waded in ... and he looks worried

Rosie Swash

10, Dec, 2009 @5:24 PM

Article image
Rage Against the Machine beats X Factor's Joe to Christmas No 1

After an Facebook campaign against Simon Cowell's chart domination, music fans celebrate their victory

Helen Pidd

20, Dec, 2009 @7:00 PM

Article image
For all the rage against the machine, it's still a safe bet
Despite it's anti-authoritarian message, Killing in the Name is, oddly, a traditional Christmas No 1

Paul MacInnes

20, Dec, 2009 @7:00 PM

Article image
Top of the Pops: ex-reality TV stars expected to dominate UK charts
Will Young, Olly Murs and Joe McElderry defy talent show expectations with newfound chart success

Daniel Martin

26, Aug, 2011 @3:48 PM

Article image
X Factor's final four could all end up winning recording contracts
Cher Lloyd, One Direction, Rebecca Ferguson and Matt Cardle are fierce rivals for the 2010 title but the victor and the three runners-up could all score lucrative deals

Jo Adetunji

12, Dec, 2010 @6:01 PM