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Sunday, December 20, 2009

UK Gives The Bastard A Christmas Present

Rage Against the Machine beat X Factor winner in charts

Rock band Rage Against The Machine has won the most competitive battle in years for the Christmas number one.

The band's single, Killing In The Name, sold 500,000 downloads beating X Factor winner Joe McElderry's The Climb by 50,000 copies to clinch the top spot.

Their success followed a Facebook campaign designed to prevent another X Factor number one.

One retailer said it was a "truly remarkable outcome - possibly the greatest chart upset ever".

Speaking on the Radio 1 chart show, Zack de la Rocha from Rage said: "We are very, very ecstatic about being number one."

"It says more about the spontaneous action taken by young people throughout the UK to topple this very sterile pop monopoly," he said.

McElderry, 18, praised the campaign, adding: "It's been exciting to be part of a much-hyped battle and they definitely deserve congratulations."

He later told BBC Radio 1 he did not believe the internet campaign was a personal attack.

He said: "It's more against the show than me and I think if any other person had have won, the same thing would have happened, because the petition was going on before the winner had been announced."

Despite earlier in the week calling the campaign "stupid", X Factor judge Simon Cowell offered his congratulations to the couple behind it, Jon and Tracy Morter.

'Silly idea'

This is not the first campaign the Morters have launched to try to influence the charts - last year they attempted to get Rick Astley to the top spot.

Mr Morter, 35, said he learnt "how the charts work" from that experience, and "what you can get away with".

"When this year came around I just thought, let's have another go. If anything, last year was fun. This year it has gone stratospheric."

His wife Tracy said: "It was one of those little silly ideas that make you laugh in your own house.

"We really love music and remember when were were young the charts were really exciting. We just thought, wouldn't it be funny if that song got to number one?

"It took something really strong and forceful to get people behind it."

De la Rocha said the band would perform a free concert in the UK in 2010 to celebrate their chart win.

The past four Christmas number ones have all been by X Factor winners; Alexandra Burke's version of Hallelujah last year was one of the biggest selling festive singles ever.

Guitarist Tom Morello said it had "tapped into the silent majority of the people in the UK who are tired of being spoon-fed one schmaltzy ballad after another".

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