Way back in 1999, in the pouring rain of New York, Rage Against The Machine took the stage in the street for an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. During this evening, they performed a mini concert for a slew of fans while promoting their Unsung Masterpiece that is The Battle Of Los Angeles. Here’s Rage performing “Guerilla Radio.”
Rage Against The Machine- Guerilla Radio on Letterman:
This will be my last post on Rage for a bit. The excitement of them announcing their return is quite fun and the possibilities of what they will do are seemingly endless. It will be quite interesting to see what they decide to play as well. That being said, while talking with a few friends about that I made what I think is one hell of a great Ultimate Set List for them to play.
Guideline 1: What line up of the band would it be
Guideline 2: Where would you want to see the show
Guideline 3: maximum 25 songs (In order of how the set should go)
Lineup: Zack De La Rocha, Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, Tim Commerford
Venue: Forum Los Angeles
01) Take The Power Back
02) Guerrilla Radio
03) Bulls On Parade
04) Born As Ghosts
05) Year Of Tha Bomerang
06) Wake Up
07) Know Your Enemy
08) No Shelter
09) Down Rodeo
11) Born Of A Broken Man
12) Calm Like A Bomb
14) Bullet In The Head
15) Ashes In The Fall
16) People Of The Sun
19) Sleep Now In The Fire
20) Killin In The Name
With the news of Rage Against The Machine returning, it’s gotten a lot of people excited. I’m excited but, I have my own apprehensions about it all (more on that to come later this week). That being said though, their final studio album, The Battle of Los Angeles has just passed the 20 year anniversary milestone. I remember buying the album the day it came out and being really stoked on it. Of course the singles like, “Guerilla Radio” and “Sleep Now In The Fire” are rad but, there is one song in particular on the album that has always stood out to me and since than, has become my favorite Rage Against The Machine song. I’m talking about “Ashes In The Fall.” It’s one hell of a great song and it’s chock full of great Tom Morello guitar moments. The dynamic shifts in the song too, are stellar. Everything about this song is perfect. Enjoy this song. I sure do hope they play this song live more often. The lyrics are beyond fitting in today’s society.
Rage Against The Machine- Ashes In The Fall:
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE are reuniting for a handful of shows in 2020. The dates released so far are as followed. The band hasn’t played a show since 2011 but, it’s looking more and more like this is going to come to fruition.
El Paso, TX March 26, 2020
Las Cruces, NM March 28, 2020
Phoenix, AZ March 30, 2020
Indio, CA April 10, 2020
Indio, CA April 17, 2020
Since the break up of Rage Against The Machine, Zach De La Rocha has remained relatively quiet on the music front. There was the One Day As A Lion project he did in 2007 but other than that there hasn’t been much from him in a long while. Which got me thinking, that I should do a Guest Vocalist post about all the songs he’s guested on over the years. Most recently Zach can be heard on the last two Run The Jewels albums. Anyways, here are a bunch of tracks to enjoy that Zach lent his vocals to.
As I’ve written about it many times before, the soundtrack for The Crow is one the best soundtracks of all time. There isn’t one song on it that doesn’t fit or make you want to watch the film. I’ll never forget way back when, the first time I heard the Rage Against The Machine song “Darkness.” I was completely floored by it. I had been a fan of the band for a while at that time and didn’t hear it on their debut. The song was originally written in 1991 and titled “Darkness Of Greed.” They re-recorded the song specifically for the soundtrack. “Darkness” never appeared on an album until the anniversary edition of their debut album. It did appear however as a b-side on the “Killin In The Name” single. Either way the only way to get this song for a long time was via The Crow soundtrack.
Back in 2003 after the break up of Rage Against The Machine, singer Zach De La Rocha traveled to New Orleans and collaborated on about 20 songs with Trent Reznor at his Nothing Studios. Of all those songs they worked on together, this is the only one ever released. Then in 2004, as Michael Moore was preparing to release his Oscar winning documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, he approached Zach to be a part of the soundtrack. This track is one hell of a song. The production, the music , the lyrics and sense of urgency it brings are tremendous.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Zach De La Rocha, get back in front of the microphone with Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, and Tim Commerford. Knock off this Prophets of Rage junk, and do the right thing.
The world really needs Rage Against The Machine now more than ever.
Rage Against The Machine- Live at Woodstock 99:
Rage Against The Machine- Live at Grand Olympic Auditorium:
The year is 1999, people are starting to get hysterical over Y2K and Rage Against The Machine are about to release their final album, the very underrated unsung masterpiece, The Battle Of Los Angeles. Debuting at number one on the billboard charts, the twelve songs on the album are armed with heavy influence from George Orwell’s 1984, making for some very eerie foreshadowing statements on what the future will bring us. Songs like “Testify,” Guerrilla Radio,” “Sleep Now In The Fire,” “Voice of the Voiceless,” and a few others have direct quotes from the book, and go on to mention more Orwellian terms. The album kicks off with 3 songs of explosive rage (pun intended haha) with “Testify,” “Guerrilla Radio,” and “Calm Like A Bomb.” Then the album shifts for a song with “Mic Check.” “Sleep Now In The Fire” takes the album back up a few notches with anger and fury, leading us into one of the best songs on the album “Born Of A Broken Man.” The next couple songs musically, tend to lean towards showing off Tom Morello’s talents with a whammy bar and a fuzz pedal. Lyrically though “Born As Ghosts” and “Maria” are strong and angry, showing off Zach De La Rocha’s venomous lyrics. “Voice Of The Voiceless” has strong connections to a favorite of the band in Mumia Abu Jamal, as well as 1984, as I mentioned above and has a bit of a funk vibe to the music. “New Millennium Homes” is a solid song, with a cool groove, that perfectly sets up my favorite Rage Against The Machine song appears on The Battle Of L.A., “Ashes In The Fall.” Lyrically and musically, Ashes brings something different to the table. This is along the same lines as how epic some songs on the first album were. The song also brings a brilliance to how tight and good Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford are together. Tom Morello’s guitar work especially in the bridge section and the ending highlight his talents even more. Closing out the album is “War Within A Breath” which picks up where Ashes leaves off, then finishes with a fury of signature Rage.
The Battle of Los Angeles to me is the second best album the band put out. In terms of songwriting and passion, this album soars above Evil Empire. Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, Tim Commerford and Zach De La Rocha were magical together. They were able to create awareness and invoke the youth to open their eyes and stand up. Something that is missing from music today. Battle is an album that upped the game a bit more for the band. Their albums stand the test of time. Keeping in mind that the band hasn’t released anything new since 1999, not much has changed in the world, making their albums more relatable than ever.
Rage Against The Machine- The Battle Of Los Angeles: