I hope today, on Sunday 20th December, when it is too late to contribute to the Christmas Number 1 in the UK, that people understand the importance of Rage Against The Machine getting the top spot, and beating X Factor winner Joe Mcelderry. It is not about getting one over on Simon Cowell, or a personal attack on the slightly-talented Joe. For the sake of the music industry in general, we cannot, for a fifth consecutive year, allow a manufactured, won't-be-here-next-year, has-all-his-songs-written-for-him, releasing-a-cover-song child, representing all that is bad about our music industry, win the battle to the top against one of the most important bands of this generation. The lyrics that RATM write were, and still are, important; they still mean something, they are still searching for answers. The music is just fantastic; Rage are an awesome bunch of musicians. There couldn't be a bigger middle finger to our X-Factor generation than a basically unheard of (in terms of the mass UK audience) 1992 American nu-metal political masterpiece reaching the top.
Music consumes us; think how many thousands of songs are released each week over the entire globe. Then think of how many choruses you could hum during their week of release, as the subliminal radio-drones creep into your system and another R'n B-tinged, over-produced, 118bpm, spineless, meaningless record has made its mark. We would certainly notice a world without music, but everything just blends into everything else, and as long as 'pleasant noise' gets up from Point A to Point B on our journeys, we don't really care that the soundtrack to our lives is actually just depressing.
To illustrate this point, I watched last week's UK chart top 10 countdown on a music channel yesterday. I had to turn it off when it hit number 6; without the ad breaks it could have been one 20-minute track with such slight changes no wonder everyone is brainwashed into buying the same drivel that leaks from our inexcusable music icons of today. What happened to the Bob Dylans, the Bruce Springsteens, the Frank Sinatras, the David Bowies and the Elton Johns, The Beatles' and The Stones', what happened to real music that actually meant something. Why does nobody write this stuff anymore, why are we stuck in a timewarp relying on these artists and songs that date back to the birth of recorded music to fulfill our guilty pleasures when feeling like we are raging against the machine because we've switched from BBC Radio 1 to BBC Radio 2. People say you can define the difference between these radio stations by age; I disagree. At least Radio 2 delve into the archives and put on some real classic songs.
For Rage to win the Christmas number 1 this year would really shake up the industry and its consumer; us. Maybe this would stir people into looking into different artists and styles of music, maybe this would bring our timeless and fantastic rock artists back into the limelight and urge our young musicians to write real hit songs that really do mean something to them and us. And maybe Simon Cowell will pull the plug on the X Factor, retire happily with his millions and we won't have to see his smug face in all his soulless X Factor winners again. Hey, I can dream, right?