Tom Morello’s guitar soloing is somewhat traditional on this album, taking influence more from heavy metal music, in comparison to later releases where it is more experimental and geared toward emulation of DJs and hip hop.
In 2001 Q magazine named Rage Against the Machine as one of the 50 Heaviest Albums Of All Time. The album is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In 2003, the album was ranked number 368 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
The album is known for its high production values, which are almost to the strictest audiophile standards. Some audiophile sites and magazines even go as far as using the album — in particular the song “Take the Power Back” — to test amplifiers and speakers.
Acclaimed BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe named Rage Against the Machine as one of four albums to be added to his list of ‘Masterpieces’, and his personal favourite album, on December 2nd, 2008.
The cover artwork features a famous photo of Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, burning himself to death in Saigon in 1963. The monk was protesting President Ngô Đình Diệm’s administration for oppressing the Buddhist religion. The photograph drew international attention and persuaded U.S. President John F. Kennedy to withdraw support of the Ngô Đình Diệm’s government. It was taken by Associated Press correspondent Malcolm Browne; a similar photograph earned the award of World Press Photo of the Year in 1963.
Activists such as Provisional IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton are listed in the “Thanks For Inspiration” section. Also thanked were Ian and Alec MacKaye – de la Rocha was straight edge at the time, though he later took up smoking.
The lyrics for each song were printed in the album booklet with the exception of those for “Killing in the Name”, which were omitted; the booklet reads “2. KILLING IN THE NAME”, skips the lyrics and continues with the next song.
The statement “no samples, keyboards or synthesizers used in the making of this record” can be found at the end of the sleeve notes, and similar statements were made in the band’s subsequent albums. The band also refer to themselves as “Guilty Parties” for each album.
“Wake Up” is featured in the credits of The Matrix and in the video game Dave Mirra’s Freestyle BMX 2, while “Killing in the Name” is featured in the video games Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Guitar Hero II. Edits of “Bombtrack” and “Take the Power Back” are featured in the Oliver Stone film Natural Born Killers.
Edited by Timitzi on 17 Apr 2009, 20:58
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