The Ghost of Tom Joad (5:38)

Cover of Renegades

From Renegades and 26 other releases

This song was Originally Written by Bruce Springsteen and later covered by Rage Against the Machine. Their release of the song was initially included as a ‘free single’ which shipped with an early release of the VHS version of their 1997 home video.

The Rage rendition was in the style of thrash rap, with live vocals echoed heavily. While thus radically different from the Springsteen original, it too was considered to be in line with the Guthrie tradition. It was a modest commercial success, in 1997 reaching number 35 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and number 34 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. It thus became the group’s second charted song, following “Bulls on Parade”.

The 1998 single version differs slightly from one on the post-breakup Renegades album, as the band had re-recorded the song by then. Only a limited number of copies exist but this version would be later included in the No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees compilation album. The cover artwork is called “Police Riot” by Eric Drooker.

“The Ghost of Tom Joad” made its live debut on April 25th, 1997, at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, NV.

Music video

Heather Parry produced and directed a live video for the song, shot in Irvine Meadows on September 18 and 19. It is identical to the version on the self-titled Rage Against the Machine video.
Track listing

1. “The Ghost of Tom Joad”
2. “Vietnow “
3. “The Ghost of Tom Joad “

Other versions

The Swedish band Junip later covered the song on their Black Refuge EP in 2005.


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Albums featuring this track (27)

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  • GullyRageSong

    Boom it out

    14 Jan 1:13am Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    Ghosts steal jewellery store sales are you a father and the control of my body and give him chocolate chip index was a summer hit last year and they are gross domestic and

    20 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Swanogt19

    Reminds me of my high school English class

    17 Dec 2013 Reply
  • agukrapo

    I did put zero expectations on this album, but this song... amazing.

    17 Nov 2012 Reply
  • silvertree

    Fantastic cover.

    29 Aug 2012 Reply
  • gary2468

    2 thumbs up

    25 Aug 2012 Reply
  • Heresey

    This is the future if America elects Romney/Ryan. Vote Obama/Biden 2012!!

    17 Aug 2012 Reply
  • Lucifer687

    Tegavi steeeee kopeletaaaa mamo na amerikancite

    28 May 2012 Reply
  • abunono

    Not till the merry spring,when the River-daughter dances down the withy-path to bathe in the water

    11 May 2012 Reply
  • Heresey

    One of the greatest songs...ever

    28 Sep 2011 Reply
  • steven_nzl

    Never forget getting the first 'red star' DVD and cranking this shit up in 5.1. EPIC.

    13 Jul 2011 Reply
  • michaelj57

    This is an excellent cover of Springsteen's tune. No surprise that the group would do a Springsteen cover though. Tom Morello played with Springsteen at the 25th Anniver of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concert

    23 Mar 2011 Reply
  • Andersonsaa

    Its almost Go time...Yall ready?

    11 Mar 2011 Reply
  • AlexSins

    Fuck yeah!

    23 Feb 2011 Reply
  • Trillboo

    you'll see me

    28 Jan 2011 Reply
  • MusicJunkie26


    28 Jan 2011 Reply
  • llcoolchance

    Highways alive tonight. Amazing cover 10/10

    16 Jan 2011 Reply
  • TheBlankPage


    6 Jan 2011 Reply
  • dewfish

    Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free! Look in their eyes, Ma, you'll see me"!!! You'll see me!!! You'll see me!!! You'll see me!!! You'll see me!!! You'll see me!!! {2]

    22 Nov 2010 Reply
  • CaiUnderground

    Best -9

    16 Nov 2010 Reply
  • All 89 shouts

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