August 14, 2011

Rage Against the Machine - Evil Empire (Epic, 1996)

Rage Against the Machine - Evil Empire
Ah, Epic regime. Eager militants' haven!

Evil Empire

  1. RATM guitarist Tom Morello notes that the suits at Epic were pretty cool: "We never saw a conflict as long as we maintained creative control." Naturally, he views this as evidence of accommodation on the label's side, instead of considering whether any grounds for conflict actually existed.
  2. Years later, RATM's music has lost none of its revolutionary power. In 2009, fans of serious music struck a blow against corporate control of the music industry by buying enough copies of RATM's "Killing in the Name" (Sony/Epic) to edge Joe McElderry's "The Climb" (Sony/Syco) out of the top spot on the UK Christmas charts. Can the Dictatorship of the Proletariat be far behind?
  3. In 2005, Sony BMG paid a $10 million fine for bribing radio stations to play its "popular" artists, including the RATM spinoff Audioslave. According to MSNBC, "In one case, an employee of Sony BMG’s Epic label was trying to promote the group Audioslave to a station and asked: 'WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET AUDIOSLAVE ON WKSS THIS WEEK?!!? Whatever you can dream up, I can make it happen.'" In our view, no amount of payola could be more satisfying than saying "have them write a decent song," which is why we're likely to die in the gutter.

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