The ’59 2018 #206: 180725
Rage against the machine (1992)
Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Today we’ve reached year 34 – 1992.
The eponymous debut studio album from Rage Against the Machine was released on November 3, 1992 by Epic Records. It reached No.17 on the UK album charts the following year.
The album’s lead single ‘Bullet in the Head’ refers to the ideology that the government uses media to control the population, drawing comparisons between typical residences and Alcatraz. The track was transferred intact from the band’s demo, also self-titled.
Bullet in the Head features many innovative guitar techniques by Tom Morello. These use a DigiTech Whammy pitch shifter and wah-wah pedal. Morello picks the open D and G strings on his guitar with the DigiTech Whammy in the open (furthest) position to raise the pitch by two octaves. This creates a ‘sampling’ sound. You can also hear Morello picking a natural harmonic on his guitar and then raising the pitch with the Whammy pitch shifter.
The band debuted “Bullet in the Head” at their first public performance at California State University, Northridge in The Quad on October 23, 1991.