Rage against the machine – The Battle of Los Angeles (The ’59) #253

The ’59 2018 #253: 180910

Rage against the machine – The battle of Los Angeles (1999)

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. Currently we’re at year 41 – 1999.

The Battle of Los Angeles was the third studio album by Rage Against the Machine, released on November 2, 1999 on Epic Records. It was nominated at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album.

The album cover art was an original artwork by the LA Street Phantom aka Joey Krebs aka Joel Jaramillo, a well-known Los Angeles artist who has exhibited at numerous galleries in Los Angeles, New York City and throughout the United States.

‘The battle of Los Angeles’ got to No.23 on the UK album charts, and No. 1 on the US Billboard 200.

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Rage against the machine (The ’59) #206

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.

Rage Against the Machine (Epic 2017 #248)

The Epic 2017 Project #248: 170905

Rage Against the Machine (1992)

This was the self-titled debut from Rage Against the Machine released on November 3, 1992. It went to No.1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, No.45 on the Billboard 200 chart and No.17 on the UK albums charts.

“Know Your Enemy” features Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan on “additional vocals”, and also features Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins on trashcan percussion. Keenan occasionally appeared onstage with the band to perform the song. The album cover features the self-immolation of Thích Quảng Đức that occurred on June 11, 1963.

The second single release from the album was ‘Bullet in the Head’ This rapidly became a fan favorite and one of the album’s heaviest tracks. It refers to the band’s belief that the government used media to control the population, drawing comparisons between typical residences and Alcatraz. The track was transferred intact from the band’s demo, also titled Rage Against the Machine.

As well as one of the band’s most well known riffs, the song features many innovative guitar techniques by Tom Morello. These heavily use a DigiTech Whammy pitch shifter and wah-wah pedal. In the verses, Morello picks the open D and G strings on his guitar with the DigiTech Whammy in the open position to raise the pitch by two octaves. This creates a ‘sampling’ sound. Not as often heard is an unusual sound believed to be Morello picking a natural harmonic on his guitar and then raising the pitch with the Whammy pitch shifter.

Bullet in the head peaked at No.16 on the UK singles chart, albeit a very heavily censored version. Sadly, this meant that the song was often faded out by the time Zac de la Rocha got to the ante-penultimate line ‘Ya gotta a bullet in the fucking head’ and the song reached its massively powerful crescendo.

But there’s no fade here…

Alphabet tunes

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Whilst my tribe take over the TV on Easter Sunday – thought I’d dust off a few tunes. So here’s a little random A-Z from my music collection:

  1. Joan Armatrading – My Myself I/Walk Under Ladders
  2. Sam Browne – Box
  3. Cry of Love – Brother
  4. Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Laughter
  5. Elbow – Asleep in the back
  6. Free – All right now
  7. Al Green – Al
  8. The Hives – your new favourite band
  9. I am Kloot – Natural History
  10. Jethro Tull – Aqualung
  11. Kasabian (self titled)
  12. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti
  13. Mountain – Man’s World
  14. Nirvana – Never Mind
  15. One Minute Silence – One Lie fits all
  16. Cat Power – the Covers record
  17. Quantic Soul Orchestra – An announcement to answer
  18. Rage against the machine (self titled)
  19. Steely Dan – very best of
  20. Talking Heads – Once in a lifetime
  21. Underworld – Second toughest in the infants
  22. The VirginMarys – Cast the first stone
  23. Wishbone Ash – Argus
  24. XTC – Go 2
  25. Neil Young – After the goldrush
  26. ZZ Top – Antenna