Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Battle for the Christmas Number One

I have mentioned the Christmas Number One phenomenon here in the past, but there is a funny thing happening in the UK this year regarding the Christmas Number One. Simon Cowell created a machine in the UK, a television show called X-Factor that is similar to American Idol. The show wraps up close to Christmas which is no surprise. This guarantees that the winner will have the number one record for Christmas. Unlike American Idol, this song is usually a cover, not an original song written for the newly crowned winner and this year the winner Joe McElderry singing The Climb. Someone started a Facebook campaign to put another song at Number One and they chose Rage Against the Machine’s Killing In the Name. Why this song? It’s a modern protest song and contains the words “F*** you I won’t do what you tell me” over and over again at the end.

The media of course is eating this battle up with a spoon. Cheryl Cole, one of the judges on the X-Factor says she would find it disgraceful if an American band had the Christmas Number One. Cheryl must not have ever looked at the historical list because a few Americans, including Elvis, have had the Christmas number one in the past. Rage Against the Machine, who got dragged into this by the couple who started the Facebook campaign, appeared on one of the BBC radio stations this week to play the song. This is where it gets hilarious because they were asked to cut out the expletives but when it came to them playing the song they ignored the requested and F-bombs were dropped on the air. Did they really think a band that sings “F*** you I won’t do what you tell me” about 20 times in a song would do what they told them?

I can’t vote in this country but I did buy a copy of Rage Against the Machine’s song this week to help them in the charts. I don’t particularly like them but I can’t stand how orchestrated the Christmas Number One has become thanks to Mr. Cowell, who recently said in an interview that he doesn’t particularly like music.

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