Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Best of Rage Against the Machine

For the second time in this election cycle, a campaign co-worker has told me that she has never heard the most important political rock band of our time.

The Best of Rage Against the Machine
  1. Bombtrack
  2. Killing in the Name
  3. Know Your Enemy
  4. Wake Up
  5. People of the Sun
  6. Bulls on Parade
  7. Vietnow
  8. Down Rodeo
  9. No Shelter
  10. Testify
  11. Guerilla Radio
  12. Calm Like a Bomb
  13. Sleep Now in the Fire
Rage Against the Machine has never released a "Best of." For such an infamously opinionated band, my guess is that RATM believes that they're too good for it. I'd agree--I don't usually like "Best ofs" for top bands, and this one is no exception. Its tracklist is as generic as its title. Not only have I boiled down Rage's impeccable recorded history into an insufficient 13 songs, I picked the same 13 songs that any casual Rage fan who only likes what he's heard on the radio would pick. Paul Ryan probably could've made this mix CD.

Then again, this mix is for someone who isn't a fan yet. Almost certainly one of the songs here is the one that made you a Rage Against the Machine fan, and I'm hoping at least one of them will connect with my co-worker. Listening again, they're better than I remembered--all the rap-rock that followed Rage might have temporarily diluted some of their glory. It will probably restore itself once my generation takes over the media, or at least when more folks forget about Linkin Park.

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