Rage Against The Machine beat ‘X Factor”s Joe McElderry to Christmas Number One

LA rockers make Christmas chart history with 'Killing In The Name'

Rage Against The Machine have won the battle for Christmas Number One ahead of The X Factor‘s Joe McElderry.

‘Killing In The Name’, first released in 1992 and backed by an enthusiastic online Facebook campaign by fans, beat his cover of Miley Cyrus‘s ‘The Climb’ by more than 50,000 sales to reach the summit of the UK singles chart.

The track sold more than 500,000 copies in the week leading up to the end of business yesterday (December 19).


McElderry clocked sales of 450,000 – although sales of his CD fell away in the final run-up.

In taking the title for 2009, ‘Killing In The Name’ also set two new landmarks, becoming the UK’s first download-only Christmas Number One and notching up the biggest one-week download sales total in British chart history, according to the Official Charts Company.

Upon hearing the news, a statement on the official Rage Christmas website read ratm4xmas.co.uk: “WE DID IT! RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE IS XMAS NUMBER ONE.

“We’ve shown that we can make a difference and that you don’t have a right to Number One just because Simon Cowell says so, especially with a bad cover!

“Finally I would like to say thank you to all of you, we’ve raised £64,726.00 for Shelter at the time of writing this, the difference that this will make to peoples lives is truly amazing.

“We gotta take the power back – Rage Against The Machine – Merry Christmas.”


Rage Against The Machine led the race for the top spot from the beginning of the week, but their lead slipped after the physical release of McElderry‘s single was released on Wednesday (December 16).

By Friday morning (December 18), Rage held the advantage by just 9,000 copies. But ‘Killing In The Name’ went on to sell 200,000 copies across Friday and Saturday to make sure of the number one spot.

Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot said: “Congratulations to Rage Against The Machine on their Number One – as we have seen in recent years, overhauling any X Factor winner in the race for the Christmas Number One is no mean achievement. The popular support we have seen for the record this week has been truly amazing – and handed them two all-time records.

“But congratulations too should also go to Joe McElderry. In taking the Number Two spot, he has still achieved one of the highest weekly sales of any single this year – in almost any other year, 450,000 copies would have given him the Christmas Number One.

“Through this week, these two tracks have accounted for more than 950,000 single sales, a fact which is truly remarkable.”

The last time a battle was anywhere near as close was in 1998 when The Spice Girls‘Goodbye’ beat Chef‘s ‘Chocolate Salty Balls’ with sales of 380,000 sales to 375,000 respectively.

Last year Alexandra Burke‘s ‘Hallelujah’ was among the all-time biggest selling Christmas singles, shifting 576,000 to beat Jeff Buckley‘s recording of the same song.

The Christmas top 10 singles are:

1. Rage Against The Machine – ‘Killing In The Name’
2. Joe McElderry – ‘The Climb’
3. Lady Gaga – ‘Bad Romance’
4. Peter Kay’s Animated All Star Band – ‘The Official BBC Children In Need Medley’
5. 3OH!3 – ‘Starstrukk (feat Katy Perry)’
6. Robbie Williams – ‘You Know Me’
7. Cheryl Cole – ‘ 3 Words’
8. Rihanna – ‘Russian Roulette’
9. Journey – ‘Don’t Stop Believin”
10. Black Eyed Peas – ‘Meet Me Halfway’

The Christmas top 10 albums are:

1. Susan Boyle – ‘I Dreamed A Dream’
2. Michael Buble – ‘Crazy Love’
3. Black Eyed Peas – ‘The END’
4. Lady Gaga – ‘The Fame’
5. JLS – ‘JLS’
6. Robbie Williams – ‘Reality Killed The Video Star’
7. Snow Patrol – ‘ Up To Now’
8. Westlife – ‘Where We Are’
9. Leona Lewis – ‘Echo’
10. Take That – ‘The Greatest Day – The Circus Live’

Blog – Rage Against The Machine’s chart triumph is a victory for good music over bad

In Pictures – How Rage Against The Machine topped the charts

Blog – Rage Against The Machine Vs The X Factor – The 2009 Christmas Number One

Video – Rage Against The Machine’s most explosive live clips