Rage Against the Machine is the debut studio album by American rock band Rage Against the Machine. It was released on November 3, 1992 by Epic Records. The band released their first commercial demo tape of the same name 11 months prior to the album's release. The tape contained earlier recordings of 7 of the 12 songs found on this album. With politically themed, revolutionary lyrical content, the album artwork was notable for featuring a graphic photograph of Thích Quảng Đức performing self-immolation. Coincidentally, the release date for Rage Against The Machine was on November 3, 1992, the same day as the 1992 United States presidential election. Rage Against the Machine was a critical success upon release with several critics noting the album's politically motivated agenda and praising Zack de la Rocha's strong vocal delivery. Rated number 24 on the Rolling Stone's list of "100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time", the album peaked at number 1 on the US Billboard Heatseekers chart and number 45 on the US Billboard 200 and has gone on to achieve triple platinum sales certification in the US.Wikipedia
Oh man, I love this album so much. It's just so damn good. Almost 30 years later, and it holds up so well. Almost too well, honestly. The lyrical themes feel super relevant to today's America and that's kind of depressing. Actually, given current events, it's super depressing. "Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses." Damn, del la Rocha. It ain't changed yet. The machine is still grinding along despite our rage.
I still feel like I'm getting away with something whenever I listen to this album. Best track: Know Your Enemy
The power; the anguish; the angst. Fuck the system; fight the power; and Fuck Paul Ryan
Very apt considering the absolute state of everything at the moment.
Anything less than five stars for this album would be a travesty. The sound; the lyrics; the message is timeless and is the perfect snapshot of the feelings of America at the time of release.
Laughably overrated by the reddit demographic. There were some good guitar moments and some cool grooves throughout but other sections fell really flat. 6/10
Intense, unadulterated heavy protest music. Perfectly heavy, funky, and angry. This album lives up to its name!
A band like no other in their greatest album. This is one of the most aggressive political (non-hip hop) album I've heard, covering themes of anti-capitalism, police brutality, the power of the people, eurocentrism in education, and even government conspiracies behind the deaths of MLK and Malcolm X. There is energy behind each of the tracks, carried out by the ingenius innovation of combining metal and rap (two powerful genres that achieve separate goals) in a way that has never been done so well before. Not to mention the incorporation of funk (you can really hear it in "Wake Up") to engage the audience and get them moving about. De La Roche has one of the most recognizable voices in the music industry, carrying out insane deliveries of his political messages. This isn't singing or rapping in any traditional means, but employing his team's instruments and his grunts to express himself freely. But by no means is he the sole star of the show. The guitar solos are among my favorites. The bass line and drum work are also incredible, creating a unique melody that makes the tracks not only distinguishable but also creates a medium for the guitar and vocals to shine. On top of their instrumental collaboration, all members of the team had contributions to the overall art direction of the album, and you can really hear each of them in each track. No one is left behind. There are absolutely no weak tracks here. "Bombtrack" is the perfect intro track. "Killing in the Name" is one of my favorite songs of the 90s. Some tracks are lighter to help balance the intensity of others, focusing more on the artistic sound (e.g. "Bullet in the Head", "Fistfull of Steel", and "Township Rebellion"). I love that epic two-minute end of "Freedom" that refuses to close out the album. There is always something to like about each of the tracks. If I'm ever in the mood for something with so much energy but also melodic, Rage Against The Machine is what I'd go with.
Man - I want to vote so fucking bad right now! Morella and de la Roche for President. Seriously though - great music, well-executed and performed. The lyrics are simple, poetic, and poignant. Rage is one of my favorite all time bands. Also enjoyed the cameo by Maynard (Tool is also awesome and better be on this list at some point).
Is there another rap+rock record that’s even remotely as listenable as this one? It would kind of stand alone if for no other reason than that, right? But throw in “some of those who work forces are the same that burn crosses,” and try to imagine that on a major label album being sold predominantly to white kids and… can we just go back to the 90s already? Also, “Settle for Nothing” SLAMS. Forgot about that one.
Listening to this takes me back to seeing Rage headline Leeds festival when they were playing mostly songs from this album. Me and my mate Rich crowdsurfed out while they played Killing In The Name - I got one of the best memories of my life, he got some wanker stabbing him in the leg with a fork. What a show, what a band, what an album.
5 UUUGGGHHHsss out of 5.
An LP fueled by righteous anger alone. The lyrics and instrumentation are simple, but the furor with which each is delivered brings each track to a level greater than the sum of its parts. Big props to Morello for indulging in some nu-metal guitar tones in a way that feels experimental without dating the album.
Incredible album. Its produced really well. Tom morello guitar work Is amazing, and so is the bass work. The drumming is great and the politically charged lyrics are incredible as well. 5/5
Absolute classic and 5 star album. Bombtrack, Killing in the name of, Bullet in the head, know your enemy, wake up, freedom, take the power back. One hit after another.
classic album 10/10 glad i listened all the way through
Oh man. the grooves and beats are real bangers. I can't imagine the success that this band could have had if it's message was more main stream. I just love the groove of the guitars.
Passion, energy, heavy guitar/drums and great lyrics. Every song is a banger. I'd give this a 6 if I could.
One of my favourite albums of all times. I’ve listened to this album cover to cover so many times. So many bangers that I don’t know which is my favourite. Bomb track is a killer start, killing in the name is an anthem, take the power back and wake up are great. Know your enemy gets me going every time.
Rage Against the Machine is my go-to when I'm frustrated. No joke, I wrote my dissertation listening to Rage Against the Machine and Nine Inch Nails. I angry-write, I guess. Listened to this album and Renegades over and over (NIN contributed mostly with Year Zero). The music rocks and the lyrics are thought-provoking. I always find it amusing to watch live videos and see all the angry white frat boys moshing to this - wonder if they realize they're part of the machine the band is raging against (like Paul Ryan being a fan). Pretty sure I'm part of that machine too, but I still like to rock out to some Rage.
God damn! I've known about Rage since the 90s of course but I never listened to any one their albums. This is some angry energetic stuff. Not a dull moment anywhere on this album. I feel like going outside and smashing a printer!
Now that's how you start an album - the bass line and guitar picking to open Bombtrack are awesome (created by Commerford). The raw and politically charged lyrics, de la Rocha's rap rocking, and pulsing instruments set the stage for the rest of the album. You get to hear a bit of Morello's unique scratch playing at the end too (he is a guitar god). I believe it is from him using the end of the guitar's amp cord on his strings. Creative genius; he makes so many sounds that you think are synthesizer but it's all his guitar. I also love Killing in the Name (their signature tune), Take the Power Back (Morello's solo at the 3min mark - wow), Bullet in the Head, Know Your Enemy (more epic Morello), Wake Up (de la Rocha is ferocious on this track), and Fistful of Steel (Morello's creativity on display again in first few riffs and high-pitched scratching - not turn tables kids!) but I admit I always found Settle for Nothing a little boring. Still, the totality of the album makes up for one so-so song. It fueled my teenage years; I want to give it to my 12 year old son right now to listen to, but might be a bit too soon. One of the greatest bands of the grunge/alternative years and one hell of a debut.
Such a good album! Weird thing about Killing in the Name is that it was a constant throughout all club nights at uni - Drum and Base night, goth night, standard trendy music club - they all played this and everyone would all sing along another remarkable thing is that no one seems to listen to the lyrics of Rage - I've learnt so much reading into Hoover, MLK's assassination after listening to lyrics - but I guess the tunes are so banging the political message is ignorable - which is a shame. Bombtrack is by far my least favourite track - start at 2 and work down and it's a 10/10 album
What's to say the first Album that I bought and fell in love with. Was it the driving bass, amazing guitar, screaming vocals, unrepentant Marxism or raging hormones? This album was like my third parent I still refer back for guidance. It could be that it ruined my life or saved it. It was the first time in my life where I felt it was ok to swear to justify my feelings and politics. What a glorious thing.
Rage Against The Machine's self-titled debut album is chock-full of dissent and insubordination, agilely achieved through elements of rap and metal imbued funk. Zack de la Rocha's uncompromising delivery of his lines leads the phalanx of badass drum beats and distorted guitars, accomplishing the marvel of music built for purpose. The exemplary alliance of music and direction is further amped up by this album being their debut - never wavering, always sharp-witted.
First, I would like to thank jkavlock for the opportunity to write this guest review. I've been a huge fan of Rage Against The Machine for a long time. They've been an incredibly important band in the formation of my worldview, and even inspired my career. Musically, RATM gets me pumped. I love to lift and work out, and nothing gets me psyched for a good burn like RATM. I turn on Rage, turn it up loud, grab the barbell, and the sweat starts trickling down like tax cuts for the rich. It's thanks to RATM that every time the sun's out, my guns are out. You know what they say - "curls get the girls." Lyrically, RATM helps me understand the world we live in. They sing about all the things I love - Manifest Destiny, landlords, burning things, corporations, the system, and a nice game of bridge ("For all the diamonds/They'll use a pair of clubs to beat the spades"). They give proper respect to the thin blue line ("Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge") and the stars and stripes ("Ya bowin' down to the flag"). RATM told us to rest assured that "Departments of police, the judges, the feds/Networks at work, keepin' people calm." They helped me understand that if I did what those in positions of power and authority told me to, I could control myself - "And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control." And they described how the education system works best - "The complacent students sit and listen." RATM also recognized conformity, assimilation, and submission as important parts of the American Dream. When Obama was elected president, I knew we had to "take the power back!" and I listened to that track on repeat leading up to the 2010 midterms. I do have to admit - sometimes I just get so pumped listening to Rage and curling big dumbbells that I lose track of the lyrics. But I get the message. These guys SPEAK to me! Rage guitarist Tom Morello even wrote an article about me. He called me "the embodiment of the machine," and that recognition is one of the proudest moments of my career. I wouldn't be who I am today if not for the influence of Rage Against The Machine and Tom Morello. Your Truly, Paul Ryan Former Speaker of the House Former Republican Nominee for Vice President Former Spokesperson for P90X Former and Current Advocate for Privatizing and Ruining Medicare and Social Security President of the Misunderstood Lyrics and Messages Club
Appreciated it and liked it a lot more than I expected. Straight punk (from my limited perspective), calling out the status quo and its injustice toward the disempowered. Concentration of ower in society belies the promise of equal opportunity and justice for all. Respect for this.
Until today, my familiarity with this band basically had to do with the fact that I saw Tom Morello induct KISS into the Rock and/or Roll Hall Of Fame. And I immediate loved the guy. I then learned he was a member of bands with names I absolutely hated. I'd then see him show up in music docs talking about bands I loved (turns out, he also toured with Springsteen and the E Street Band for a spell). It wasn't enough to compel me to, you know, try listening to any of Morello's bands, let alone his seminal outfit. That was just a bridge too far for whatever reason. This may never be my favorite genre, but damn if I didn't love this album. It's "run through a brick wall" music. It might not be an album I play repeatedly or even revisit often, but it finally proved to me that I really need to stop selling Tom Morello short.
I was a teenager in the early 90’s and have ears…of course I love this record. There’s a few tracks that I have always skipped (settle for nothing, fistful of steel, township rebellion) and even listening to the record in full today, they still don’t really do it for me and feel like retreads of other songs on the record. But the ones that work…they fucking work. “Freedom” is one of the greatest songs of the 90’s and no one will convince me otherwise. Call Rage what you will: Hypocrites, Led Zeppelin meets Public Enemy, whatever. This record is hot fire and they are probably the only mainstream rock band in the last 30 or 40 years to vehemently advocate for truly radical change in American culture with their music, interviews and public appearances. The subject matter on this record, recorded some 30 years ago, still rings true today and Rage hasn’t changed their tune one bit…which makes the recent phenomenon of conservatives on Twitter and in real life clutching pearls about Rage Against the Machine being “woke” or “socialists” unceasingly amusing to me. Where have they been for the last 30 years? How many times did they have to listen to it for the words to sink in? Sorry to get political, but with this band, that’s baked in. Actually, not sorry…deal with it. Overall, a heavy-hitting record, but one that I almost never listen to in full. A solid 4.
A protest song can be good, even great; a protest album, not so much. The album can drag, it is practically one frantically shouted note (not that it doesn't reach for the softer sounds, only that those reaches feel like needlessly clumsy gropings in the dark).
Sony/Epic were smart to sign RaTM, it was the perfect act of controlled opposition. Frat boys and other privileged heirs of the machine enthusiastically embrace RaTM because they know the lyrics won't actually bring about change. In context, this album can only be considered a patronizing capitalist insult to those who are getting ground up by "the machine". That said, this shit rocks.
I like this but it isn’t amazing.
Great concept but the music is too RHCP-adjacent to be truly classic. Always good to hear the best Xmas #1, sets the mood for the season
Just listen to public enemy lol
I remember thinking of Rage as the smart and good rap-rock band, I guess along with Faith No More. It seems like that subgenre could've just ended there and we woulda been fine. But Rage were still always at arm's length for me. Nothing here really gets me. Killing in the Name comes the closest. This just never connected with me.
In its favor are the relatively clean production, the obvious politics, some broad hot licks and a band name/album title that is ultimate in truth in advertising. On the downside is the adolescent rage, the sameyness, and the length – my god, is this too long. Generic, white suburban rage is all fine and perfectly acceptable in its place but really should avoid going on too long – an analogy to outgrowing one’s youthful idealism. This record could’ve conserved energy and increased its impact by being 33-50% briefer. Beyond a few glimmers of impressive playing, it’s not really necessary to hear this before death unless one plans to die very young – and before developing more refined tastes.
I am aware that this is a beloved and important work. I was not into it even a tiny bit. Guitars drown out the lyrics. Very repetitive, very riffy, very angry. Basically a guy shouting (NOT singing) a phrase over and over again while a band plays an unrelated riff. Without the shouting, this would basically sound like an angry jam band. I've seen some reviews along the lines that this album "merge[s] the seemingly disparate sounds of rap and heavy metal". It does not. It’s not “rap” just because he’s not singing. It's just shouting, barely rhythmically, and most of the time not remotely melodic. And listen: that's obviously on purpose, but it doesn't transform into something different. I don’t even like the atonal guitar solos. I’m sure they’ve very difficult, but I do not find them pleasant to listen to. I respect Rage Against the Machine, but for my money, they can go on raging without my participation.
It's okay I don't get the hype. Rage against the machine bitch you are the machine
i thoroughly enjoyed the whole fuckin thing. I'll go back through it with the lyrics sometime
4.5/5. Hardcore, political, aggressive, love it. Zack De La Rocha comes with killer hooks that make you want to burn the city down. Standout Tracks: Killing In The Name, Settle For Nothing, Bullet In The Head, Wake Up, Fistful Of Steel
It’s a classic for a reason! It’s not often someone comes along with something to say like de la Roche did. Through in some innovative guitar techniques and turn the energy level up to 11 and you’ve got an album that still holds up 25+ years later.
Classic Rage, awesome.
Already in my collection. Great album and Morello is a stud on guitar.
A perfect album
The roulette ball, rolls along on the wheel..
Bekannt. Hat nichts an Aktualität verloren. Außerdem auch vom Sound her zeitlos. 5
A great protest, hard album. Every song means something, there are no bad takes and every member rules. Roche’s vocals rule and Tom morello is one of the coolest guitarists of all time. Amazing stuff
Every single song slaps, it’s no doubt a 5/5
Back to the heavy mental 🤘🏻
One of the best albums of all time. I don't know if I can think of an album that shows so much passion and pain.
Hands down one of the best albums of the era !!!!
Love RATM been a fan since I was 10 years old and this classic album reminds me why I am!!
Great tracks from beginning to end
Bängeri Kova sana
Fantastic album, my favorite of rage’s
Still fresh after nearly 3 decades
This is a great album. So much anger, but the music is just amazing.
Yessss!!!!! One of my favorite bands/sounds/albums of all time. Kicks you in the balls and you still want more.
Rage it the best! One of the best albums ever made.
Now I'm listening to you 1001albumsgenerator 8-)
Love this album, an album from my youth
Una bestialidad de disco
5 stars, would repeat
Down with it
Still as good as the day it came out 🙌🏻
Von meinen alten Grunge- und Crossoverhelden eines der am besten gealterten Alben.
What more is there to say, the BEST high-energy album out there. If you listen to this while walking and don't increase your 3x something is wrong with you. Lyrics (which use a lot of phrases now used by the worst people in the world I will admit) are relevant as always.
Combining rap/rock is no easy task but Rage Against the Machine executes it as no others have on their debut album.
:) you know what this.
An incredibly powerful album that starts strong and never lets up. One of my all time favourites - a classic
This is so great and still feels fresh. There were many bands copying this style but no one pulls it off like them. What a debut
One of my favs
LEGEND STATUS This album has it all - riffs, thoughtful lyrics, grooves, and a unique flavor.
One of the best albums ever made. It stands the test of time.
Powerful! Maybe more relevant now than when it first came out. Also maybe one of the best album covers ever.
RATM nothing more to say.
This album is a freaking game changer. Loved it.
Creo que algo que particularmente me gusta de este álbum es como llevan la seriedad de un mensaje político y fuerte, con un ritmo inolvidable. Lo que más me gusta de este álbum son sus riff de guitarra y de bajo
What can I even say? A hugely important album for the development of my musical taste.
I have always loved Rage Against the Machine.
Bomba. Qué digo bomba, recontra bomba.
Cela me rappelle tellement de souvenir. J’adore cet album. 5/5
One of my personal favorite albums of all-time. Never gets old.