The U.K. pop charts typically maintain only a slightly noticeable influence on the U.S. charts, but the latest developments in a war for “Number One Christmas single” have top chart watchers highly interested, if not sufficiently entertained. A recent facebook campaign to put Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing in the Name” single above Britain’s The X-Factor reality show winner Joe McElderry’s “The Climb” has seen unprecedented success thus far. As of the December 15 chart statistics, the RATM song from 1992 was downloaded over 65,000 times more than McElderry’s Miley Cyrus cover, although “the Climb” is scheduled for official sale release as of today. British bookies, Ladbrokes, have officially given favor to the RATM song giving odds of 8:11 that it will be Number One when the Christmas singles charts closes on Sunday, December 20.
The subversive facebook page, who maintains over 800,000 followers, has had to overcome a number of difficulties in the past weeks. Aside from being generally despised by members of the pop-music community, the site was subject to temporary shut-downs last week by facebook administrators due to a reported “bug.” The main concern of Jon Morter, the page’s founder, was that page members were unable to access the opportunity to donate to the Shelter housing and homeless charity associated with the page, which had already accrued ₤20,000 ($32,658).
In spite of the setbacks, the “RATM vs. X-Factor” campaign is already a success, even if they ultimately end up in a slot other than the top. The campaign is also being endorsed by RATM guitarist Tom Morello, who has promised to donate all the earning's from the single sales to the Youth Music charity in the U.K. and called the endeavor a “wonderful dose of anarchy.” He told BBC 6Music:
"The one thing about The X Factor show, much like our own American Idol, is if you're a viewer of the show you get to vote for one contestant or the other, but you don't really get to vote against the show itself until now.”
McElderry, who had never heard of the RATM song, commented on the situation by saying, “I would love, love, love a Number One but it’s out of my hands.” In contrast, X-Factor judge/creator Simon Cowell bashed the campaign as “stupid,” “cynical,” and “very scrooge,” although it’s easy to see where his motivation is derived when one discovers how much money he rakes in as a result of the single’s sales (I’ll give you a hint; it’s a lot! Probably more than McElderry will ever make in his flash-in-the-pan career.)
The evolving details of the campaign are been covered intently on NME.com and you can find out who makes it to the top slot on said website on Sunday, December 20. In the meantime, it might be worth the effort to contact the facebook page to find out where you can contribute.
Or, you can believe what you’re told on the idiot-box. “Now you’re under control…now you do what they told ya.”