Rage Against the Machine Continues to Surge on Charts Amid Worldwide Protests

Rage Against the Machine
Robin Harper

Rage Against the Machine

The rockers’ catalog received 11.1 million streams in the tracking week ending June 11.

Rage Against the Machine’s catalog continues to see gains in U.S. streams and digital sales amid worldwide social justice protests, allowing the band to rise or debut on multiple charts dated June 20 and for its guitarist, Tom Morello, to make his maiden appearance on Billboard’s Social 50 chart.

In the tracking week ending June 11, the Los Angeles four-piece racked up 11.1 million on-demand U.S. streams of its material, leaping 15%, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. That’s after a 62% jump in the tracking week ending June 4 (9.7 million streams).

Leading the way: “Killing in the Name,” the rockers’ critique of police brutality and racism, which received 2.4 million streams, up 14%. The band’s debut single, it failed to chart in the U.S. upon its 1992 release but has since appeared on multiple Billboard charts over the years due to its longevity; after first appearing on the Hard Rock Digital Song Sales list dated April 16, 2011, it reaches a new peak of No. 3 on the latest ranking, thanks to 2,000 digital downloads of the song.

“Killing in the Name” also becomes Rage Against the Machine’s first appearance on the newly created Hard Rock Streaming Songs chart, bowing at No. 21.

Additionally, “Bulls on Parade” sees a meager gain in streams, up 2% to 1.4 million streams, Rage Against the Machine’s second-biggest song of the week. The song was the band’s first charting song on a Billboard chart when it peaked at No. 11 on the Alternative Airplay ranking dated June 1, 1996.

The band’s catalog, which features four studio albums released between 1992 and 2000, earned 11,000 equivalent album units in the June 5-11 tracking week, a boost of 24%. Of that sum, 3,000 copies were via album sales, up 54%.

Renewed attention toward the band is one factor that allows guitarist Tom Morello (also a soloist and member of multiple other bands in his own right) to debut on the Social 50 chart as well, bowing at No. 22. (The Social 50 is powered by data tracked by music analytics company Next Big Sound and ranks the most popular artists on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia. The chart's methodology blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers with artist page views and engagement. The chart's latest tracking week ended June 11).

Generally an active presence on Twitter anyway, Morello’s 107,000 new Twitter followers, plus the 99,000 reactions to his tweets and 48,000 mentions, were thanks in part to a viral June 9 tweet in which he laughed off a so-called former fan who decried his account’s “political BS.”

“What music of mine were you a fan of that DIDN’T contain ‘political BS’?” Morello tweeted. “I need to know so I can delete it from the catalog.”

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