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Alternative & Indie - Released May 17, 2021 | musique d'herbs

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Rock - Released October 28, 2020 | Epic

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 3, 2020 | Blue Cactus

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Rock - Released April 12, 2020 | SHOCKWAVES

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Rock - Released November 23, 2015 | Doxy Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 26, 2012 | Epic - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Pop/Rock - Released November 25, 2003 | Epic

Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium documents the last two shows from Rage Against the Machine, recorded in September 2000 for a planned November release, but canceled when the band broke up, and postponed for the second time one year later after three-fourths of the band formed Audioslave with Chris Cornell. The finished product isn't a very good look at one of the finest metal bands of the '90s, not because the performance quality is lacking but because of mixing problems and the simple problems inherent in transferring the energy of a live concert to record. Featuring highlights from the two shows, recorded September 12th and 13th, this delayed version of Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium also downplays the cover material that comprised the band's last studio album, Renegades, which is a good thing for the fans who agree that Rage performed better with originals than covers. Early on, the band storms through three of its career highlights -- "Killing in the Name," "Bulls on Parade," and "Bullet in the Head" -- with intense performances that capture its combination of heavy metal strut and punk rock disdain. Something is lacking here, though. Zack de la Rocha's vocals are too high in the mix, and the band sounds powerful but surprisingly muddy. Tom Morello's ragged guitar work and siren effects occasionally cut through the fog, but the songs here add little to what fans know of the studio albums. The two covers, cut down from five, add little to the concert; Rage's version of the EPMD classic "I'm Housin'" is a misguided attempt at injecting melodramatic tension into an original that was eerie precisely because the vocal was so nonchalant, and MC5's "Kick Out the Jams" is butchered by de la Rocha, whose attempts to sing the song are flubbed badly. © John Bush /TiVo
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Rock - Released December 5, 2000 | Epic

Rush released after the late-2000 split between Zack de la Rocha and the rest of Rage Against the Machine, the covers album Renegades salutes the band's musical and philosophical roots, ranging from the old-school Bronx to the hard-rockin' Motor City to protest-central Greenwich Village to gangsta-ridden L.A. As could be expected, the set works best when the group focuses on material from its most recent forebears: rappers and hardcore bands. Indeed, Renegades begins with a pair of powerful hip-hop covers -- Eric B & Rakim's "Microphone Fiend" and Volume 10's "Pistol Grip Pump" -- that spotlight Rage's immense strengths: Tom Morello's clean, heavy riffing and vocalist de la Rocha's finely tuned spray of vitriol, just this side of self-righteous. Another hip-hop blast (and the one closest to home), Cypress Hill's "How I Could Just Kill a Man," is even more devastating, an easy pick for the highlight of the album. Listeners familiar with the originals, however, may have trouble with Rage's covers of EPMD's "I'm Housin'," the Stones' "Street Fighting Man," and Dylan's "Maggie's Farm," a trio of original versions whose anger and emotion were conveyed more in the lyrics than the performances. Still, drummer Brad Wilk sets an appropriately frenetic hardcore tempo for the excellent version of Minor Threat's "In My Eyes," and de la Rocha stretches out well on the MC5's "Kick Out the Jams." With just a bare few excepions, Renegades works well, in part because Rage Against the Machine is both smart enough to change very little and talented enough to make the songs its own. © John Bush /TiVo
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Rock - Released November 2, 1999 | Epic

Rage Against the Machine isn't really the only metal band that matters, but their aggressive social and political activism is refreshing, especially in an age of blind (or usually self-directed) rage due to groups like Limp Bizkit, Bush, or Nine Inch Nails. Recorded in less than a month, The Battle of Los Angeles is the most focused album of the band's career, exploding from the gate and rarely letting go the whole way through. Like a few other famous revolution-in-the-head bands (most notably Minor Threat), Rage Against the Machine has always been blessed by the fact that the band is spewing just as much vitriol as its frontman. Any potential problems created here by Zack de la Rocha's one-note delivery and extremist polemics are smoothed over by songs and grooves that make it sound like the revolution really is here, from the single "Guerrilla Radio" to album highlights like "Mic Check," "Calm Like a Bomb," and "Born of a Broken Man." As on the previous two Rage Against the Machine albums, Tom Morello's roster of guitar effects and vicious riffs are nigh overpowering, and are as contagious as the band has ever been since their debut. De la Rocha is best when he has specific targets (like the government or the case against Mumia Abu Jamal), but when he attempts to cover more general societal problems, he falters. If anything less than one of the most talented and fiery bands in the music world were backing him, The Battle of Los Angeles wouldn't be nearly as high-rated as it is. © John Bush /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released April 16, 1996 | Epic

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 3, 1992 | Epic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Probably the first album to successfully merge the seemingly disparate sounds of rap and heavy metal, Rage Against the Machine's self-titled debut was groundbreaking enough when released in 1992, but many would argue that it has yet to be surpassed in terms of influence and sheer brilliance -- though countless bands have certainly tried. This is probably because the uniquely combustible creative relationship between guitar wizard Tom Morello and literate rebel vocalist Zack de la Rocha could only burn this bright, this once. While the former's roots in '80s heavy metal shredding gave rise to an inimitable array of six-string acrobatics and rhythmic special effects (few of which anyone else has managed to replicate), the latter delivered meaningful rhymes with an emotionally charged conviction that suburban white boys of the ensuing nu-metal generation could never hope to touch. As a result, syncopated slabs of hard rock insurrection like "Bombtrack," "Take the Power Back," and "Know Your Enemy" were as instantly unforgettable as they were astonishing. Yet even they paled in comparison to veritable clinics in the art of slowly mounting tension such as "Settle for Nothing," "Bullet in the Head," and the particularly venomous "Wake Up" (where Morello revises Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" riff for his own needs) -- all of which finally exploded with awesome power and fury. And even listeners who were unable (or unwilling) to fully process the band's unique clash of muscle and intellect were catered to, as RATM were able to convey their messages through stubborn repetition via the fundamental challenge of "Freedom" and their signature track, "Killing in the Name," which would become a rallying cry of disenfranchisement, thanks to its relentlessly rebellious mantra of "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!" Ultimately, if there's any disappointment to be had with this near-perfect album, it's that it still towers above subsequent efforts as the unequivocal climax of Rage Against the Machine's vision. As such, it remains absolutely essential. © Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo

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