Vlado Meller, a name synonymous with awful sounding records and CD's. The man who ruined the last four Red Hot Chili Peppers CD's with huge amounts of dynamic range compression, and the vinyl of I'm With You (Steve Hoffman's 4LP Stadium Arcadium vinyl is amazing), the man who ruined the last Jane's Addiction CD and vinyl, has now turned his destructive sonic signature to the great debut album from Rage Against the Machine. This new vinyl release sounds awful compared to the original. The CD has been raped of dynamics and sounds nowhere near as good as the 1992 Bob Ludwig-mastered CD (and Bob has done his fair share of ruining dynamics recently too, so I'm not saying he's a saint by any means).
The original vinyl was an all analogue production, it sounds absolutely stunning. The new vinyl, pressed at United in Nashville who are pretty well known for non fill and off centred sides, sounds like a pale shadow of the former. Utterly disappointing.
The original vinyl in Mint condition can run over $75, more if sealed. Fortunately the label Music On Vinyl in Europe repressed the original vinyl from the original metals recently and you can find that for around $40 in sealed condition, catalogue title is MOVLP043. They also repressed this new Vlado Meller XX remastering as MOVLP657, stay away from that one. MOV does very nice whisper quiet, flat pressings and the quality is very consistent.
The ASIN for the MOVLP043 on Amazon USA is B00004WX4E
on July 2, 2004
I have to say, listening to Linkin Park, P.O.D, etc, RATM is by far the best rap/metal band out there. Alot of rap/metal bands just talk about sex drugs and stuff cough*, cough*, Limp Bizket, cough*. But Rage is differnt they talk about right and wrong. Zack De la Rocha is one of the most respected people out there for his political opinions on our US Government, his lyrics are expreesed in various amounts of anger in hardcore rap. Tom morello, 1 word, AMAZING, his guitar playing is crazy. And would you believe that most of these cool sounds are made by guitar, thats awesome. Timmy C with the bass, very good, the bass blends perfect with the guitar. And Brad wilk, another jaw dropper, his drumming is also amzing, when you listen to all the tracks, the drum pattern is perfect. There Self titled debut is filled with lots of great rap, guitar solos, and plenty of screaming.
1)Bombtrack (4:05) - great opener to the album, also a nice intro too. 8/10
2)Killing in the Name (5:14) - After listening to this track I was amazed, great song to listen to when you're pissed off, my third fav. track. 10/10
3)Take the Power Back (5:37) - a very political song with some great lyrics. 8/10
4)Settle for Nothing (4:48) - not my favorite but still good. Has a cool guitar solo. 7/10
5)Bullet in the Head (5:09)- cool guitar, another great track one of my favorite. 8/10
6)Know Your Enemy (4:55)- cool lyrics, and great guitar riffs. 9/10
7)Wake Up (6:04)- first heard it in the matrix, another great guitar, best lyrics. 10/10
8)Fistful of Steel (5:31)- meh, ok. 6/10
9)Township Rebellion (5:24)- meh, ok. 6/10
10)Freedom (6:05) - An excellent way to finish the album, my favorite track. 12/10
In all, out of all the best RATM albums pick this up first then move up to there other ones, Evil Empire, Battle of L.A, Renegades, and Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium.
on July 10, 2004
I first got into Rage Against The Machine in 7th grade, when I was into crap like Limp Bizkit and purchased Evil Empire because people said I would like it if I liked Limp Bizkit. In retrospect, that comparison is a big insult to Rage. That's like comparing "Goodfellas" to "You Got Served".
Anyway, I really liked (and still like) Evil Empire (especially "Vietnow"). However, I didn't get this album until this past January. Before then, I had a few of the songs on mixes, but that's it. I listened to samples in the store and really liked what I heard, so I purchased it. Forget Wimp Bizkit; this is rock-rap done RIGHT!
First of all, the musicians here; Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk (now of Audioslave); are all very talented. Check out the slap bass, the riffs, the drumming. Add Zack De La Rocha's politically-charged rhymes over top of them, and you get what might be the only band in history influenced by both Led Zeppelin and Public Enemy, which may sound like mixing pizza and ice cream but comes out sounding damn good. Most of the songs on here are favorites.
The angry, anti-authority/government diatribes are what made this album a classic twelve years ago. Before 1992, there weren't too many albums with "[...] you, I won't do what you tell me!" as a lyric. And I think "When ignorance reigns, life is lost" is very relatable to the Iraq war going on today.
Overall, if you want a REAL rap-rock record, check this one out first, then get the others.(...)
on February 20, 2004
This album is considered by many to be the best Rage against the Machine album ever produced. While it may lack the level of knowledge that was put into the songs that came in the Evil Empire album it is still one of the most rebellious ones ever made. The lyrics openly call for a sudden rebellion, and if anything seems similar to Che Guevara saying the necessary conditions for revolution can be created by the revolution itself.
The album opens with a sort of modern dissident's theme song, Bombtrack, which summarizes exactly what it is like to be a minority leftist. Then comes killing in the name, which is a song that tells people why they should think freely and not take orders from others. It goes into the song Take the Power Back, a critique of the American educational system. Settle for Nothing is a song that tells what it is like to come form a dysfunctional family, and how that it connected with the rest of society. Bullet in the Head was actually the first song that Rage against the Machine played in public; they played it at a party of a friend of one of the band members and the crowd loved it, who wouldn't? Know your enemy is my favourite song on the album, it summarizes the emotions and facts that make us dissidents hate America, and calls for us to rise up against it with the lyrics, "Now action must be taken, we don't need the key we'll break in!" Wake Up had about the same theme as Know your Enemy, but focuses more on how the government has, "neutralized," dissidents. Fistful of Steel seems to focus on the actual organization part or a rebellion, while following song, Township Rebellion, focuses on the active aspect of it. Freedom acts a conclusion to the rest of the album, it reminds listeners that their, "anger is a gift," and warns them of the many distractions that America tempts potential activists with to keep them from focusing on the real issues.
Many think that because Rage against the Machine signed with a big name label they betrayed their cause in some way. First of all, Epic is a division of Sony which is a Japanese company, so much of the money spent on their CD's will actually be leaving the 'states and helping a country which is trying to come out of a recession. And second, Sony was a company which gave them complete artistic freedom and a good budget to make this album (see the Star Profile for RATM) while the other big labels that propositioned them were trying to tone down their musical style so that they would fit into some other more common musical genre. I have listened to the music from some of the more independent bands and while it sounded nice, the intelligence and music quality did not nearly match that of Rage against the Machine, more people should judge them based on that.
on October 29, 2002
Rage Against the Machine's debut. It is considered as nu-metal, the album that created nu-metal, rap/metal.
Probably the best album of all time.
Every song has got its own identity, Morello's guitar parts are awesome, also the bass and the drums have a very important part in the band. Then there's Zack De La Rocha, doing hiphop lyrics which fit perfectly. A the beginning the vocals might sound distrubing, but once read the lyrics (which are genius!) and listened to it a couple of times, it's plain...it's the best thing there is.
Opening Track Bombtrack gives a good feel about the album, followed by Killing in the name of, which' lyrics are emotional and very political. Followed by Take The Power Back, Settke For Nothing and Bullet in the Head, which are all masterpieces! And Again....THE LYRICS AND THE GUITARS!
Then, maybe one of the best songs ever made "Know You Enemy", it has the best lyrics, the best guitars of the entire album. There's also a guest apperance by Tool's Maynard James Keenen.
"Wake Up" starts up with some great guitars and it followed by the two great tracks Fistful of Steel and Township Rebellion, After we get the closing track, the most emotional song on the album called Freedom....amazing!
This album, if you give it a little time and get used to it, will blow you away and stay in our hifi for a very very long time!
Buy this now, it's a musthave for....everyone!
on December 28, 2000
In 1992, everything was about grunge and flannel. Enter Rage Against The Machine. While everyone was finding a way to rip off Seattle bands, RATM were smelling revolution instead of teen spirit. RATM weren't the first ones to rap over riffs (see: Anthrax's "I'm The Man"), but they were the first to really do something with it. Melding Black Sabbath-esque guitars, Public Enemy political raps, and a punk rock tinge in both their music and intensity, RATM gave birth to an animal known as "Rage Against The Machine" that would forever change music. RATM's anti-government political stance in their songs is as relentless as Tom Morello's riffing. Just look at the names of these songs: "Take The Power Back," "Wake Up," "Know Your Enemy," "Freedom"--this isn't your typical rock album here, folks. Everything hear has a meaning, and it doesn't stoop down to the level of sticking cookies up your girlfriend's ... Zack De La Rocha's furious vocals are nothing short of amazing. Every lyric, every gasp of air he takes, and every scream shakes the skull like only Fat Freddie could dream of. "Instead I warm my hands on the flames of the flag" goes one line, "So called facts are fraud, they want us to allege and pledge, and bow down to their God" goes another. Then, there's Tom Morello--my personal pick for the greatest guitarist ever. Taking a page from Tony Iommi's book (Black Sabbath--maybe you've heard of 'em?), Tom's guitars are dark and sludgy--but with that extra punk rock kick that guitarists in Iommi's era were missing. But while Iommi had those dark, sludgy, demonic riffs, Morello has dark, mean, ugly and nasty riffs that are fueled by punk rock rage. And who could forget Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk? Hands down, one of the best rhythm sections in rock history. Tim and Brad alone are amazing musicians--Tim's bass playing rivals Flea's, and Brad's drumming is fast, powerful and devastating--but together, there's no stopping them. They're funky, they're awesome, and they never fall victim to being redundant. As a whole, RATM are unrivaled. Limp Bizkit, Taproot, Papa Roach, etc. couldn't get the rap-metal formula right with hand-written instructions from RATM stapled to their foreheads. It's easy writing a review were you disect a song and talk about its good or weak points. But not here. You see, ALL these songs are top-notch, rock classics. From the religion bashing of "Killing In The Name," to the goverenment bashing of "Know Your Enemy," to "Freedom" which is about Leonard Peltier, this disk is perfect anyway you look at it. But my personal favorite was "Freedom." Saving the best for last, RATM create a relentless rock song that is up there with "Bulls On Parade." The way the song rolls and stops, then kicks into high-gear, and then builds up with so much tension and explodes like the atom bomb is just perfect. "Rage Against The Machine" is sheer perfection, any which way you look at it. It's aggressive, it's defiant, it's intelligent, it's groundbreaking, and it's a masterpiece. Just like all the classic albums, this one will forever stand the test of time.
on September 3, 2000
Since RATM exploded onto the scene with their self titled albumway back in 1992, music hasn't been the same. RATM easily rank as one of the best bands to have emerged in the last decade, if not since the inception of rock music itself.
This CD is perhaps still the best they've created. I've never heard an album brimming over with so much anger, and heard it so focused against anyone or anything.
The most political band since the Sex Pistols (but with much more defined political ideas) and just as revolutionary music-wise, Rage fused political manifestos to heavy metal, aggro funk and rap vocals. They single handedly defined the sound that now infuses MTV and radio waves everywhere with bands such as Limp Bizkit playing watered down versions of their music, minus the talent and intelligence. Featuring Zack's venom filled lyrical diatribes, Tom Morello's amazing other-worldly guitar sounds and squeals, and one of the best rythm sections in the world, this is the sound of a band who are perfectly in tune with one-another both mentally and musically.
From opener Bomb Track through the famous singles Killing In The Name, Bullet In The Head and Know Your Enemy to closer Freedom this album is one of the most energetic, ...and intense blasts you'll find. Awe inspiring stuff. Join the revolution.
on December 7, 1999
This is perhaps one of the most politically active and controversial bands on the scene today. I just recently got the first CD having owned "Evil Empire" and "The Battle of Los Angeles". This CD contains examples of the heavy influence of hip hop and musical hints of the masterful melodies that were to come. Tom Morello on the Guitar is perhaps one of the most brilliant of his kind. The drum and bass lines are alternately smooth and forceful. Great tracks like "Bullet in the Head" and "Take the Power Back" are among the better, and the lyrics are always printed on the liner, so you can decipher the sometimes, apparent mush coming out of your speaker. I must say though, I was irritated that the lyrics to one of their most well known songs, "Killng in the Name" did not have lyrics written in the liner. The lyrics are simple but some parts are indeciperable, so It loses a half a star. A must have for committed fans, but if you like something a little closer to mainstream with a chorus, check out their later work.
on January 31, 1999
I see the points of both dabums and the music fan from fresno. I agree that most rage fans are more interested in just the hardcore tempo the music brings. They do not really care about the lyrics. I also have noticed that there is a large amount of younger kids who listen. Some of them may understand parts of the lyrics but I know most of them don't care. The one's who do care about the lyrics can't comprehend them. It also saddens me to see what other albums people bought when they buy rage. They buy korn and white zombie. These are two bands who definitly condone the problems of the world. The fact that people bought cd's by these groups also shows that rage fans don't even listen to the lyrics. I could talk all day about how much bands like korn and coal chamber suck.
I love what the lyrics say because they do address some serious problems. On the other hand I do think he should give some ideas for solutions. I don't like his outlook on god. I'll agree that the christian religion is fascist and full of holes(not to mention how they push it in your face). But I believe in god. God has given me an everlasting love in my life.
In summary I still think this is probably the best hard rock album of all time. I just forgive them for their flaws because no matter how intelligent they are. They are human like us. They are not fake like korn and limp bizkit.
on January 8, 1999
A music fan from Fresno, CA has no clue what he is talking about. Just because the guy talks formal means he is a hypocrit. Do people sound the same singing as they do talking. No, thus two different definitions for each. Then you use the fans of the band to bash them. That makes no sense and it is very stereotypical. I bet you know less than 5 people good who listen to Rage. If you dont know them, dont judge them. You are one of the people Rage Against the Machine describes in their songs. Take the Power Back is one of my favorite songs and I find its meaning superb in numerous ways. It is not discouraging education it is explaining what is wrong with it. For example, It states how we are only taught about one culture and learn of Europe. De La Rocha wants the education to teach us of other cultures. Just because you cant find its obvious meaning does not imply it has none.
Even though they may not offer solutions he is attempting to inspire people. Do you want him to knock on everyone's door and say make a difference by bla bla bla. Maybe a communist fool would think that but not anyone with an above poor intelligence. The lyrics are truly amazing an contain excellent symbolism. He is saying that we should not allow these acts to occur. That is better than almost all bands today.
The Machine stands for everything they are raging against. It is an excellent word to describe those who committ these actions as if they were a MACHINE. I could go into further detail but I assume you have a brain to figure the rest out. About the sony - If you say something and no one hears it what was the point of saying it?