Saturday, June 1, 2013

Underrated Classic - Rage Against the Machine "Renegades"

It was their final message, their final sentiment that had us remembering straight away the legacy they were about to leave behind. In 2000, Zach de la Rocha abruptly left Rage Against The Machine after less than a decade together. Fans and critics were stunned by the news as the one of the most important bands of the last decade were done. As a send off and thank you to fans, the band released Renegades a month after de la Rocha's departure. The album consisted of all covers that ranged from nearly every influence the band had when they were forming. Produced by Rick Rubin, Renegades featured covers like Eric B. and Rakim's "Pistol Grip Pump," Rolling Stones "Street Fighting Man," Bruce Springsteen's "Ghost of Tom Joad," Cypress Hill's "How I Could Just Kill A Man," Iggy & the Stooges' "Down on the Street," and many more. Many of the songs were staples of the bands explosive live sets through the years, but now, studio versions were laid down and packaged to the fans as a nice sendoff. From its cover, a parody of Robert Indiana's famous "LOVE" slogan to the liner notes that ended with the words "YOU ARE NOT A SLAVE" inscribed on a dollar bill, it was a final reminder to their legion of fans to go fight the good fight without them. Now, 13 years later, as Rage is an on-again, off-again live act, their last message to fans were somebody else's words but delivered with their raw power.