- Artist: Rage Against the Machine
- Album: The Battle of Los Angeles
- Year: 1999
- Label: Sony
- Genre: Alternative Metal
We are the children born as ghosts.
After an incendiary self-titled debut album that is still seen as a landmark release today, Los Angeles’ Rage Against the Machine followed it up with the somewhat mediocre (certainly by comparison) Evil Empire. So even though this is only their third (and still officially final) album, it was viewed as a real comeback record upon its release, a return to form both in terms of songwriting and political relevance. I remember when it came out, the Michael Moore-directed video for “Sleep Now in the Fire” was doing the rounds constantly on the then new MTV2 network. It felt that there was a deeper significance to the music than I was perhaps aware of at a time when my battle would have been puberty, not politics. Listening to the album almost by chance recently in the cold light of day over 15 years after its release, in a United Kingdom being thrust headlong into the clusterfuck of another general election campaign, has made me realise the album’s potency and significance much more profoundly. Whether Rage Against the Machine ever do get around to recording a true follow-up to this (you’ll perhaps notice I’m not counting the Renegades covers album that came out in 2000), or just continue to do the occasional string of reunion shows without recording anything new, this is one hell of a mark to leave as your final piece of work.