Why is Rage Against the Machine’s The Battle of Los Angeles on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
The Rage is relentless, in three parts.
Some stats & info about Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? SoCal Bands, Rock Music, Metal, Alternative Metal, Rap, Rap Metal, Rap-Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
- When was The Battle of Los Angeles released? 1999
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #724 out of 1,000
Rage Against the Machine’s The Battle of Los Angeles on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does Rage Against the Machine’s The Battle of Los Angeles mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
I’ve come to realize that I view The Battle of Los Angeles as an album in three parts. The first two parts consist of one song each, and the third comprises the rest of the album.
Part I: “Guerrilla Radio”
“Guerilla Radio” is classic Rage Against the Machine, and by classic I mean it’s incredible. It’s arguably roughly in the #6-#8 range of best RATM songs of all time, though that’s a topic for another project (though I’d note that a bunch of songs from the band’s self-titled debut obviously eat up a bunch of Top 10 slots). Incredible hook, amazing Tom Morello guitar work, and the perfect interaction between Zach de la Rocha’s aggressive, politicized hip hop and the band’s crushing metal grooves.
Kind of an interesting music video, by the way, but I wish they’d just purely focus on the band performing.
Part II: “Calm Like a Bomb”
I have a weird relationship with “Calm Like a Bomb.” It’s good. It’s really good. But it scares me. It does. It’s just so. damned. crushing. It’s one of the heaviest crushing-est songs of all time. I have to be in the right mood for me, a Mere Mortal of This Planet, to be able to handle. But, as I say: man it’s good.
Part III: the rest of The Battle of Los Angeles
Most of the rest of the album is in the “pretty good” range but doesn’t come close to the heights of the first two “parts.” It’s Rage, and for me there’s no really bad Rage, but there’s a reason that this album is (the still super respectable) #724 out of best 1,000 albums ever and not much higher. Spoiler, as you might be guessing: there’s more Rage coming on the list.
I’m listening to “Testify” while writing these words and my thought bubble is, “Yeah, it’s really pretty good.” And so it is.