Evil Empire (album)

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Evil Empire
Cover illustration derived from Crimebuster with a young boy in a superhero outfit, smiling
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 16, 1996 (1996-04-16)
RecordedMarch 1995–February 1996
StudioCole Rehearsal Studios, Los Angeles, California
GenreRap metal[1]
Length46:37
LabelEpic
ProducerBrendan O'Brien
Rage Against the Machine chronology
Rage Against the Machine
(1992)
Evil Empire
(1996)
Live & Rare
(1998)
Singles from Evil Empire
  1. "Year of tha Boomerang"
    Released: December 17, 1994
  2. "Bulls on Parade"
    Released: February 9, 1996
  3. "People of the Sun"
    Released: August 22, 1996
  4. "Down Rodeo"
    Released: November 16, 1996
  5. "Vietnow"
    Released: October 10, 1997

Evil Empire is the second studio album by American rock band Rage Against the Machine, released on April 16, 1996 by Epic Records. Its title refers to a term used in the early 1980s by President Ronald Reagan and many American conservatives to describe the former Soviet Union.[2]

Evil Empire debuted at number 1 on the US Billboard 200, and their song "Tire Me" won a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance; "Bulls on Parade" and "People of the Sun" were also nominated for Grammys for Best Hard Rock Performance. The album was certified 3x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on May 24, 2000.[3]

Background[edit]

The title "Evil Empire" is taken from what Rage Against The Machine see as Ronald Reagan's slander of the Soviet Union in the eighties, which the band feels could just as easily apply to the United States. Rage is currently finishing up a European tour but they'll be back on our evil U.S. soil for a tour in late July.

— Zack de la Rocha, excerpt from interview[4]

De la Rocha expands further on the UK CD single release of "Bulls on Parade" explaining how America (the U.S.), is building a wall between itself and Mexico.

…the wall that Germany fell and the US Government was busy building another one between the border of the U.S. and Mexico. Since 1986, as a result of a lot of the hate talk and hysteria, that the Government of the United States has been speaking, 1,500 bodies have been found on the border; we wrote this song in response to it.

The cover features an altered version by Mel Ramos of the 1940s–1950s comicbook hero Crimebuster, with his emblem changed to a lowercase "e".[5][6] Additional themes for the album were created by Barbara Kruger, and some of her artwork appears in the video clip for "Bulls on Parade", which became the second single for the album. As with their debut, five singles were released in total.

The inside of the CD booklet shows a picture of a pile of various political and philosophical books, which include:[7]

Promotion[edit]

In 1995, the band sent a free 7″ record to everyone who signed up for the fan club promoted in the liner notes of their debut. Doubling as an apology to those who had received nothing and a promotion for the upcoming album, it came in a plain cardboard colored fold-out with a black-and-white American flag on the cover and the title "Evil Empire" and the band's name all in capitals. On the back was a UPC with marker scribble on the barcode. The A-side was a reissue of the "Evening Session" version of "Bombtrack", listed as "Bombtrack (Live on the BBC)". The B-side was a then unreleased cover of N.W.A's "Fuck tha Police", recorded live on August 13, 1995 at a benefit concert for Mumia Abu-Jamal at the Capitol Ballroom in Washington, D.C.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]
Chicago Tribune3/4 stars[9]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[10]
Houston Chronicle4/5 stars[11]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[12]
NME5/10[13]
Pitchfork6.1/10[14]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[15]
Spin8/10[16]
The Village VoiceA−[17]

"This music isn't supposed to be fun," noted Rolling Stone. "Rage Against the Machine have jacked up the sociopolitical siege mentality in their metallic hip-hop to such a dogmatic degree – and honed their sound to such maniacally shrill perfection – that the band and the roaring joys of its harangue 'n' roll seem virtually sexless."[18]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by Zack de la Rocha; all music is composed by Rage Against the Machine.

No.TitleLength
1."People of the Sun"2:30
2."Bulls on Parade"3:49
3."Vietnow"4:39
4."Revolver"5:30
5."Snakecharmer"3:56
6."Tire Me"3:00
7."Down Rodeo"5:20
8."Without a Face"3:36
9."Wind Below"5:50
10."Roll Right"4:22
11."Year of tha Boomerang"4:02
Total length:46:34

Personnel[edit]

Rage Against the Machine

Technical

Artwork and design

  • Rage Against the Machine – art direction
  • Aimée Macauley – art direction
  • Lisa Johnson – photography

Recording locations[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Belgium (BEA)[50] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[51] Platinum 100,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[52] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[53] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[54] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lipkin, Gregg (November 18, 2009). "Masters of the Form: Rage Against the Machine 1996 - Evil Empire". PopMatters. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  2. ^ Staff report (May 3, 1996). Rage Builds "Evil Empire" MTV
  3. ^ RIAA RIAA Certification search results Archived June 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Note: type “Evil Empire” (without quotation marks) in field "Title:"
  4. ^ de la Rocha, Zacarías Manuel "Zack" (May 3, 1996). "Rage Builds "Evil Empire"". MTV. MTV.com. Retrieved 7 April 2013. The title "Evil Empire" is taken from what Rage Against The Machine see as Ronald Reagan's slander of the Soviet Union in the eighties, which the band feels could just as easily apply to the United States. Rage is currently finishing up a European tour but they'll be back on our evil U.S. soil for a tour in late July.
  5. ^ Rage Against The Machine “Evil Empire” Album Cover Art Was Originally Called “Crime Buster”.[1]
  6. ^ Mark Malazarte Crime Buster by Mel Ramos 1993
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2011-11-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Evil Empire – Rage Against the Machine". AllMusic. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  9. ^ Kot, Greg (April 25, 1996). "Saved By a Guitar". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  10. ^ Sinclair, Tom (April 19, 1996). "Evil Empire". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 21, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  11. ^ Chirazi, Steffan (April 14, 1996). "Rage Keeps Politics, Adds Stronger Music". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  12. ^ Cromelin, Richard (April 14, 1996). "Rage Against the Machine 'Evil Empire' Epic". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  13. ^ Cigarettes, Johnny (April 13, 1996). "Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire". NME. Archived from the original on August 17, 2000. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  14. ^ Schreiber, Ryan (April 1996). "Rage Against The Machine: Evil Empire". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on October 31, 2005. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  15. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (April 18, 1996). "Evil Empire". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  16. ^ Gold, Jonathan (May 1996). "Rage Against the Machine: Evil Empire". Spin. 12 (2): 103. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  17. ^ Christgau, Robert (July 23, 1996). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  18. ^ Rolling Stone Yearbook, 26 December 1996–9 January 1997
  19. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire". Hung Medien.
  20. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire" (in German). Hung Medien.
  21. ^ "Ultratop.be – Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  22. ^ "Ultratop.be – Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire" (in French). Hung Medien.
  23. ^ "Listen - Danmarks Officielle Hitliste - Udarbejdet af AIM Nielsen for IFPI Danmark - Uge 16". Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). Copenhagen. 1996-04-21.
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  25. ^ "Rage Against the Machine: Evil Empire" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  26. ^ "Lescharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire". Hung Medien.
  27. ^ http://www.infodisc.fr/Album_ChartRuns_Liste.php
  28. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  29. ^ "Charts.nz – Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire". Hung Medien.
  30. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire". Hung Medien.
  31. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  32. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire". Hung Medien.
  33. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire". Hung Medien.
  34. ^ "Rage Against the Machine | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  35. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  36. ^ "Rage Against the Machine Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  37. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  38. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  39. ^ "Ultratop.be – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  40. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  41. ^ "Lescharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade" (in French). Les classement single.
  42. ^ "Charts.nz – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade". Top 40 Singles.
  43. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade". VG-lista.
  44. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade". Singles Top 100.
  45. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  46. ^ "Rage Against the Machine Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard.
  47. ^ "Rage Against the Machine Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard.
  48. ^ "Rage Against the Machine Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard.
  49. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  50. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 1996". Ultratop. Hung Medien.
  51. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire". Music Canada.
  52. ^ Salaverrie, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (PDF) (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. p. 940. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  53. ^ "British album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Evil Empire in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  54. ^ "American album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]