Rage Covers Album Rocks

Songs by Eric B & Rakim, Dylan, MC5

Just when I'd pretty much given up on tribute albums, along comes Rage Against the Machine's Renegades, in which one of the great rock bands of our time covers songs by the MC5 ("Kick Out the Jams"), Eric B & Rakim ("Microphone Fiend"), Afrika Bambaataa and Soul Sonic Force ("Renegades of Funk"), Bob Dylan ("Maggie's Farm"), Devo ("Beautiful World") and a bunch more -- and they make every one of the songs their own. In addition to the 14 studio tracks listed on the back cover of the CD, there are two live tracks recorded during the group's performance outside the Democratic National Convention this year: "Kick Out the Jams" and "How I Could Just Kill A Man" with Cypress Hill guesting. Members of the band, along with producer Rick Rubin, talk about the songs at the Rage Web site. Here's guitarist Tom Morello, who explains that when he moved to L. A. in 1986 he had to work a "shitty Job," on "Maggie's Farm": "'s a real anthem for everyone who has suffered in a soul-crushing job with a cruel boss. Sometimes I'd be painting in an office with no ventilation for months at a time with just a cruel, cruel boss and you spend like your 15 minutes of your break just in the restroom just shaking, going, 'I am a man, I am a man.' You know, it's a song for everyone who realizes that they are more than the shitty job they are stuck in. Much like the character, the thing, you know, I had a lot of ideas in my head and it was a shame the way they were making me scrub the floor. So this song is both -- is sort of a personal vindication as well as a great rocking track." [Tuesday, December 12, 2000]

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