For four years in a row Simon Cowell’s X-Factor has dominated the Christmas number one slot in the charts. He’s certainly not the first person to send bland, manufactured porridge masquerading as music to the top of the charts but he is the first to insist year on year that there is no alternative.
Year after year he unleashes all the corporate power at his disposal, including a prime-time TV show which acts as a long-running, dedicated advertising campaign that puts QVC and the Shopping Channel to shame, all in the service of his ever-burgeoning fortunes.
Stacked against him were a married couple in Essex, Jon and Tracy Morter, who decided that enough was enough and launched a campaign from their living room to depose the dictator.
How were they going to do it? By backing Killing In The Name by rap-rock band Rage Against the Machine (RATM).
Leaping beyond all their expectations the campaign, based mainly through the internet as the song was no longer available in the shops, became a mini-movement with almost a million people joining the Facebook group and over half-a-million people buying the single in a week.
Joyously it topped the charts with no corporate backing nor even, initially, with the knowledge of the band itself. Continue reading