Monday, March 14, 2011

Rage Against the Machine - 1991 Demo Tape

Band : Rage Against the Machine
Album : Demo Tape
Release Year : 1991
Genre : Rap / Metal

Tracklist :
1. Bombtrack
2. Take the Power Back
3. Bullet in the Head
4. Darkness of Greed
5. Clear the Lane
6. Township Rebellion
7. Know Your Enemy
8. Mindset's a Threat
9. Killing in the Name
10. Autologic
11. The Narrows
12. Freedom  

Rage Against the Machine is the original demo tape by Los Angeles rap metal band Rage Against the Machine, released in December 1991. The 12-track tape was recorded at Sunbirth Studio in Los Angeles, California after drummer Brad Wilk joined the band, but before they had played their first live show. When the band began performing live shows they sold the tape for $5, Only about 5,000 of these were ever sold making it an extremely rare find, and also very valuable to any Rage Against the Machine fan.

Most of the songs on the demo tape were included on the band's eponymous debut album, with only five songs being left out; "Darkness of Greed", "Clear the Lane", "Mindsets a Threat", "Autologic" and "Narrows". Two of these were eventually included as B-sides, with the remaining three songs never seeing an official release. Some of the tracks on the demo are almost identical to the versions that appear in the debut album, whereas others have noticeable differences; the tempo of "Take the Power Back" on the demo for example is much slower and has a different final verse. The record was notable for the first appearance of the song "Bullet in the Head" which became a hit when reissued as a single later in the year after being transferred intact (with re-recorded vocals for the verses only) from the demo to the album.
The track "Darkness of Greed" hails back to vocalist de la Rocha's previous band Inside Out that had broken up earlier the same year. Inside Out performed the track on many occasions, and several ROIOs exist of the performances. (Rage later re-recorded it for The Crow soundtrack.) Another significant indicator of Inside Out's influence on Rage Against the Machine's initial direction is the name "Rage Against the Machine" was also the title of another Inside Out track.

The main riff from "The Narrows" would later be reused as the main riff for "Fistful of Steel" and parts of "Mindset's a Threat" would later become a part of "Wake Up" and are present in "Freedom" and in the solo on "Bullet in the Head". The main riff for "Clear the Lane" is nearly identical to that used on their 2000 cover of The Rolling Stones "Street Fighting Man".
"Darkness" and "Clear the Lane" were both digitally remastered and included as b-sides on the "Killing in the Name" single and have both been reissued on singles and promos many times since.

The artwork features images from a newspaper's stockmarket section with a single match taped to the inlay card. The statement "no samples, keyboards or synthesizers used in the making of this record" can be found on the cover, and the band also refer to themselves as "Guilty Parties" as they did in each subsequent original studio album.


  1. Actual demo tape for sale

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.