Rage Against the Machine may be hunting for a new vocalist to replace the recently departed Zack de la Rocha, but that isn't stopping the band from releasing the follow-up to its double-platinum The Battle of Los Angeles. Renegades, a collection of a dozen cover versions, is due in stores Dec. 5.
In a strange reversal of plans, the impetus for creating Renegades was born from studio sessions for two covers slated for inclusion on the group's live album, the recording of which was held up due to show cancellations. Working with producer Rick Rubin, the quartet ended up cutting enough versions of rock, punk, and hip-hop favorites to form a separate album.
"What began as a couple of bonus tracks has blossomed into one of the most powerful records of our career," said guitarist Tom Morello in a statement. "There has never been another album like this where a band like Rage Against the Machine has recorded an entire CD of revolutionary versions of classic hip-hop and rock songs. We attack these songs with the same irreverence for convention with which they were written."
Ironically, initial editions of Renegades will be augmented with two live cuts, "Kick Out the Jams" and "How I Could Just Kill a Man," recorded at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. The latter features guest spots from Sen Dog and B-Real of the song's original recording artists, Cypress Hill. Both live cuts will be deleted from later pressings.
Artists fêted on the set include Bruce Springsteen, Eric B & Rakim, the MC5, the Stooges, Bob Dylan, Minor Threat, the Rolling Stones, Afrika Bambaataa, Devo, Volume 10, EPMD, and Cypress Hill. The Springstreen track, "The Ghost of Tom Joad," appears in a remixed, alternate version from the one issued as a single along with a 1997 Rage home video.
The first single and video from the set will be "Renegades of Funk," originally recorded by hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa ("Planet Rock") in 1984.
Renegades track list 1. Microphone Fiend (Eric B & Rakim) 2. Pistol Grip Pump (Volume 10) 3. Kick Out the Jams (MC5) 4. Renegades of Funk (Afrika Bambaataa) 5. Beautiful World (Devo) 6. I'm Housin' (EPMD) 7. In My Eyes (Minor Threat) 8. How I Could Just Kill a Man (Cypress Hill) 9. The Ghost of Tom Joad (Bruce Springsteen) 10. Down on the Farm (The Stooges) 11. Street Fighting Man (Rolling Stones) 12. Maggie's Farm (Bob Dylan)