With the newest iteration of Godzilla being released this Friday, now is as good a time as any to ask this question: how did possibly the greatest song in the entire Rage Against The Machine catalog end up on the soundtrack to an incredibly shitty film?
Mind you, I have no answers or inside knowledge as to how it occurred. Yes, there is a mention of the beloved monster in the lyrics. Of course, the full line is “Godzilla? Pure motherfuckin’ filler, get your eyes off the real killer.” I would never excuse entertainment executives of ignoring salient context, but you would think someone would have said at some point “this song is kind of mocking the very existence of this movie, is it a great idea to include it on the soundtrack?” I would imagine if this question was so posed, that the answer was “Any publicity is good publicity; we’re just being edgy, kids eat that shit up.”
But that distracts a bit from my original point, that this is some of Rage Against The Machine’s finest work. It doesn’t feature any incredible guitar theatrics from Tom Morello (the solo is basically just one tremolo’d wah note played multiple times, like a whacked-out version of the memorable one-note solo from Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl”), but it does feature a groovy riff and a rocking coda, and some of Zach de la Rocha’s best lyrics. It’s such a great song that I spent years trying to find the Australian import of The Battle of Los Angeles so I could have the song on an actual Rage album, and not some crappy soundtrack where I’d have to skip around to get to the good stuff. I did end up finding a certain version of the “Guerrilla Radio” single that included the track, so it all ended up working pretty well.
That said, there were some hidden gems on that soundtrack. I always thought that “A320” fitted nicely along with other well-known classic Foo Fighters tracks, and is definitely their most underrated song. I could listen to that ever-escalating coda forever. And then there’s “Deeper Underground”, which I’m told is one of Jamiroquai’s better songs, at least from that period (confirmation from RIJR has yet to take place). Finally, we have the remixed version of “Brain Stew” which not only adds some nice electronic touches, but also includes well-placed Godzilla screams. I’ve always said that we need more Godzilla remixes of songs, and it’s too bad that no one has taken on that mantle. Can’t you imagine how bitching a Godzilla remix of The Shins’ “New Slang” would be? It would totally take that song to another level.
I can only hope to be pleasantly surprised this weekend, and that we find out that history repeats itself and we randomly get another brilliant Rage Against The Machine song. It would definitely help take the sting out of the Blazers’ elimination a little bit.