Rage Against the Machine – XX 20th Anniversary Box Set is a double-CD, double-DVD package ripe with early concert footage (where Morello uses a ‘burst LP on “Wake Up”), seven raw demos of album material, and a 2010 show in Finsbury Park, London.

Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine - XX
Sony Legacy Recordings


Rage Against the Machine was a musical Molotov cocktail: Guitarist Tom Morello’s shredder-DJ fretboard mastery and effects manipulation was the fuse, renegade frontman Zack de la Rocha’s Howard Zinn-approved lyrics and rebel conviction was the gasoline, and the flexible funk-metal acrobats of bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk were the glass bottle holding everything together. Thanks to these incendiary components, Rage Against the Machine still burns as one of the most important albums since 1990.

Rage Against the Machine – XX 20th Anniversary Box Set is a double-CD, double-DVD package ripe with early concert footage (where Morello uses a ‘burst LP on “Wake Up”), seven raw demos of album material, and a 2010 show in Finsbury Park, London. Other unreleased material includes three new songs. “A Mindset’s a Threat” has a slithering “Wake Up”-style riff that dances with de la Rocha’s Rasta-rap delivery, “Auto Logic” bounces like “Killing in the Name” as de la Rocha spits venom. And “The Narrows” rhythmically navigates around Morello’s screeching and scratching à la “Fistful of Steel.” The DVD’s coup de grâce is Rage’s first concert complete with a lone slamdancer wearing a tucked-in polo.

The only negative of this nostalgic collection of must-have metal is the sober reminder that a band as historically impactful as Rage hasn’t made new music in more than a decade. —Chris Kies

Must-hear tracks: “Auto Logic,” “Freedom”

Luxe looks and a sweet playing feel make this Squier an anniversary edition worth celebrating.

Slinky playability. Very nice construction quality. An attractive, celebratory mash-up of Fender style elements.

Neck feels slightly generic.

$599

Squier 40th Anniversary Stratocaster
fender.com

4.5
4.5
4

Premier Guitar doesn’t often review anniversary edition instruments—most of them being marketing exercises in disguise. But the Squier 40th Anniversary Stratocaster genuinely seems to embody much about where Squier has been and the reliable source for quality, affordable, and, yes, beautiful guitars they have become.

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See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

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How does a legacy artist stay on top of his game? The pianist, hit singer-songwriter, producer, and composer talks about the importance of musical growth and positive affirmation; his love for angular melodicism; playing jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, jam, and soundtrack music; and collaborating with his favorite guitarists, including Pat Metheny and Jerry Garcia.

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