It went to #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, and #45 on the Billboard 200 chart. “Know Your Enemy” features Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan on “additional vocals”, and also features Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins on trashcan percussion. Keenan has been known on occasion to appear onstage with the band to perform the song.
The album cover features the self-immolation of Thích Quảng Đức that occurred on June 11, 1963. Allmusic reviewer Eduardo Rivadavia gave the album four and a half stars and stated “it was the first album to successfully merge the seemingly disparate sounds of rap and heavy metal”, he also praised the album’s “meaningful rhymes and emotionally charged conviction”.
In 2001, Q magazine named Rage Against the Machine as one of the 50 Heaviest Albums Of All Time. The album is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 368 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album is known for its high production values, which are almost to the strictest audiophile standards.
Some audiophile sites and magazines even go as far as using the album—in particular the song “Take the Power Back”—to test amplifiers and speakers. Acclaimed BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe named Rage Against the Machine as one of four ‘Masterpieces’.