In 1987, I was living in the aesthetically challenged community of Blytheville, Arkansas, surviving the final stages of my four year prison sentence in the United States Air Force. I was a regular at the downtown mom and pop record store, purchasing albums by XTC and New Order and R.E.M. One of the records I vividly remember buying that year was “Licensed to Ill” by the Beastie Boys. After I ripped off the shrink wrap, nothing in my music listening database had prepared me for the vinyl assault. “Licensed to Ill” was jarring – a shock to the system; lyrically and musically breaking boundaries with unfathomable swagger.
Producer Rick Rubin wedded classic rock riffs with deafening sampled beats and the Beasties bragged about sex and drug abuse and carrying weapons and chowing at White Castle. Their stage act, viewed as hopelessly amateurish for critics weaned on traditional rock music, included bikini clad women dancing in cages that was viewed as misogynistic/obscene. While some critics loved their shocking rock ‘n’ roll attitude, there were also detractors that considered the trio a weak novelty act. The hosts of MTV Raps dismissed the group as inauthentic, which may have been a pseudonym for white.
“Fight for Your Right to Party,” which wasn’t terribly representative of the album, became a Top Ten pop hit, becoming a frat boy anthem for the beer blowout bash crowd, who really didn’t get the joke. After moving millions of units, the Beasties had a falling out with Rick Rubin. In 1989, they teamed up with an even more creative and sympathetic production team – the Dust Brothers. “Paul’s Boutique,” the resulting album, audaciously featured over 100 samples, some jumping out of the mix and some lurking in the dense undertow. For me, “Paul’s Boutique” isn’t an album, it’s a love affair. It’s easily in my Top Five albums of all time as the boys boast with impeccable timing and confidence while the Chemical Brothers work like mad scientists creating a thrilling musical kaleidoscope. I listen to the album today with undiminished pleasure. Loudly.
After the “Check Your Head” album, the Beasties made their Monkees’ “Headquarters” move and ACTUALLY PLAYED INSTRUMENTS on “Ill Communication.” The album doesn’t work for me as a whole, but “Sabotage” is one of the most propulsive and thrilling rock ‘n’ roll moments ever recorded. MTV heavily played the endlessly droll Spike Jonze directed video and everything was right in the world.
I never connected emotionally with the group’s later releases, although I continued to admire their talent and root for their success in pop music’s fickle, disposable world. As the Boys once stated, “It’s not how you play the game it’s how you win it.” The Beastie Boys were pioneers that fearlessly popularized a new style of music and continuously explored new avenues of creative expression. For 47 years, Adam Yauch won in spades.
something he learned from his legendary uncle
how little this list has in common with the prior ones
a disquieted sadness permeates
Someday they will match TM and AEG as one of the big three
The 2021 “Legends Of Vinyl’s “Gala Awards Night” New York DJs and Artists Hall Of Fame, Tuesday, September 14th, Reviewed
we will pass, disco will live on with lov
¿No preferirías tener el modelo de este año?
play around with the different stems
Live Review: SohoJohnny Presents The Let Me Help, Inc 9/11 Fashion and Music Celebrity Benefit Gala Concert @Rumi Event Space 9/11/21
The star studded, Red Carpet Let Me Help, Inc benefit was a celebration of New York City fashion week, as well as a tribute to the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
it isn’t in the same league as The Beatles Top Five in 1964
‘his friend got it & became impotent’