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Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Old 09-11-10, 07:53 PM
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Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Originally Posted by Boba Fett View Post
No. If any white rappers deserve an Album by Album thread it's the Beastie Boys.
The way it works is I will post the featured artists albums in chronological order and we will discuss each one over a short period of time. As the discussion begins to die down I will post the next album and discussion will gear up again. Make sense? Try to keep your comments focused on the album at hand.



Original Release Date: November 15, 1986

Fun Fact: The original title for this album was Don't Be a Faggot but Columbia Records flatly refused to release the album with this title and pressured Russell Simmons (their manager and label Def Jam head) into having the Beastie Boys to come up with another name. Adam Horovitz has since apologized for the band's earlier title.

Tracklisting:

1. "Rhymin & Stealin" (Beastie Boys/Rubin) 4:08
2. "The New Style" (Beastie Boys/Rubin) 4:36
3. "She's Crafty" (Beastie Boys/Rubin) 3:35
4. "Posse in Effect" (Beastie Boys/Rubin) 2:27
5. "Slow Ride" (Beastie Boys/Rubin) 2:56
6. "Girls" (Beastie Boys/Rubin) 2:14
7. "Fight for Your Right" (Beastie Boys/Rubin) 3:28
8. "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" (Beastie Boys/Rubin) 4:07
9. "Paul Revere" (Horovitz/McDaniels/Rubin/Simmons) 3:41
10. "Hold It Now, Hit It" (Beastie Boys/Rubin) 3:26
11. "Brass Monkey" (Beastie Boys/Rubin) 2:37
12. "Slow and Low" (McDaniels/Rubin/Simmons) 3:38
13. "Time to Get Ill" (Beastie Boys/Rubin) 3:37

One of my earliest musical memories was listening to this album every morning on the way to school on the bus. One of the older kids had a boom box and we blasted this album literally every day.
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Old 09-11-10, 08:22 PM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

I'm almost certain they've unofficially disowned most of this album as none of the videos appeared on the Criterion release of their videos.

That said, it's their only album prior to "The Mix-Up" that I don't own. The few hits wound up on "Sounds of Science," but it's a fairly juvenile release as a whole and didn't really highlight their full abilities.
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Old 09-11-10, 10:23 PM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Originally Posted by Boba Fett View Post
I'm almost certain they've unofficially disowned most of this album as none of the videos appeared on the Criterion release of their videos.

That said, it's their only album prior to "The Mix-Up" that I don't own. The few hits wound up on "Sounds of Science," but it's a fairly juvenile release as a whole and didn't really highlight their full abilities.
Wha?

This album is considered a genre breaking landmark in popular music. Whether or not the videos from it were in a Criterion collection, The Beastie Boys are quite aware of its position in music history.
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Old 09-11-10, 10:31 PM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

I remember when this came out all of my friends thought it was horrendous. Well, my buddy from work who bought it seemed to like it, and I always enjoyed it. I was never crazy about Fight For Your Right. It was billed as a combination of rap and rock, which it really wasn't, but I found it's irreverence oddly fascinating. They took some interesting chances with it, but it really doen't hold up very well today.

I don't think most people count it as a real album in their discography, and it really doesn't fit in with any of their other work, but it is an interesting document of the period. An album like this would never be recorded or released today, and that's really sort of a shame.
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Old 09-11-10, 10:40 PM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

As a 19 year-old in 1986, I can tell you that this was a phenomenally huge album in its day. It did indeed break rap into the mainstream of white culture, and "Fight for Your Right" was a landmark track. Even kids like me, who had absolutely nothing to do with rap before or after, bought this album.

But really, it's almost a novelty album when you listen to it with a trained ear. Many of the songs would fit right in to a Dr. Demento broadcast.

I'm kind of shocked...I never realized that Rick Rubin co-wrote every single track on it. I knew he was involved, but that's weird...especially after getting to really know him for his later work with Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond.
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Old 09-11-10, 11:08 PM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Originally Posted by cungar View Post
Wha?

This album is considered a genre breaking landmark in popular music. Whether or not the videos from it were in a Criterion collection, The Beastie Boys are quite aware of its position in music history.
I don't dispute it's importance, but all three of the guys have changed dramatically from those earlier days; like Numanoid mentioned, the album feels like a novelty recording lyrically. I even seem to recall one of them being embarrassed about glorifying underage drinking on those early albums.

They were involved 100% with the Criterion Collection release, recording entire commentaries for all videos; the fact they didn't include "Fight for Your Right" speaks volumes as to how they feel about it, especially when some of the other videos had alternate versions, including obscure videos.
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Old 09-12-10, 12:06 AM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Originally Posted by Numanoid View Post
I'm kind of shocked...I never realized that Rick Rubin co-wrote every single track on it. I knew he was involved, but that's weird...especially after getting to really know him for his later work with Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond.
Well, he was a lot younger then too. Wasn't this his first major project?
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Old 09-12-10, 12:25 AM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Rubin didn't have anything to do with the songwriting on Cash's albums and I doubt the same went for Diamond's. You can be a great producer, but a terrible songwriter. Puff Daddy is a classic example of such a figure.
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Old 09-12-10, 12:31 AM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Originally Posted by Boba Fett View Post
I'm almost certain they've unofficially disowned most of this album as none of the videos appeared on the Criterion release of their videos.

That said, it's their only album prior to "The Mix-Up" that I don't own. The few hits wound up on "Sounds of Science," but it's a fairly juvenile release as a whole and didn't really highlight their full abilities.
I'm going to guess that rights issues were the factor for the lack of "Licensed to Ill" videos. This was the only album under Def Jam Records and The Beasties' subsequent albums were from Capitol Records. Def Jam probably wanted a boat load of money from Criterion & Capitol to license the videos, so they couldn't come to an agreement. Capitol dealt directly with Def Jam over "The Sounds Of Science", and that is how "License to Ill" songs were included in the compilation. Of course, this is my educated guess based on speculation.

Now about the quality of the album; I have to disagree with you, Boba! This is a classic album all across the board. It is a fun record and ahead of its time when it infused rock with hip-hop beats. Plus, the satirical wit found within the music make "License to Ill" an essential album. 10/10

Last edited by Ringmaster; 09-12-10 at 03:27 AM. Reason: grammatical error
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Old 09-12-10, 02:40 AM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

fun fact: Kerry King of Slayer does the main guitar part on "No Sleep Till Brooklyn"
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Old 09-12-10, 08:31 AM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Love this album. It's not so much dated as aged, like fine wine - or a bottle of Miller. Just some good old-school rap with rock infusion. The guys' trademark harmonizing and interplay already sound great (probably in no small part due to Rick Rubin).

The lyrics are juvenile, but that's part of its charm. Hell, the Beasties were juvenile at the time (I think about 20). And goofy humor has always been a Beasties hallmark.

The only weak track for me is the cover of Slow and Low. The rest of the album is just a big ol' bag of fun.


"I got a girl in the castle and one in the pagoda
You know I got rhymes like Abe Vigoda"
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Old 09-12-10, 09:30 AM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Originally Posted by Fist of Doom View Post
The only weak track for me is the cover of Slow and Low.
I thought Run DMC's version was a cover of this, and it was only a demo anyhow.
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Old 09-12-10, 10:06 AM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Eek. I was 16, miserably stuck in Israel for two months in the summer of 1987. The guys I shared a dorm with played this album. EVERY. FREAKIN'. DAY. Without fail. All the white boys loved "Paul Revere". I wanted to gouge my eyes out with a boat-hook.

It's a good, fun album, but compared to what was coming next it's an ass-pimple.
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Old 09-12-10, 10:44 AM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

I got this tape along with Run-D.M.C.'s "Raising Hell" for my birthday. I still remember reading about their concert rider which included a large amount of condoms for their shows.
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Old 09-12-10, 10:47 AM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Originally Posted by auto View Post
One of my earliest musical memories was listening to this album every morning on the way to school on the bus. One of the older kids had a boom box and we blasted this album literally every day.
We did this, too. I would sneak my boom box (It was way too small to be considered a ghetto blaster) in a duffel bag on my bus in 4th grade and we'd play this and Raising Hell non-stop.

For fans of this era, the preceding Def Jam EP and 12" are worth searching out. Nothing outstanding, but worth hearing:

Rock Hard EP

She's On It
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Old 09-12-10, 10:53 AM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Also, I'm not sure how to embed the Vevo videos, but this channel has all of the Def Jam videos. There were also concert footage videos for She's Crafty and Rhymin and Stealin placed on a VHS collection.

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheBeastieBoysVEVO
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Old 09-12-10, 11:07 AM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Strong as an ox fresh out the box the crowds so live theyre coming in flocks

Slow and Low is probably my favorite song right now off that album. When I was 10 years old when this dropped, Paul Revere had the burbs on smash, far and away was the biggest song followed by probably Brass Monkey. Their songs werent really played on the radio too much and I didnt have MTV. Their singles weren't even that popular at the time in my neck of the woods.

One of the first rap tapes I bought. My first tapes, Run-DMC raisin Hell, LL Cool J Bad, Fat Boys Crushin' and this.
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Old 09-12-10, 11:23 AM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

I do think the next album of theirs is well crafted, but I like "Licensed to Ill" album simply because its just silly fun.
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Old 09-12-10, 11:37 AM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

I feel guilty for saying it, but I can't stand this album. It just seems like a joke compared to what came later.
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Old 09-12-10, 04:45 PM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Check Your Head is their masterpiece, but I guess we should save that discussion for later.
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Old 09-12-10, 05:37 PM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

It's a fun album, and helped me into rap, but I can't remember the last time I listened to it.
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Old 09-12-10, 06:05 PM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
This album is one of the best 2 rap albums of all f'n time, and one of only 2 rap albums I own.

The other one? Raising Hell by Run-DMC, of course.
I don't think someone can call something the best album of a certain genre and only own two albums of that genre. That's like saying State of Euphoria is the seminal metal album based on the fact that it's only one of two such albums I own. It's a kooky way to form an opinion.

That's not to say the album isn't good. But it's more An Important Album rather than a flawless one. Compare something like "Paul Revere" to another Important track, like, say "Protect Ya Neck" and the difference becomes startling. "Paul Revere" sounds like a classic from a bygone era; "Protect Ya Neck" sounds timeless.
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Old 09-12-10, 06:08 PM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Continuing... my favorite tracks from this album (which I didn't really listen to until about a decade later) are "Slow Ride", "Girls", and "Brass Monkey".

And the Boys haven't disowned this album. The videos weren't on the CC DVD due to rights issues. This was their only Def Jam album.
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Old 09-12-10, 09:06 PM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
Nope, the group doesn't acknowledge much about this album due to their change into "artists", which I think is a joke in & of itself
I have never heard of the Beasties shying away from the album. They even put "Licensed to Ill" songs on their "Solid Gold Hits" greatest hits album, so they definitely acknowledge their debut.
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Old 09-12-10, 11:41 PM
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Re: Album by Album Thread featuring: The Beastie Boys

How can someone hate Slow and Low? That song always gives me the Boogaloo Flu.
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