Monday, April 15, 2013
I am not a numbers guy, or much of a researcher, but cannot imagine they ever had a bigger album than Licensed to Ill, but certainly better, and this was the best thing about the Beastie Boys; they grew up with me. They shed their drunken, skirt-chasing image and began to put out some of hip-hop's greatest music. Public Enemy's Chuck D was quoted as saying that the "dirty secret" of hip-hop was that "Paul's Boutique had the best beats," referring to their second album.
I have been listening to The Sounds of Science, a compilation 2-disc set, a lot lately. One thing you notice is how much the music grew up, lyrically, while maintaining the core Beastie feel. The second, sadly perhaps, is how mediocre a punk band they were. Later music that mixes rock and funk are good, but some of the early punk stuff is just, well, average. The more I listen to them, the more I feel they did not get into rap just to make it big. I think it was their real place in music.
If you are not familiar with Licensed to Ill... Well, I don't know what to say. If you just know "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)" or "Paul Revere" I guess I can understand. Here are all the original songs, in order, via Youtube. Some are actual videos from the time.
"Body Movin'" is one of my favorite videos, though not a favorite song. The video takes clips from the film Danger Diabolik and intersperses them with the group to make something weird and new.
"Intergallactic" is easily one of my favorite Beastie Boys songs, and the video has a great, cheesy Kaiju feel to it.
"Ch-Check It Out" is in some ways better than "Sabotage", though not as consistent.
"Sabotage" is probably the best known of their later videos, and is a favorite for its low-budget, guerrilla feel.