Thursday, December 8, 2011
THE BEASTIE BOYS - A BEGINNER'S GUIDE
The Compilation: the 2 CD set Sounds Of Science has almost all of their modes: hardcore punk, their days as a Run-D.M.C. style Def Jam group, the Paul's Boutique era, their hard rock stuff, instrumental funk and even their country phase (which was very brief). It has hits, album tracks and rare stuff too. And great liner notes by the band. If that's too much for you, go for the single CD Solid Gold Hits.
The Classic Album(s): They had a lot of game changers. First, their debut full length, 1986's Licensed To Ill on Def Jam. It has lots of douchey anthems like "Fight For Your Right" and "Brass Monkey," but on the other hand, it was pretty groundbreaking and has lots of amazing tracks. They completely flipped the script and risked everything by leaving Def Jam, Rush Management and producer Rick Rubin for L.A., Capitol Records and The Dust Brothers for 1989's Paul's Boutique. At the album tanked at the time. Now: it is considered a classic. After that, they picked up their instruments again for another classic, 1992's Check Your Head. This sort of mapped out the rest of their career, which they'd split between straight up hip-hop, hard rock tunes with Adam Horowitz on the mic, hard core punk tunes with Mike D shouting, and instrumental funk jams.
After that, they still released great albums but nothing as groundbreaking. Still, 1994's Ill Communication is amazing, 1998's Hello Nasty is great. I think 2004's To The 5 Boroughs is totally underrated, and ditto for this year's Hot Sauce Committee Part 2. I also dig their instrumental album, 2007's The Mix-Up. And, although they weren't at their best as a hardcore band, the 1994 compilation Some Old Bullshit is still solid, plus it has their legendary prank call "Cookie Puss."