7 Years in the Taking

It’s a bit terrifying to comprehend that the Beastie Boys album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two dropped 7 years ago. It would prove to be their last, as little over a year later, founding member Adam Yauch would be dead from cancer. This ghostly drawing of Mr. Yauch would be one of the last fans would see (top row, third from the left). This insert is from record one of HSCP2. RIP MCA.

Gimme that Burzootie, Baby

burzootieWell, it’s Tuesday, and it has felt like a Friday for the past three weeks. So, among other things much less noteworthy, let’s, at least for a moment, give an awkward nod to MCA & Burzootie (Adam Yauch and Jay Burnett) on their 1985 12″ Drum Machine. Once a sought after trophy in the Beastie Boys display case, and understandably, this borderline schizophrenic three track 12″ is post-post-hardcore, pre-License to Ill MCA, and is more than demanding of this, or any Tuesday night’s delicious spins. Spin with caution, and spin often.

Three Decades of Hype

Revere1986 was a very fruitful year for the Beastie Boys. Nearly every track from their debut LP saw a 12″ or 7″ release (It’s the New Style b/w Paul Revere featured here), and the band, with a lot of help from producer Rick Rubin, sold a very sizable amount of records. This hype sticker, and the music it promotes, is now 30 years old. Crazytown. RIP MCA.

I’m Down with the Boys Beastie

Bootleg_BoysWhat’s not to love about a bootleg of the Beastie Boys covering their version of a Beatles song?! This unofficial 7″ from 2013 is as hilarious as it is historical. From the bird on the cover (here) to the Licensed to Ill-era schoolboy lyrics, the Beasties’ version of I’m Down has the classic Def Jam hip hop power guitar you’d expect, and I’m not even joking, their reworked lyrics are gut-bustingly priceless. The quote on the back of the sleeve, however, takes the cake.

“After a long pause, Michael Diamond responds to a question about Michael Jackson, who as owner of the publishing rights to the Beatles’ songs, refused the Beasties permission to put their own customized version of the Fab Four’s ‘I’m Down’ on their album. ‘What would I do if I met him?’ Mike D says. ‘I’d unplug his oxygen tent, rip off his surgical mask and spit in his face.'”

– Los Angeles Times, February 1, 1987

Classic D. This Chinese release is limited to 249 copies on explicative pink vinyl, was a holiday gift from some well-knowing family members, and comes highly recommended.
RIP MCA.

BFL

BFLI guess I didn’t realize my copy of Big Fat Love’s Hell House was still sealed. I’d dubbed a CD some years back, and snatched up this here fella during the Grand Royal liquidation dump. As Beastie Boys side projects go, this is an unusual one. She kind of flew under the radar, and although some of the material was recorded in 1987, it wasn’t officially released until 1997. Both Mike D and MCA got their hands dirty with this release (MCA more on the producing side), but an extensive breakdown of the band’s history can be found over at Beastiemania (your one stop shop for all things Ill).

1998 Feels Like A Lifetime Ago

HelloThe double Grammy winning album sold a whopping 680,000 + units its first week alone, and was undoubtedly that summer’s celebrated soundtrack, both personally and commercially. Abandoning the mix of hardcore and hip hop that 1992’s Check Your Head and 1994’s Ill Communication provided, Hello Nasty was straight-forward hip hop, and featured new DJ, Mix Master Mike (DJ Hurricane, the Beasties’ original DJ left prior to the making of the album).

NastyThis double, clear gold vinyl edition was released by Grand Royal Records (as opposed to the double black vinyl version released by Capitol Records), and was limited to 7500 copies. Hello Nasty was produced by the Beasties and Mario C (Mario Caldato, Jr), and is certified triple Platinum (3,000,000 copies sold) in the United States alone (roughly 3,600,000 worldwide).

B-Boy Bouillabaisse

GoThis 1982 live bootleg from the inaugural Beastie Boys years is the most recent addition to the family’s B-Boy Bouillabaisse (Paul’s Boutique… check it out). It was acquired at an LA punk shop off Melrose, and although the quality is less than perfect, it captures a pivotal point in the band’s lucrative history. For what it’s worth, sacred memories need to be celebrated, regardless of how unsocial and mundane they may seem.

RIP MCA.

She’s Over It

ItWritten by Ad-Rock and producer Rick “Def Jam” Rubin, the 1985 soundtrack (or “sound track” as it’s listed on the cover) to the smash-bang-hit, She’s On It, is little more than an elaborate, mediocre, wave two Beastie Boys offering. There’s a reason She’s On It never appeared on a proper album, and that’s because it’s shit. I love the Boys Beastie, but I’m sorry. This song is terrible… and the video is even worse. But… this razor-edged opinion in no way prevents me from seeking out this release to round out the collection. 1985 Beastie Boys was a very sad, but ultimately necessary phenomenon… one that would be all but eclipsed with the dawn of a new era (wave three), ushered forth by the impeccable Paul’s Boutique. It’s okay to question your heroes… RIP MCA.

MW034 LP

MW034 LPLo(unge)-Fi keyboard extraordinaire Mark Ramos Nishita, aka Money Mark released his debut, Mark’s Keyboard Repair on UK staple Mo’ Wax Records back in 1995. Mr. Money is, of course, best known for his artificial ivory works with the Beastie Boys from 1992’s Check Your Head through the band’s final offering with 2011’s Hot Sauce Committee Part 2. Releasing seven full-length studio albums throughout his solo career, Mark’s music follows the lackadaisical-lazy-groove style of Luscious Jackson, Buffalo Daughter, and other lesser-known Grand Royal virtuosos.

The photo above is an artsy little number featured on the insert record jacket to Mark’s Keyboard Repair. The more you know…

The $kill$ to Pay the Bill$

$KILL$Back in ’92, and a whole three years before the digital video disc was invented, LaserDiscs were considered, across the videophile nation, to be the best quality home consumer video format that money could buy. Leave it to the Beastie Boys to tackle this medium to promote a collection of their classic music videos, appropriately titled, The $kill$ to Pay the Bill$. Nabbing its title from the a bonus track to the So What ‘Cha Want single (release June 2nd, 1992), The $kill$ to Pay the Bill$ may very well be the best non-album track, aside maybe for Mullet Head, that the trio ever released, and is a fitting handle for this 12 video comp.

Bill$One of only two LaserDiscs that I kept after the great liquidation of 2012 (the other being the Criterion Collection release of Dr. Strangelove), The $kill$ to Pay the Bill$ is a perfect relic of early 90’s distinction. What’s a seemingly intentional snub to the fans, however, is the omission of the video from which this collection derives its name. Shameful punks!

’82

Stew1982 was a good year for several, obvious reasons. The Dukes of Hazzard saw a bit of a ruckus when Warner Bros. refused to pay actors Tom Wopat and John Schneider their due royalties. This resulted in the Duke brothers’ 17-episode hiatus / protest. Warner Bros. finally struck a deal which finally ended the Vance and Coy era (“cousins” filling the lead rolls left vacant by two smart actors speaking up when they weren’t being paid what was contractually theirs).

Let’s see, what else happened… Tron, E.T., Tootsie and Blade Runner were released… The stupid-ass St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers in game 7 of the World Series… Grace Kelly, John Belushi and Ingrid Bergman died… I moved from sunny Southern California to the frigid tundra of Wisconsin… OH! And the Beastie Boys released their first record, a hardcore EP titled Polly Wog Stew.

PollyBack8 tracks released on both 7” and 12” formats, the Polly Wog Stew E.P. would be the first, last, and only official release from the band as a hardcore unit, next releasing Cookie Puss which saw the Boys Beastie bow more towards a new form of hip hop (well, at the time).

Yeah, ’82 was decent, and oh so long ago.

Thrifties

ThriftiesAn unexpected find during an unexpected trip to the thrifty on my way home from the office, Cypress Hill’s 1991 debut and a sealed, bootleg, double LP of the Beastie Boys’ Hip Hop Sampler comp were a surprise upon these weary eyes, to say the very least. Having already owned copies of each (two-times over, in the case of Cypress Hill), I didn’t once hesitate to question the overpriced $3 Records sign above the frail shelf. Yoink, and yoink.

Gotta’ love the thrifties. Also, RIP Joe Cocker.

Naked Eye

LJIn the process of sheathing my collection with 3 mil polyethylene jimmy hats (started with A, currently at L), I’ve discovered a few hidden, sealed treasures I’d somehow forgotten about. I count five virgin records living between A and L, among them is this 1996 maxi 12” from Grand Royal’s Luscious Jackson.

Naked Eye, the band’s most commercially successful song, was the only offering from the band to enter the Billboard Hot 100, and the first to penetrate these ears. Word around the barrio is that LJ reunited and were collaborating on new music, a certain and promising upswing from this severely underrated band.

MCA for the Save

So, what do you do when you’re halfway into work and the piercing notion strikes that, once again, you forgot to snap a few pics for the day’s post?! Some would veer their car off the next overpass, while others would make up some vague excuse, double back, and snatch the visual interpretation of one’s daily obsession. So… what did I do? I cursed myself, countless times, and left it up to “oh, well, we’ll figure it out” as a viable, and ONLY option.

So, here’s a photo of a mid-seventies MCA Records logo. Swallowed up by the mighty Universal Music Group, MCA Records gasped its last, fleeting breath back in 2003.

MCARIP MCA.

3x MC + 1x DJ

Front16hr work days call for lazy posts… and right now the lot of you are thinking, “Man, this guy must work 16hr days ALL THE TIME!” To that I say, “Well aren’t you just a little slice of something.” By now the majority of you know my adolescent obsession with the Beastie Boys, and if you don’t know this little tidbit of useless information, I have an adolescent obsession with the Beastie Boys.

BAck1998 was a bittersweet year for the B-Boy fan, a year that brought with it borderline anxiety-ridden anticipation, and (the almost inevitable) heartbreaking disappointment. We received a Grammy for Best Alternative Performance with Hello Nasty, if you’re into such materialistic badges of mundane stature, but with it we had to suffer through, well, Hello Nasty. My echoing opposition of this album has dwindled as I’ve aged, but my early disliking to it certainly didn’t prevented me from owning it (a necessary) three times (1x CD, 1x yellow vinyl, 1x black), in addition to all the singles that accompanied it (Intergalactic, Body Movin’, The Negotiation Limerick File, and Remote Control / Three MC’s and One DJ). Don’t ask “why” of people who obsess. You certainly do not want to see how the sausage is made. Moving along, Three MC’s and One DJ showcased the awe-inspiring talents of the band’s newly acquired DJ, Mix Master Mike. I dug / dig the new DJ (you can’t knock his skills), but I’ve always preferred the traditional cuts of DJ Hurricane, the band’s mainstay DJ since their Licensed to Ill days.

Anyway, this video is 3 parts goofy, 1 part technically fascinating, and all parts good time. When we’re tired, and lazy, the Beastie Boys always seem like the logical excuse. Enjoy!

 

A Recipe to Die for!

RecipeDirected by Nathanial Hörnblowér (MCA aka Adam Yauch’s behind the camera alias), the Body Movin’ video, a farcical exploration into the fascinating, yet nonsensical action-adventure-thriller, was the 2nd single off the band’s 1998 Hello Nasty album, as well as the follow up to the widely received radio smash, Intergalactic. The B-Boys have long been known for their outrageous music videos (1989’s Hey Ladies comes to mind), but in my opinion, nothing tops the grandiose scale of a ninja Ad-Rock sword fighting with a monocle sporting, P-Jam wearing MCA for a diabolical fondue recipe. Anyway, it’s worthy of a watch, so here goes… happy Wednesday!

RIP MCA

Country Mike’s Greatest Hits

Country Mike1 part country to 2 parts not-too-serious fun, Country Mike’s Greatest Hits is yet another prime example of how the Beastie Boys could, and did play and release just about any genre of music.

What was, I believe, originally given out to family and friends of the band as holiday gifts back in 2000, has since been booted and currently brushes sleeves with the Scientists of Sound – The Blow Up Factor 12” and the Mickey Finn remix of Body Movin’ on my record shelf.

Country Mike Has Your Back, SonIs this album good? Define good. Okay… would you compare it to say, the likes of The Man in Black, or Willie Nelson? Absolutely not. Is it country? Yes… but with a DJ and plenty of scratching. Okay… Would you recommend it to someone with an open mind who enjoys discovering new music whether or not the Beastie Boys are necessarily his or her thing? Wholeheartedly and without question.

The In Sound from 1995?

In SoundsThere seems to be a bit of controversy surround the release of the 199? instrumental compilation by the genre-bending kings, the Beastie Boys. The back sleeve indicates the copyright as 1994, it’s advertised in issue #2 of Grand Royal Magazine from 1995, it’s listed on Discogs.com as a 1995 release, then is given a 1996 release date on both Wikipedia.org and allmusic.com. MAKE UP YOUR DAMN, GROOVE-TASTIC MINDS, PEOPLE! One thing we can all agree on, however, is that this 13-track comp is nothing short of sheer brilliance.

In Sounds AdvertListening to this album, you would have no Earthly idea these guys were forged from Mt. Hip-Hop (or Mt. Hardcore, depending on what you consider their introduction to the social conscious to be). It’s as if 1975 dropped into the studio and graced the soundboard with its majestic polyester swagger to produce arguably the closest thing to a perfect album the world has ever heard. It’s staggering to realize this album is a comp, recorded over a 4-year period, and not the result of a neatly planned out instrumental album, the band’s first of 2 (the other being 2007’s Grammy award winner, The Mix-Up).

This album is a must needed addition to any collection, and although more talented musicians have played more groundbreaking music in this style (mainly throughout the 70s), the esthetic range of the Beastie Boys need not go overlooked.