Beastie Boys

The Beastie Boys and Run-DMC brought rap into the mainstream. They were at first perceived as frat boy goofs, then respected a bit by the underground, then by college kids, then by everyone... but, really, they haven't done anything much new since their third album and it just seems like they've been milking it for ten years. In the end, I think they're a little lame.

Suggested first purchase/album: Licensed To Ill
Suggested best of: The Sounds of Science

Some Old Bullshit (1982/1994) -- The only thing that really makes this worth getting is the song "Cookie Puss," unless you like crappy punk music, which makes up the rest of this early recordings collection. D

Licensed To Ill (1986) -- Everyone has this album. The album is goofy and fun and that's what makes it great. It doesn't take itself as seriously as some of the later albums, and it caters more to the audience than to themselves. A

Paul's Boutique (1989) -- I give full credit for making a complex record and being innovators in that (though I suspect that The Dust Brothers had more to do with it than The Beastie Boys) and I know everyone says how timeless this album is, but since everyone sounds like this, it's hard for me to enjoy. Also, The Beastie Boys pretty much sound like this today. C

Check Your Head (1992) -- The Beastie Boys became a band again on this album, instead of just letting producers help them with samples and stuff, and that makes the album a bit different, and lots of it is really good, even though this is where their recordings start sounding like self-indulgent inside jokes. B

Ill Communication (1994) -- They should have called it Check Your Head II--which means we have some good stuff sitting among the self-indulgent muck. B

The In Sound from Way Out (1995) -- Interesting enough instrumentals, though kinda dull if you're in the mood for -- you know -- rappin'. C

Hello Nasty (1998) -- Check Your Head again, only this time I'm too tired to care. Self-references gets dull. Kind of boring. D

The Sounds of Science (1999) -- This two disc anthology is actually a pretty great collection, one of a kind in terms of "greatest hits" compilations, since it works not only as greatest hits, but also as rarities and alternate takes and a great overview of the band. One of their most interesting releases. B

To the 5 Boroughs (2004) -- It's an improvement over Hello Nasty in that it's cleaner and funner and less rambling, but still overall boring and nothing new. They throw in some political stuff about George W. Bush and the twin towers, and their ideas sound like those of fourteen-year-olds rather than forty-year-olds. I think this might mark my end of being interested in the Beastie Boys. C

Copyright (c) Jun 2000 - Apr 2005 by Rusty Likes Music