Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique (1989)

beasties pauls boutiqueBy Scott Goldfine

It’s been two-and-half years since the Beastie Boys (Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, Adam “MCA” Yauch and Michael “Mike D” Diamond) unleashed their landmark Licensed to Ill debut LP and crashed through our stereos, radios and TVs with the hell-raising anthem “Fight for Your Right.” That Rick Rubin-produced album took the industry by storm and went on to become the most successful rap record of all time with more than 4 million units sold domestically. Well, that infamous and loveable(?) trio of swaggering decadence has resurfaced with a new label, new producers and a new LP.

The Beasties have switched to Capital Records and enlisted the Dust Brothers, which includes Matt Dyke (Tone Loc), as producers reportedly due to a royalties dispute with Def Jam Records and Rubin. In any event, amid much skepticism, the group is none the worse for the wear. Most of the screaming guitars and numbing bass drum thuds have been superseded by intricate sampling, subtle nuances and a greater urban slant. But the Boys’ raunchy attitude and deliriously off-the-cuff raps are completely unfettered. Moreover, the new musical approach has yielded what is perhaps rap’s most dazzling and mind-boggling display of sampling ever.

The Beasties have added another wrinkle to the fold — social consciousness! The song “Johnny Ryall” is an in-depth portrait of a homeless character, while “Egg Man” denounces racism. Elsewhere, however, as in the rocking “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun,” “High Plains Drifter” (which samples the Eagles’ “Those Shoes”) and “Car Thief,” the threesome delivers their familiar, satirical yarns of violence. The disc’s best dance jams are “Shake Your Rump,” the single “Hey Ladies” and the Sly Stone homage “Shadrach.” The absence of a crossover hit may hinder this LP’s impact, but Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D have triumphantly averted the sophomore jinx.

GRADE: A-

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Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.