Tag Archives: Licensed to Ill

26. The Beastie Boys – “Licensed to Ill”

Kick it!!! And so we begin what will be about a week long exploration of the Beastie Boys’ works.

beastie-boys-licensed-to-ill-album-coverIt’s been like a late 80s teenage party in my office all day, as Licensed to Ill pumps out my tinny little computer speakers. I haven’t quite been jumping around the room, but I’ve been having more fun than usual in here.

This album is a real blast from the past, as Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D lay down some old-school hip-hop. The tunes are all pretty basic – the boys rhyming over crude backbeats and a short supply of sampled riffs – but it works. These guys maintain the pace and share the vocal work well.

This release does sound a lot “whiter” than their later work, i.e it lacks sufficient funk (or even the bass) to take it to a groovier level. But it’s fun, it’s shouty and it’s perfect output from badassed teenage b-boys. And I still giggle at Girls, shout along to Fight for your Right, and expect No Sleep Till Brooklyn.

I remember seeing the Fight clip on Rock Arena in 1986 and presuming these guys would be one-hit wonders… I’m so glad I was wrong.

Here it is:

Oh, and these guys were one-hit wonders (well two, sort of):

File under: Birth of legends