Beastie Boys

They fought for your right to party

They’ve been around since the late 70s but they’re still as influential as ever. Emerging in 1979 as punk band The Young Aborigines, soon after original guitarist Berry suggested the name change. With their first rap single 'Cooky Puss' starting life as nothing more than a prank call to an ice cream company, it would seem the most successful part of their career was an inspired accident. 'Cooky Puss' began to take the underground dance scene of New York by storm, and the punk band realised they had found their niche, with Def Jam’s Rick Rubin spotting their potential soon after. They spent much of the early eighties touring with names such as Madonna on the Virgin Tour and the Raising Hell tour with many of the up and coming R&B stars of the day such as LL Cool J and Run DMC. 'Three Idiots Create A Masterpiece' may not be the most complimentary headline in the world, but this famous statement by the Rolling Stone heralded the release of Licensed to Ill in 1986, an album that shot to superstardom and the first rap album to reach number 1 on the Billboard chart where it resided for five weeks. The album was a fresh sound and an inspiration, as well as a launching pad for the then young Marshall Mathers to follow suit. 'Fight For Your Right', the first single from this album, found MTV fame early on, and although it continues to be a form of marmite, few can say they haven’t heard it. After moving to Capitol following a fall out with Def Jam, they began work on their next venture; 'Paul’s Boutique'. Although still holding onto the grungey hip hop that served the boys so well in their first album, 'Paul’s Boutique' proved to be a more mature and honed version of their signature style, 'Hey Ladies' being a perfect example of this. Check your head, the next episode in their musical career marked the coming of age for the band where they really took charge, recording the album in their own studio ('G-Son' in Atwater Village, California), releasing on the band’s own record label, Grand Royal, where it went double platinum in 1992 and also publishing their own magazine, Grand Royal Magazine. As if they weren’t busy enough during this period of time, they also joined forces with the Smashing Pumpkins to headline Lollapalooza, finding time to put on charity concerts for the Milarepa Fund, a charity for Tibetan Human Rights. It seemed like by the late Nineties the Boys could do no wrong, with their next album Ill Communication hitting straight in at number one on the Billboard Top 200 and singles like 'Sabotage' and 'Get It Together' being instant hits on and off the dance floor, along with 'Hello Nasty' taking almost world domination at the number 1 spot internationally in 1998 as well as winning them two Grammy Awards. The politically and morally conscious Beastie Boys made a number of statements at this time regarding the US Embassy bombings at the MTV awards, before embarking on their Tibetan Freedom Concerts in 1999. The 2001 World Trade Centre bombings only heightened this impulse to help the world by putting on the New Yorkers Against Violence Concert in October of that year. After this they focussed once again on new music, with the O.C debuting their single 'Ch-Check It Out' from their album 'To the 5 Boroughs', released June 2004. A long awaited instrumental album was also released in 2007, 'The Mix-Up', to coincide with the band playing live dates such as Bestival as well as at Live Earth in the UK. Although Adam Yauch announced that the next album was to be called 'Hot Sauce Committee' and that it was going to be a “drastic change” to their sound as well as having a tour to support the album, sadly he has announced that he has cancer and subsequently has had to cancel these tour dates. We look forward to what the Boys have next in store. All that and they coined the word ‘mullet’. Not bad for three ex punk kids…


Mike D , Ad Rock , MCA


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