Wednesday, January 26, 2011

42. Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique (1989)

45 years, 45 LPs, 45 days...
Paul's Boutique (1989)
A stoned-out hip-hop masterpiece.  

In 1989 the Beastie Boys were on a new label, having switched from Def Jam to Capitol for their 2nd full-length release. Paul's Boutique hit record racks a year or two prior to the The Turtles v De La Soul court case that would require future releases to give credit to all records sampled, but in '88 it was fair game and the Beasties raided the vault. Boutique is so dense with samples that it's a challenge to even identify them all. The group had set a new creative standard for hip-hop, thus changing the landscape for future generations.

From the inner sleeve of Paul's Boutique
The Beastie Boys managed to reinvent themselves while staying true to their Brooklyn roots. Capitol Records was apparently 100% behind their latest artist acquisition, packaging Paul's Boutique in a lush eight-panel gatefold sleeve (the label re-created the original packaging with the recent vinyl reissue of the LP).   Three years later the Beasties would re-invent themselves again by integrating real instruments and becoming a band on the fantastic hip-hop/punk hybrid Check Your Head (1992).

I was fortunate to see the Beastie Boys at First Avenue in '92 when they toured in support of Check Your Head. It was one of those moments when I sensed I was witnessing an important show by one of the most innovative bands of my generation.

1 comment:

Monica said...

Can't believe you scored a comp to see them!