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Beastie Boys – Ill Communication (1994)

May 30, 2012

[Album 56/1001]

Need a record as quiet accompaniment while doing homework?  This one’s about as ill-suited as it gets.

Looking for something to put on at a gathering where the guest list is full of people who went to high school in the 80’s and 90’s?  You won’t find a much better fit than Ill Communication

This is in a class with Beck’s Odelay and Weezer’s blue album; a perfect soundtrack for reminiscing with friends (ideally at a cottage) about ‘back in the day.’

Although easy to dismiss as merely a ‘good times’ album, there are some refreshingly insightful lyrics.  My favourite track, Sure Shot, features the lines:
“I Want To Say a Little Something That’s Long Overdue
The Disrespect To Women Has Got To Be Through
To All The Mothers And Sisters And the Wives And Friends
I Want To Offer My Love And Respect To The End”

The video for Sabotage should also confirm Spike Jonze as the top music video director of the 1990’s.

Outside a handful of singles, I’m not sure how well this album as a whole resonates with those listening for the first time in 2012.  It may be somewhat like the film, Labyrinth: pure magic if you grew up with it, puzzling if you’re seeing it decades later and now trying to determine what all the fuss is about.

As evidenced by the outpouring of tributes when the passing of Adam “MCA” Yauch was announced earlier this year, the Beastie Boys were a group unlike any other.  And for that, many high school & post-secondary alumni from the late 20th century will be forever grateful.

From → 1990s

  1. Your Labyrinth reference hits the nail on the head!

  2. Scotty permalink

    One of my favorite albums of all time. But this makes sense, like you said, it was the sound track of my high school years! Flute Loop and Do it are two under appreciated songs on the album. Say the one line from B Boys Making with the Freak Freak at a party and you’re guaranteed to get a laugh, well it has to be the right party….Looking forward to the Paul’s Boutique review.

  3. Thanks W & Scotty – the other Beasties records on the 1001 list are Licensed to Ill and Paul’s Boutique – I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I haven’t heard the latter yet, and I hear it’s arguably their finest!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill (1986) | 1001albumsin10years

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