Beastie Boys, triple vinyl for the 30th anniversary of "Ill Communication"

Beastie Boys: 30 years of “Ill Communication”, a subversive love

Thirty years ago perhaps there was less fear of doing something truly strange and unique. And I'm not referring so much to the amazing and fun chases immortalized in the video “Sabotage”a single bomber who became famous thanks to the brilliant interpretation of Beastie Boys who, disguised as policemen and bandits, parodied the detective shows of the seventies, such as Starsky & Hutch. No, it is on a musical level that “Ill Communication”, their fourth album, released 30 years ago, on May 31, 1994, presents itself as a “subversive love”, to quote Afterhours, for the music and its free spirit. It's an album full of desire to dare, not to sit down, to mix, to go further, to play.

Diving into it you feel the desire not to look like anyone. It is a crossover that ties together, through a stylistic and sonic thread, all the songs present in the project, rather than the “playlist records” without identity that are often published today. “Ill Communication” was much more than the album that brought the Beastie Boys back to the top of the Billboard 200. In short order, the Beastie Boys' fourth (multi-platinum) album Michael “Mike D” Diamond, Adam Horovitz and Adam “MCA” Yauch managed, in an overwhelming way, to pervade every aspect of popular culture. While the run of “Ill Communication”, with its worldwide success, was led by “Sabotage” and its unforgettable video directed by Spike Jonze/Nathanial Hornblower, the magazines of the time defined the 1994 album “the soundtrack of summer”. Aggressive punk, 70's funk, black rhymes, groove, jazz atmospheres that melt into acid instrumentalsi: a magical smoothie in twenty tracks. Critics and fans were also thrilled by hip-hop hits such as “Sure Shot” or “Root Down”homage to the Jimmy Smith song, and the collaboration with Q-Tip in “Get It Together”. The contribution of Eric Bobo, member of the rapcore band Cypress Hill, emerges in this album “Sabrosa”crossed by a bass line that marries the sound of bongos, but there are also keyboards and scratching.

There is more: “Bobo on the Corner”which owes its title to the name of the musician, is a piece played almost entirely with percussion. And it is found inside a record, it should be underlined, which reached the top of the charts: a clear snapshot of what the Beastie Boys represented. Vibe's cover called them “arguably the most innovative musicians to emerge from hip hop.” Definition to which “Ill Communication” continues to remain faithful today: the album has in fact fascinated several generations of listeners also thanks to instrumental tracks, “Sabrosa” and “Ricky's Theme”and thanks to hardcore punk pieces like “Tough Guy” and “Heart Attack Man”. Grand Royal, Capitol Records and UMe will celebrate the album's 30th anniversary with the July 26 release of a limited edition deluxe 3 lp which will give away a rare version of the album originally released in a limited edition in 2009, out of print for some time and sought after by fans and collectors. The edition includes a third LP with 12 bonus tracks (including a live version of “The Maestro” from 1992's “Check Your Head”, “Mullet Head”, remixes, B-sides and other rarities), all packaged in a hard case. A curiosity: the photograph chosen for the album cover was taken by photographer Bruce Davidson in 1964 in a drive-in in Los Angeles called “Tiny Naylor's”, as part of a feature for Esquire, which the magazine ultimately decided not to publish.