Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique

pals boutique

This has been on my short list from the beginning, but I’ve been debating when to throw it up because it just seems too easy.  But fuck it, the weekend was waayy too short and I’m feeling lazy.

I was listening to a podcast the other day and they were interviewing the Beasties.  At some point, the subject of “Paul’s Boutique” came  up and they all became noticeably more energetic in their descriptions of the album…until the interviewer asked if they ever thought  they could do another album like it.  A kind of defeated sadness came over the Beasties as they elaborated on the pains of sampling and the whole legal aspect that surrounds it now.

“We could never release and album like that today.”

Sadder words have never been spoken because very few albums out there can cause as much joy as “Paul’s Boutique.”  After the success of “License To Ill,” the Beasties were instant pop idols, and they could have continued to be so if they had chose another path.  But during a fateful trip to Los Angeles, they attended a house party where The Dust Bothers happened to be playing…and the rest is history.

I remember when this album dropped back in ’89 and everyone, the record label included, was expecting another “License to Ill.”  I remember one of the guys at my school hearing it and saying “What the hell is this shit?!?!”  Truth be told, I didn’t get it either.  It took at least three listenings before the brilliance began to sink in.  Paul’s Boutique was ahead of it’s time…not by light years but by at least 5, owing more to the early nineties golden age than the eighties.

Originally slated to be the Dust Bothers debut album, the Beasties managed to convince them instead to allow it to become the backing for their new album.  It samples 105 different songs.  105!!!  Things like this could only exist in the era before Gilbert O’Sullivan won his landmark suit against the Biz and forever changed the rules.

To listen to this album is a pure joy.  I was mortified when my girlfriend said she had never heard it and I got her a copy immediately.  I could talk about that fantastic sound forever, but my words could never do it Justice.  Released before “Check Your Head” really cemented the Beasties place in history, it stands as one the best transition albums you’ll ever hear.

As an extra bonus, check HERE for a listing of all the samples and other Pauls Boutique related goodness.

UPDATE: If you were wondering whether or not the new 20th anniversary edition of the album was worth buying…it is.  It’s crisp and clean and full of little audio surprises for all.


4 Responses to “Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique”

  1. May 15, 2008 at 3:10 am

    i think i recommended this one to you awhile back…glad to see you got it up! another recommendation for you – Orbital – The Brown Album. by far one of the most incredible “techno” albums that is still timeless.

    by the way, nice boombox…that thing’s the shit!

  2. May 16, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Yup…I was gonna throw it up sooner or later, you just inspired me to do it sooner. I’m stoked to check out the Orbital album! I have some of their stuff, but not that one!


  3. May 16, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    also check out tom middleton’s sound of the cosmos. it’s a 3-cd set and not really an album, as it’s 3 mixed cd’s of other artists, but it is worthy of AESO status.

  4. May 21, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    I have it! It does rock. I also enjoyed “Tom Middleton: The Trip” which is spectacular, as well as his amazing collection of cover songs called “Cosmosonica.”

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