A Look Back At The Beastie Boys' 'Check Your Head' 25 Years Later

04-22-2017
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Beastie Boys

(Radio.com) On Friday (April 21) the Beastie Boys' third album, 'Check Your Head,' turned 25. Following the insane success of the Run-D.M.C.-styled album of 1986's 'Licensed to Ill' and 1989's mind-blowing sample-packed 'Paul's Boutique,' 'Check Your Head' saw the trio picking their instruments back up and creating an entirely new kind of album, encompassing different genres, often within the same song.

Genre boundaries in music don't matter nearly as much as they used to. These days, country stars are influenced by boy bands, hip-hop MCs are also singers, and rock bands use drum loops. The lines are blurred and they have been for a long time.

In 1992, though, things were much more cut and dried. Rock, pop, and hip-hop each had their own sections in record stores (remember those?). Back then, to listen to music "on demand" usually meant plunking down $15 for a CD, and "sharing" an album meant borrowing a CD from a friend (or transferring it, in real time, to a cassette tape).

But even then, the Beastie Boys were ignoring any borders between genres. Or, more likely, they were laughing at them. Their world had room for Pink Floyd and the Meters, Bad Brains and EPMD, the Biz and the Nuge.

Today, most fans know that the Beasties started as a hardcore punk band (the 1994 Some Old Bulls— EP collects a lot of their seven inch singles from that time), but it wasn't common knowledge back then. Were they kidding with the guitar cases?

It turned out, they weren't kidding. They got back to their hardcore roots on "Time For Livin'" and created a new kind of psychedelic hip-hop/hard rock hybrid with "Gratitude." That song saw Horovitz on guitar and shouty, rapped vocals, backed by the surprisingly solid rhythm section of Yauch on bass and Diamond on drums; they were accompanied by a percussionist and "Money" Mark Nish*ta, who would be their keyboardist for the rest of their career. In the video, which was a sort of homage to Pink Floyd's Live at Pompeii, they weren't going for laughs. They were showing off that they were a real live band. Read more here.

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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