💯🖕 1001 Albums: DiS - Day 7: Licensed to Ill by Beastie Boys

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0 voters

Best track:

  • Rhymin & Stealin
  • The New Style
  • She’s Crafty
  • Posse in Effect
  • Slow Ride
  • Girls
  • Fight For Your Right
  • No Sleep Till Brooklyn
  • Paul Revere
  • Hold It Now, Hit It
  • Brass Monkey
  • Slow and Low
  • Time to Get Ill

0 voters

This’ll be interesting. I’m a huge Beastie Boys fan, but definitely the post-Licensed era. Paul’s Boutique is one of my favourite albums, as is Hello Nasty, and I’ve never really liked this brash sound or their attitudes to things on this album. Plus there’s a bad smell after all the Rick Rubin stuff. At least they apologised for all the misogynist stuff quite effectively.

Been a while since i listened through this one. My go-to is Pauls Boutique.

Can recommend this podcast - overall - but more specifically the episode for this album.

Ali Baba and the forty thieves! Ali Baba and the forty thieves!
Ali Baba and the forty thieves! Ali Baba and the forty thieves!


Listened to this a couple of months ago for the first time in ages. Definitely not as up my street as the subsequent albums but worth a 7 I suppose? Rhymin & Stealin is still a solid gold banger

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Some of the production on this album is amazing given its age the techniques used. Paul Revere probably my favourite Beastie Boys track. I probably skip half of it, but it’s probably my go to Beastie Boys album after Pauls Boutique. Huge album for me as a kid.

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Great album and love how it really sounds like a group of mates having fun and some absolutely classic tune and moments in song:

“Feel the beat
Hmm, drop”

Definitely not their best but still a classic album, and “Girls” is just awful and so cringworthy (and to be fair to the band they have subsequently distanced themselves from this track)

It’s ok, but I can’t imagine wanting to listen to it again. They made much better records later on and there is a lot of hip hop from the late 80s which stands up better.

Nowhere near as good as Paul’s Boutique or Hello Nasty, but still not terrible by any means.

It’s a Classic Album for sure.

I hated it on first few listens because I didn’t get what they were doing. Just a bunch of mates shouting, then it clicked, and it’s great.

It’s of its time, Girls is awful but the album holds up to my ears.

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Absolutely pivotal album for me as a kid. I was 11 the first time I heard it, and along with Suicidal Tendencies’ first album and King Of Rock by Run DMC, was pretty much all I listened to for an entire year. Don’t reckon there’s any better album for being 11 years old than Licensed to Ill.

Seems to have this outlier status in the Beasties’ discography too – like there’s this album and then everything else they did. Never really got this except for a couple of the crossover tracks like Fight For Your Right and No Sleep ‘till Brooklyn. Obviously there’s a pretty pronounced stylistic change between Licensed and Paul’s Boutique, but there’s three years between them and hip hop had moved on massively from ’86-‘89. Same as pointing out that there’s a massive stylistic difference between Schooly D and De La Soul. The Beastie Boys’ main reinvention wasn’t until their following album.

Absolutely massive album all things considered. I know many people feel uncomfortable saying it given that it was made by three upper middle class Jewish kids (four if you include Rick Rubin), but it was pivotal in terms of making hip hop viable commercially and its subsequent success (and domination) in later years. It’s also still to this day an amazing party record. Easy 10

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it was a slow burner I recall. It was in Tempest Records window for an age before the controversy hit.

The stylist change is pretty abrupt for me, and it makes sense as it was essentially different people making the music (Rick Rubin - The Dust Brothers).

Think by the time I heard the (entirely manufactured by the UK tabloid press) controversy was in full swing, VW badges going missing etc. etc. Seemed like they were everywhere. Even my Mum knew about them


I think it’s an interesting historical piece and having listened to it relatively recently I think it holds up pretty well as a set of songs.

That just very blunt meshing of rock guitar with hip hop is both very silly and very good. All the surrounding moral panic was hillarious and almost inconceivable now.

Not actually as good as what followed though when it comes down to it.

Yes they blew up big style. A few mates of mine had tickets to see RUN DMC at the Birmingham Odeon and realised after the controversy the Beasties were supporting.

Sure, but it was the Beastie Boys making the music on both albums too. The best tracks on Licensed to Ill {Paul Revere, Hold It Now Hit It) were entirely in tune with what was going on around them in hip hop at the time (Run DMC, early PE, Schooly D etc), just like Paul’s Boutique is very much of a piece with albums like Three Feet High and Rising and Done by the Forces of Nature that came out the same year.

Same. Although for me it was Raising Hell rather than King Of Rock.

And yes, it definitely has outlier status and their fans seem very embarrassed by it. Rightly or wrongly, they get held to different standards to other acts from that time. Yes, Girls is completely sexist and puerile but you don’t hear the same criticism levelled at people like Run DMC.

Will never forget the disappointment of my first listen to Pauls Boutique.

Beastie Boys are definitely not the sort of music I like, and yet I always seem to quite like them every time I hear them despite myself.

At the time they just seemed like some really crappy cartoon band, with the VW signs and the national outrage, and it’s all quite amusing in hindsight.

Now I quite like Fight for your Right - it s good no-nonsense fun and does sound quite unique.

I’ve never felt particularly inclined to listen to one of their albums, but maybe I should.

It will probably also really annoy my other half, so that’s a bonus. :smiley:

Absolutely listen to Paul’s Boutique