Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Riveting "Gunplay" with Beastie Boys (1989)


Earlier this morning, I was part of a surprisingly well-versed Beastie Boys conversation... @ work (Shop Rite), of all places. Topic of interest: The sheer AWESOME-ness that is "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun." Having always been a personal favourite of mine, it was the sole fleshed out "full band" track on The Beasties' sophomore album - Paul's Boutique (1989). What is now widely considered to be their "Magnum Opus," the record featured some 105 Dust Brothers-found sample sources [songs] and was essentially a "commercial failure" @ first. Because of sample clearance rules/laws established since its release, Paul's Boutique would be EXTREMELY expensive to make in this day & age. For all intensive purposes, this album is most definitely in my Top 5... and with that said, it deserves a lengthier, more in-depth post of its own. Stay tuned!


Now, back to "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun" - For those who don't know, The Beasties started out as a Hardcore Punk band (NYC 1981-83) and are very talented musicians; Ad-Rock on guitar, Mike D on drums, and MCA on bass. Aside from the Kerry King (Slayer) solo ["No Sleep till Brooklyn"], their commercial debut, License to Ill, featured little-no live instrumentation. Even with its chugging, Heavy Metal/Punk riffs, "'Barrel of Gun" also showcased a number of short samples: Incredible Bongo Band - "Last Bongo In Belgium," Pink Floyd - "Time," Mountain - "Mississippi Queen" @ 1:50, and Ocean - "Put Your Hand In the Hand."

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