Monday, February 22, 2010

CD Odyssey Disc 96: Beastie Boys

Attention all you record makers! Stop. Making. Your. Albums. Too. Long.

With that said...

Disc 96 is...Hello Nasty
Artist: Beastie Boys

Year of Release: 1998

How I Came To Know It: I have known of the Beastie Boys since I saw the video for "Fight For Your Right To Party" in the late eighties, but I didn't buy any of their albums until I heard "License to Ill" in the pick up truck of my friend Tony's brother, Donato, on the night of Tony's bachelor party. "Hello Nasty" came fairly late to my collection - I'd say I bought it around 2004.

How It Stacks Up: I have nine Beastie Boys albums, which I think might be all of them. "Hello Nasty" is about 4th or 5th - so right in the middle.

Rating: 3 stars.

This album is a strange mix of the brilliant and the overly ambitious.

Let's just pick up on the teaser at the top of this entry; this album has 22 tracks on it. That is absolutely uncalled for. I could cut at least five of these songs in my sleep, and give me an hour and I'd find another three or four.

It's a pity, because the 13-14 tracks that would be left would be some of the Beastie Boys' better stuff. When they are on with this album, they are definitely on, with tight samples and the unique blend of rock, funk, disco and hip hop that defines their sound. This album loses a whole star in the ratings simply by having too much filler.

Worse, when looking for a suitable cover photo for this album, I read that there is some special new release coming out and it could have 22 additional songs. Whoa, there! To borrow a song title from "Hello Nasty", that is "Putting Shame In Your Game".

This album came out right after their instrumental groove album, "The In Sound From Way Out" and at least four songs with that album's jazz-funk sound work their way onto this album. Those tracks are pretty good, but I think two would have been enough here.

The hits on the record are "Super Disco Breakin'", "Intergalactic" and "Body Movin'", which have some of the best videos the late nineties have to offer. I particularly like the video for "Body Movin'", which features a swordfight between some 18th century gentleman and a ninja. The fight happens for no reason - not there needs to be a reason why this fight should happen.

I like to think the 18th century gentleman had earlier in the day challenged the ninja to a duel. Naturally, the ninja had demurred, only to don his ninja outfit and try to assassinate the gentleman later that night in his sleep. It may seem unfair, but hey - that's what ninjas do, my friends. Besides, the 18th century guy wakes up in time and a swordfight (and hilarity) ensues.

While the hits are good, my two favourite tracks are "Remote Control" and "Three MCs and One DJ".

"Remote Control" has a great disco back sample which I can...almost...recognize. Very funky, with some good raps.

"Three MCs and One DJ" displays some great raps delivered in the Beastie Boy's trademark unison style, alongside Mixmaster Mike showing off incredible skill. The song actually starts with a 'phone message' to Adam from Mixmaster Mike, where he plays a crazy mix-up of Tweetie Bird called "the Tweetie Scratch." (It has to be heard to be appreciated).

OK - I just did a rare cheat in an attempt to find the sample for "Remote Control" and found out it was released as a single in the UK with the B-side of..."Three MCs and One DJ". Nice! Now that is a 45 worth changing the speed on your record player for. Didn't find the sample, though...

Anyway, this is a solid, if overlong, Beastie Boys album. And it has ninjas and giant robots - or at least the videos do. Good for a listen and even a buy if you like their other stuff.

Best tracks: Super Disco Breakin', The Move, Remote Control, Just a Test, Intergalactic, Three MCs and One DJ

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Maybe artists should have a "record rule": only put on an album what would have fit on a vinyl record?