Tuesday, August 05, 2014

RIP MCA: Birthday Beastie Bootie Bounty

Today would have been the 50th birthday of the late Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch, so I have taken the liberty of assembling a couple of prime Beastie concerts from their heyday to commemorate the occasion.
A committed Buddhist and an activist in the movement for a Free Tibet, he died of lymphatic cancer in 2012 at only 47 -- coincidentally the same age I am right now (shudder) -- but not before a quarter century of helping put his band on the map as one of the essential hip-hop groups ever.
When these guys made their debut in 1987, the world was a totally different place. White rappers who had been a Punk band before, they were considered a novelty act for Caucasian kids to embrace the partier, more juvenile side of hip-hop. They played along until their first record hit it huge, and then they started to get serious.
Their second record is still considered a cornerstone of modern hip-hop; Paul's Boutique is a landmark from the art form's Golden Age of 1987-92 and may contain the most samples ever used on an album. They followed this watershed platter with what are IMO their two best records, Check Your Head and Ill Communication... it's those tours that are amply documented in this here post.
One of the first rap groups to use a live band and play their own instruments -- they had a head start in this regard from having been a Punk band -- these three sets run the gamut from rap to turntable-driven hip-hop to hardcore thrash to jazzy, organ-heavy funk and back again. The three Beastie brothers, of course, take turns screaming their rhymes over a thunderous backing.
Beastie Boys
New Jersey 1992 + Netherlands 1994-5

Randy's Rodeo
Trenton, NJ

01 To All the Girls
02 Slow and Low
03 Shake Your Rump
04 Pass the Mic
05 Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun
06 Rhymin' and Stealin'
07 Time for Livin'
08 Egg Raid On Mojo
09 In 3's
10 POW
11 Live at PJ's
12 Stand Together
13 Posse In Effect
14 A Year and a Day
15 Jimmy James
16 Sounds of Science
17 Finger Lickin Good
18 This One's for Todd
19 High Plains Drifter
20 So What'Cha Want?
21 Paul Revere
22 The Maestro
23 Groove Holmes
24 Something's Got to Give
25 Lighten Up
26 Gratitude
27 Stand Up
28 Time to Get Ill
29 Shadrach

Total time: 1:19:36
DAT soundboard, remastered by thir13een
edited to one-CD version by EN (no music lost)

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

01 Egg Man
02 Do It
03 Pass the Mic
04 Tough Guy
05 Futterman's Rule
06 The Update
07 POW
08 The Maestro
09 Alright Hear This
10 Time to Get Ill
11 Stand Together
12 Root Down
13 Bodhisattva Vow
14 Elbow Room
15 Heart Attack Man
16 Sabotage

Total time: 46:35
FM master tape, slightly remastered by EN

Den Haag, The Netherlands

01 introduction
02 Stand Together
03 Sure Shot
04 Shake Your Rump
05 Alright Hear This
06 Root Down
07 Slow and Low
08 Gratitude
09 Beastie Boys
10 Tough Guy
11 POW
12 In 3's
13 Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries
14 Sabotage

Total time: 33:22
FM master tape, slightly remastered by EN

Michael "Mike D" Diamond - drums, vocals
Adam "MCA" Yauch - bass, vocals
Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz - guitar, vocals
DJ Hurricane - turntables, vocals
"Money" Mark Nishita - keyboards, vocals
Amery "AWOL" Smith - drums, vocals
Eric Bobo - percussion, vocals (2.10.1995 set)

the 2 Netherlands sets fit on a single CD
all three shows zipped together
There it is, my first hip-hop post ever... but surely not the last. Enjoy these monster concerts from the Beastie Boys at the very peak of their powers, and take a minute to remember the one-third of their ranks that is no longer with us, but who'd have been a half-century old today.--J.

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