Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique (1989)

This CD arrived at my doorstop, a gift from a reader who couldn't believe that I had never heard it - I simply had to hear it because it's one of the best albums ever! Something you should never say to a contrarian like myself, but I'll try to keep an open mind.


I've given it a full listen and come to this conclusion: as disjunct as this thing is, I love the stolen, errr.., I mean sampled grooves, but could do without the whiny rapping over said grooves. Is there an instrumental version available? I can appreciate the pastiche artistry and the fact that it was ground-breaking in the field of sampling, but a little bit goes a long way. By the end of track 5, I was playing a musical version of "Where's Waldo" and trying to identify the sample sources while completely ignoring the lyrics. As we middle-age white guys are wont to say: "I'm hating the player but loving the game."

Early hip-hop music usually sends me scrambling for the source material of the best samples and this album is no different. And, truth be told, I'd rather listen to the Idris Muhammad original. I have no doubt that I'd feel differently if I had heard this album when I was 23 instead of now when I've got a 23 year old son.

Note: the delicious irony of sampling Led Zeppelin on a track titled What Goes Around was not lost on this listener.

The Paul mentioned in the title is Sir Paul McCartney, isn't it? And the last track, B-Boy Bouillabaisse, is their homage to the side 2 of Abbey Road? Bold.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #14
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #24

Tracks: My top tracks are High Plains Drifter, Hey Ladies, Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun, and Shadrach (maybe the coolest Biblical allusion ever?).

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None, although this album dropped just one week before I got my first "real" job and two weeks before my wedding. You could say I had other stuff going on.

I did recognize the tune Car Thief as my buddy Blake played it for me about 10 years ago because he's Ricky Powell (metaphorically).

To my memory, this is the first hip-hop album I've ever listened to in toto, so it's a landmark day here at blog headquarters.


  1. Wow! Just wow!

    You have some cool friends.

    1. I get by with a little help from them.