Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Sample Sale

Rolling Stone gave the Beastie Boys' "Paul's Boutique" a four-star review in 1989, saying the Beasties "reinvent the turntable and are here to stay."

All Music gives it five stars and says, "Lyrically, the Beasties have never been better -- not just because their jokes are razor-sharp, but because they construct full-bodied narratives and evocative portraits of characters and places. Few pop records offer this much to savor, and if "Paul's Boutique" only made a modest impact upon its initial release, over time its influence could be heard through pop and rap, yet no matter how its influence was felt, it stands alone as a record of stunning vision, maturity, and accomplishment. Plus, it's a hell of a lot of fun, no matter how many times you've heard it"

Many call it the greatest hip-hop record of all time. I agree. I like calling it the "Sgt. Pepper" of rap records.

If you are not a fan, I am not here to change your mind about the genre or the Beastie Boys. I've tried that in the past. I only wish that those who decry "Paul's Boutique" had listened to it first.

The video here is 14 minutes long. That's about 1/4 of the length of "Paul's Boutique." It shows every sample used in the making of this 80's masterpiece. If your argument remains that sampling is stealing, then I guess there is nothing to see or hear here. And actually, I'm not sure this is a good idea anyway. It's like trying to convince someone "The Godfather" is one of the greatest movies ever made by showing a 15 minute clip of highlights out of context.

"Paul's Boutique" never fails to blow me away. It is a miraculous work of art. The ability to create a cohesive patchwork of sound from hundreds of musical and vocal snippets is a monumental undertaking. If you are at all interested in "Paul's Boutique" after what I've just written, might I suggest giving the video above a spin. But then, please, if you cannot find it in your soul to play the album in its entirety, take a song or two that may have perked your ears up with the samples provided, for solo rides. Context is everything.


Anonymous said...

Though this is not really in my playing field (though I do have Idris M. and Alphonse M. in my collection) I do respect what's going on and what they're doing.

I always enjoy experiencing the passion that you have for the music you love and your attempt to engage your audience.

For those of us with that same passion it is up to us to spread the gospel of music.


Anonymous said...

"Cookie Puss" would have made them NYC cult heroes. "Fight for Your Right" would have had them remembered as one hit wonders. I was slightly appalled at their use of topless dancers in cages on the Licensed to Ill tour. then I heard "Shake Your Rhumba" on club speakers at the Chicago Metro before the album was released. The bomb dropping at the 40 sec mark made me a convert.

A walk in the woods said...

Soooo great!!!