Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique: 20th Anniversary Edition LP (1989)

Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique: 20th Anniversary Edition LP

Paul’s Boutique approaches its second decade with an anniversary edition LP, while proving to be an essential landmark stamp in hip hop history. This sophomore release is definitely one of the most important and criminally underrated albums (it tanked upon its release) in the ever growing hip hop genre. For this release the Dust Brothers were recruited along to craft a staggering amount of angular beats and ironic samples that prove to be clever and cheekily self-referential. Every song indulges with a diverse and rich labyrinth of samples (boasting over 400 samples) that requires immense concentration to pick them all up.

This album acted as a pinnacle in showcasing the ability to combine rap and pop culture together through deliciously referential punch lines. These references range from the Beatles, Bob Marley, James Brown, The Flintstones, Psycho, Sir Isaac Newton, Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali, to Dr. Seuss and many more. It’d be impractical to list them all.

The album opens with ‘To All the Girls’, a bluesy ode to all women around the world (assumingly these girls fought, and possibly died for their right to party) which is followed by a stampede of funk force that is ‘Shake Your Rump’ that completely revolutionises their sarcastic party style that was conceived in ‘Licensed to Ill’. The song confirms that they haven’t lost a beat with witty lines like "Sam the butcher, bringing Alice the meat".

In “3-Minute Rule" MCA, Adrock and Mike D boast and claim ridiculous notions such as ‘I've been making records since you were sucking on your mother's limp dick’. While this doesn’t sound very admirable, it should be noted that the boys spit lines out with a hint of sarcasm and sharpness modestly. The final track ‘B-Boy Bouillabaisse’ is a 12 minute opus that shifts from impressively placed beats sampling country, jazz and funk relentlessly. The boys sound comfortable but never relaxed. The last 2 minutes of the song features a live applause and cheering from an audience, it’s so well placed that you feel like returning the favour.

In this Anniversary Edition, every track has been remastered with great precision. The drums sound thicker and warmer while the bass lines ripple through the speakers. Downloadable content is available through this LP with the Beastie Boys providing commentary on each track that is worth a listen. It is apparent 20 years after the 1989 release that we’ll never hear something like this again. As the boys put it themselves in ‘The Sounds of Science’:
“Expanding the horizons, expanding our parameters.”

There's no denying that they changed the face of hip hop.


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