The Beastie Boys’ “Paul’s Boutique” is the “Sgt. Pepper” of our generation. I didn’t say that. But I believe it.
Why? The production. Both albums are more studio mastery than live bands playing songs. “Sgt. Pepper” created a symphonic delight using unique instruments and multi-tracking (on a 4-track…think of how many overdubs THAT is.) “Paul’s Boutique” created its own wall of sound with loops, beats, and samples…and awesome rhymes like “I’m like Sam the Butcher bringing Alice The Meat…I’m like Fred Flinstone driving ’round on bald feet.”
And now a video exists walking us through all the album’s samples, pairing the original song clips immediately followed by its use on “Paul’s Boutique.” Beasties fan or not, any music fan with a pulse will drool at the jaw-dropping depth and range of music sampled here. James Brown, David Bromberg, Public Enemy, The Eagles, The Beatles, Mountain, and soundtrack music from ‘Jaws’ and ‘Psycho.’
The 3 biggest revelations for me? 1) Many of these samples are songs I know, but the slowing/speeding up/filtering almost hid them until revealed here 2) It’s subtle, but there’s a Pink Floyd sample! Worlds collide! 3) I never knew Rose Royce had so many songs.
After this album, the B-Boys picked their instruments back up in full for their next 2 albums “Check Your Head” and “Ill Communication.” Sure those albums had samples, too. But in “Paul’s Boutique” they left a dense layer cake made almost entirely of gooey samples, never to be served again.
Cut into it for 18 minutes and hear the ingredients that created a masterpiece.