As you’ll no doubt have heard by now, on Friday 04 May 2012, Adam Yauch – aka MCA – from the Beastie Boys, died after losing his battle against cancer of the parotid salivary gland. He was just 47 years old. To mark this sad occasion, this week’s Sunday Spotify Slaylist is dedicated to his memory, by way of a look-back at the Beastie Boys’ pre-hip hop work – their punk rock years.
While it’s true that the Beastie Boys didn’t find mainstream success until their game-changing Licensed To Ill, the band never forgot their punk rock roots, and the attitude and bratty style of those early EPs could still be found in their music right up to the present day, including last year’s Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. It’s a testament to the Beastie Boys ability to successfully straddle genres and dabble in a variety of styles while retaining the loyalty of audiences across all genres that made them so beloved, and makes the sad loss of Adam Yauch at such a young age all the more tragic. That’s why every metal club we went to as teenagers would crank out ‘Intergalactic’ at 2am and re-pack the dancefloor, why every houseparty ever went to never felt finished till we wrecked a room to the sound of ‘(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)’, and why when we DJ’d at Leeds Festival back in 2009, we saw 3,000 people go apeshit insane (like: pulling-up trees levels of insane) when we played ‘Sabotage’.
There are plenty of fantastic obituaries to Yauch out there on the internet, although none out there are as comprehensive as the one posted on the official Beastie Boys website. And while there are plenty of tribute playlists covering the Beastie Boys’ greatest hits doing the rounds all over the internet, we noticed that the earlier, punkier aspects of the band’s history were getting overlooked. That’s why our Sunday Slaylist this week is the Beastie Boys’ Some Old Bullshit compilation (collecting tracks from their pre-Licensed To Ill EPs) in its entirety.
Spotify is available to most of Western Europe and the USA for free – though obviously you’re better off shelling out either £5 or £10 a month for one of Spotify’s premium packages, as then you can listen to our Slaylists without having them interrupted by adverts. For our readers in countries not currently serviced by Spotify….sorry. You’ll just have to make do with a video of one of our favourite covers to be released in recent years – and yet another sign that at their heart, tracks by the Beastie Boys always have a grain of punk rock at the core.
Watch Cancer Bats’ rollickingly-good cover of ‘Sabotage’ by the Beastie Boys: