The Beastie Boys (Beastie apparently standing for Boys Entering Anarchistic States Towards Internal Excellence
) started life as a trio
based in Brooklyn
The original line up consisted of Mike Diamond (Mike D), Adam Yauch (MCA) and Kate Schellenback (who later became a member of Lucious Jackson). They started out life as a hardcore punk band, their first and only release (that I know of) release was 'Poly Wog Stew' in 1982. The band and reformed in 1983, without Schellenback , but with an ex member of 'The Young and the Useless', new boy Adam Horovitz (King AdRock), and released a semi-taking the piss record called Cookie Puss (consisting of samples of prank phonecalls the band had made), whose B-side Beastie Revolution was used in an advertising campaign by British Airways, without the band's permission. One court case and $40,000 later, the band started working with the now seminal rap guru Rick Rubin, and through his work, were signed to Def Jam records. He persuaded them to abandon punk and put them to work on their debut album, the now legendary Licence to Ill.
Their first album (released in 1986) went quintiple platinum, selling 8 million copies in the US alone, and being the first rap record to hit number 1 in the charts. The stand out track on the album was (You've Gotta) Fight for your Right to Party. The band toured with the likes of Run DMC and LL Cool J, before going back into the studio to develop Paul's Boutique with help from the Dust Brothers.
The album was released in 1986 on Capitol Records, after a time-consuming dispute with Def Jam , and was noted for its innovative style and is often referenced for starting many of the trends of the early 1990s. Tracks such as 'Hey Ladies' displayed the Beastie Boys' ability to have fun with their music while breaking new ground. All songs on the album were written by the boys.
Next up came Check Your Head in 1992. This album was intentionally more raw than previous work. with more instrumental use and less sampling. All of the band played their own instruments on the record and in so doing re-established themselves as musical force in the alternative scene with tracks such as 'So What'cha Want'. The line up consisted of MCA on bass, Mike D on drums, and King Ad-Rock on guitar. Keyboardist Mark Ramos Nishita (Money Mark) was the new addition to the group, brought in to flesh out some of the musical arrangements.
Continuing on to the the next album to come from the band, Ill Communication, was released in 1994 on their own sub-label of Capitol - known as Grand Royal (now totally separate from their musical work, and producing the X-Large range of clothing, designed by the band). This brought the Beasties in from the cold with Sabotage, and Sureshot being played in heavy rotation on MTV, and winning several awards (Sabotage still ranks highly in almost every 'best music video' chart). Inbetween albums the band have also released a few EPs, 'Some Old Bullshit' in 1994, 'In Sound From Way Out' in 1996, and Root Down in 1997.
1997 almost saw the band starring in their own movie (to be directed by Spike Jonze), but this fell through and the band pursued their own ideas. Adam Horowitz married the actress Ione Skye, and starred in a couple of movies of his own (Lost Angels and Roadside Prophets).Mike Diamond, keeps close tabs on Grand Royal, and Adam Yauch, a converted Buddhist, has become a prominent activist in the Tibet freedom movement and organized three high-profile concerts in 1996, 1997, and 1998 to raise money for the cause.
Album number five, Hello Nasty came in 1998, and included a ballad, a reggae flavored track, and the first single 'Intergalactic' and afterwards followed 'Body Movin'. The band have recently released the album 'The Sounds of Science' a 2-CD anthology set with 42 tracks. The bands discography consists of :-
Licensed to Ill Def Jam 4500621 Def Jam 4500622 Vinyl Reissue Def Jam 4609791
Paul's Boutique Capitol EST2102
Capitol CDEST 2102
Check Your Head Capitol EST 2171
Capitol CDEST 2171
Check Your Head + 4 (Japan) Capitol Records/ Mfd. by Toshiba EMl Ltd. in Japan
Some Old Bullshit Capitol EST 2877
Capitol CD 89843
Ill Communication Grand Royal / Capitol EST 2290
Ill Communication (Japan) Capitol/Toshiba EMI
The In Sound From Way Out (promo) Polygram