It was 25 years ago on 31/5/1994 that the Beastie Boys released their fourth album, Ill Communication. I remember the time vividly. I was 15 years old at the time and would rush home from school to watch MTV (this was when MTV actually played music videos and not just shows about pregnant teens). What I was actually looking for were heavy metal videos but then I saw the video for Sabotage.
This was a life-changing moment for me and began my life long love affair with rap music. I had simply never heard anything like it before in my life. Since then I’ve lapped up everything the Beastie Boys have ever done and I lament that I never got to see them live.
Watch the Beastie Boys – Sabotage video below:
The Beastie Boys started out as a hardcore punk outfit and this defined their earlier sound and carries through some tracks on Ill Communication such as ‘Heart Attack Man’ and also through to the dirty guitar sound of ‘Sabotage’ Over their formative years they lost a member and the Beastie Boys as we know them, Michael “Mike D” Diamond (vocals, drums), Adam “MCA” Yauch (vocals, bass) and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz (vocals, guitar), were born.
To celebrate this anniversary the Beastie Boys have released a short documentary charting the creation of Ill Communication and is a must view for any fans out there.
You can view the documentary below:
For me the entirety of Ill Communication is perfection and I still listen to it to this day. There are definitely some stand out tracks, Sabotage, Sure Shot and Flute Loop probably being the more accessible ones but the whole album works on whole new level taking you on an interesting musical journey. It’s not just hip hop on here, there are punk songs and very chilled instrumentals too.