Written By: Fletcher Bonin
When I lived in Rhode Island, there was this radio station based out of Providence, 95.5 WBRU. It was an awesome station, playing alternative rock and indie music that really wasn’t being featured on other, more mainstream pop stations. The other great thing about this radio channel is that they played a ton of old school hits. e. And no complaints from me on this front! I think the Beastie Boys are a great group and I really don’t think their sound has been mimicked accurately or effectively since their genesis. They are totally original in sound and message.
The Beastie Boys have been around since the early eighties, and they’ve recorded eight studio albums, seven of which went platinum or better. The rap rock genre basically begins and ends with the Beastie Boys. Without further ado, here are my picks for the top five Beastie Boys tracks. As usual, my rankings will climb from worst to first, though they are really all great.
Number five is going to have to be ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’. This homage to their origins in New York City is classically Beastie Boys with call and response vocals and harmonizing chants, yelling over simple guitar riffs and simple, heavy drum sessions. Four out of five of my top picks come from what I consider to be their greatest album License to Ill(1986).
That’s where track number four comes from as well, entitled ‘Paul Revere’. This one gets number four on the list because there is more care paid to lyrics and less to instrumentals, which are largely electronic on this track. This track is definitely closer to the rap end of the spectrum within the genre of rap rock.
Number three is the iconic Beastie Boys track ‘Fight for Your Right’. From the opening “kick it!” to the chorus “you gotta fight. for your right. to paaaartaay!” this song is Beastie Boys at their most rogue. I wish I was a teenager in the eighties just so I could rage to this song.
Number two on my list is also the only track that’s not off the album License to Ill. You guessed it, it’s ‘Sabotage’. This is peak Beastie Boys, combining angry yelling, hard rock instrumentals and pure renegade delight.
It doesn’t get much better than this mind-melting track – except that it does; My favorite Beastie Boys track, number one on my list is ‘Brass Monkey’. This song is just purely unusual and quintessentially Beastie Boys. These five tracks are the perfect starter kit for the repressed partier in you, in all of us.