Thursday, 20 August 2009

Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science Disc 2

The previous post has bought a few more people to the blog, its nice to feel that the readership extends to more than just me and Kev, but I suspect even he doesn’t actually read it.
In case the people that read the Saint Etienne post do return, daily I listen to the next CD album in my collection on my commute to work, Stafford to Birmingham, its roughly alphabetical, (the CD collection, not the commute, although the return journey actually is, Birmingham, Coleshill, Lichfield, Rugeley, Stafford. I am waffling now) and then I review it, ordinarily it is out of 10 and I post a Youtube video highlighting anything that is good about it. This is in addition to anything Kev or I might post. Looking down this page you may be assuming that this blog is heavy on the indie, it isn’t really, I just hit a patch of it in the CD’s and I also decided to write about Amelia Fletcher and The Field Mice.

That all said, today’s CD was Disc 2 of a moody copy of The Beastie Boys Anthology, The Sounds of Science. One of the first illegal CD’s I ever made, released in 1999, it has pretty much remained unplayed since then, in all honesty I made it to see if my CD writer worked. Stick that up your arse RIAA!

This CD is best described as diverse, I don’t mean diverse in a Tad/Kool and The Gang/Nana Mouskori mash up, I mean it swings quite violently between pretty good, to fair to absolute shite. I guess they were very particular when naming the compilation, what with trade description and all that, any great hits may only extend to an ep, or a mini album, a double album, perhaps could be seen as taking the piss.

When I was 16 and busy not revising for my exams I was rather keen on The Beastie Boys, they made hip hop for white boys, and that’s what I liked, my hip hop liking never really went beyond them, yeah I could nod appreciatively to an electro compilation and I knew most of the words to Christmas In Hollis by Run DMC, hell I owned the 12 inch of The Show by Doug E Fresh and The Get Fresh Crew, lets just say outside of The Beastie Boys my tastes were less KRS One and more KRS Tarrant. I do however tell people that my 7” of The Fat Boys version of Wipeout was bought purely to pre-empt me being a Beach Boys completist.

So what of this disc then, well the good is represented by the marvellous Sabotage, a nice opener to the album and a track that made me think, this compilation can only produce good things. If that’s representative of the quality, I will be rolling like a baller when I hit Coleshill.

The album picks up on highlights from all areas of their career, not just Ill communication and Licensed to Ill. Check Your Head, Hello Nasty and Paul’s Boutique are also represented. This anthology also dips into the lesser known corners of The Beatie Boys repertoire and that maybe where this all falls apart for me, admittedly Egg Raid On Mojo from Pollywog Stew was good to hear, its an oddity from their very early days, but the previously unreleased Benny and The Jets is absolutely f*cking diabolical, as covers go it’s a dreadful mess that should have remained unreleased. Similarly the Country Mike track, you know when you are 8 and you get hold of a tape recorder and you record yourself jabbering, and play it back and have a giggle at how funny you sound, then you record Jimmy Saville over it? Well The Beastie Boys did the recording and decided to release it.

The good is in equal measure to the bad though and its was a break from more of the same which I have been experiencing over the past few weeks. 6 out of 10.

Egg Raid on Mojo by The Beastie Boys

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