Hard to believe that it is already a quarter of a century since the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique
was initially released, and five years since the 2009 20th anniversary deluxe reissue
of that landmark second Beastie Boys album. Paul's Boutique
, while widely considered the group's greatest recording, was initially considered a (commercial) flop by its label, Capitol Records
, back in '89 cut to its lackluster sales in comparison to its predecessor. In fact so disappointing to Capitol were sales that, following a huge initial hype / marketing campaign, they completely stopped promoting the album. Many rap fans, drawn to group by the hits on their Rick Rubin
produced 1986 Def Jam
debut mega-hit album Licensed To Ill
, were disappointed too. But true hip-hop fans saw/heard the brilliance of Paul's Boutique
that was a distinct departure from Licensed To Ill.
Instead of Rick Rubin handling production on this sophomore release, which demanded repeated listens to
fully appreciate its depth and brilliant nuances, was produced in good part by the Dust Brothers
and recorded in both Los Angeles and Brooklyn over an extended period of time to ensure it came out just right and to the liking of members Michael "Mike D" Diamond, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz
, and the late Adam "MCA" Yauch
. It did, and sure while it may not have been as commercially successful as Licensed To Ill
(still a great album too) Paul's Boutique
was a far greater quality recording and one that truly stands the test of time as proven by such tracks as "High Plains Drifter," "Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun," "Car Thief," "Shadrach," and "Get On The Mic." No wonder then that over the years it grew in popularity (and sales), is regularly included high up on music lists' best albums of all time, and was reissued on its 20th anniversary.
Re-released five years ago to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of its initial 1989 release, the 2009 reissue of the LP reissue version was on 180 gram vinyl, in a nice two-sided, four-panel gate-fold sleeve - that
revised the very original expensive gatefold pressing of the album. The 2009 reissue also included a digital download card to access bonus audio band commentary on the album that was so close to the Beasties' hearts. For instance the track "59 Chrystie Street" was titled in reference to an early residence of the Beastie Boys, back earlier in the 80's when they were young punk rockers about to morph into full time hip-hoppers.