The Beastie Boys “Ill Communication” Deluxe Edition

Beastie Boys
Ill Communication” Deluxe Edition
CapitolIll Communication

I spent most of this past weekend blasting my favorite Beastie Boys record “Ill Communication” and I’m happy to report that it sounds as good today as it did when it first came out in

The Beastie’s fourth proper release has been re-issued as a double CD deluxe edition with all the trimmings. But it’s the original green-colored tape that purchased at Crazy Rhythms in Montclair way back when that really gets the emotions running. I remember going through a mild hardcore rap phase, back when hardcore was considered a melding or rock and hip hop. Keep in mind, this was pre Limp Bizkit 1994, and I was grooving to Kid Rock’s “Polyfuse Method,” anything by Rage Against the Machine, and the “Judgment Night Soundtrack.”

“Ill Communication” was the quintessential rap/rock record—an explosive mix of distorted guitars, volatile lyrics, and musical chaos. Sure, the record is best known for “Sabotage,” but every song on here is a gem. What could have been a clusterfuck of funk, metal, rap, and snotty punk comes together instead as a tapestry of audio perfection. The Beastie Boys throw everything at the wall, and it all sticks.

On “Ill Communication” the New York trio proved that they could mix their funky beats with their punk roots without alienating their core fans. From the Minor Threat-leaning “Heart Attack Man” to the groovy feast on “Root Down,” every selection flows into one another without being jarring or suffocating. The result is one of the best alternative records of the mid-’90s.

The bonus CD on the deluxe edition comes with different mixes and live versions of many of the songs of the regular release. All are interesting; especially the European mix of “Sure Shot,” but none have the fierceness or groove of the originals. This is a must purchase collection if, like me, you are still listening to that old green tape. Fair-weather fans might be content with the older version of the CD, but Beastie’s fans owe it to themselves to pick up the new deluxe collection.

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Author: George Koroneos

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