Licensed to Ill

( 16 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Perhaps Licensed to Ill was inevitable -- a white group blending rock and rap, giving them the first number one album in hip-hop history. But that reading of the album's history gives short shrift to the Beastie Boys; producer Rick Rubin, and his label, Def Jam, and this remarkable record, since mixing metal and hip-hop isn't necessarily an easy thing to do. Just sampling and scratching Sabbath and Zeppelin to hip-hop beats does not make for an automatically good record, though there is a visceral thrill to hearing those muscular riffs put into overdrive with scratching. But, much of that is due to the producing skills of Rick Rubin, a metalhead who formed Def ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Perhaps Licensed to Ill was inevitable -- a white group blending rock and rap, giving them the first number one album in hip-hop history. But that reading of the album's history gives short shrift to the Beastie Boys; producer Rick Rubin, and his label, Def Jam, and this remarkable record, since mixing metal and hip-hop isn't necessarily an easy thing to do. Just sampling and scratching Sabbath and Zeppelin to hip-hop beats does not make for an automatically good record, though there is a visceral thrill to hearing those muscular riffs put into overdrive with scratching. But, much of that is due to the producing skills of Rick Rubin, a metalhead who formed Def Jam Records with Russell Simmons and had previously flirted with this sound on Run-D.M.C.'s Raising Hell, not to mention a few singles and one-offs with the Beasties prior to this record. He made rap rock, but to give him lone credit for Licensed to Ill as some have is misleading, since that very same combination would not have been as powerful, nor would it have aged so well -- aged into a rock classic -- if it weren't for the Beastie Boys, who fuel this record through their passion for subcultures, pop culture, jokes, and the intoxicating power of wordplay. At the time, it wasn't immediately apparent that their obnoxious patter was part of a persona a fate that would later plague Eminem, but the years have clarified that this was a joke -- although, listening to the cajoling rhymes, filled with clear parodies and absurdities, it's hard to imagine the offense that some took at the time. Which, naturally, is the credit of not just the music -- they don't call it the devil's music for nothing -- but the wild imagination of the Beasties, whose rhymes sear into consciousness through their gonzo humor and gleeful delivery. There hasn't been a funnier, more infectious record in pop music than this, and it's not because the group is mocking rappers in all honesty, the truly twisted barbs are hurled at frat boys and lager lads, but because they've already created their own universe and points of reference, where it's as funny to spit out absurdist rhymes and pound out "Fight for Your Right To Party" as it is to send up street corner doo wop with "Girls." Then, there is the overpowering loudness of the record -- operating from the axis of where metal, punk, and rap meet, there never has been a record this heavy and nimble, drunk on its own power yet giddy with what they're getting away with. There is a sense of genuine discovery, of creating new music, that remains years later, after countless plays, countless misinterpretations, countless rip-off acts, even countless apologies from the Beasties, who seemed guilty by how intoxicating the sound of it is, how it makes beer-soaked hedonism sound like the apogee of human experience. And maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but in either case, Licensed to Ill reigns tall among the greatest records of its time.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/28/1995
  • Label: Def Jam
  • UPC: 731452735126
  • Catalog Number: 527351
  • Sales rank: 6,185

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Beastie Boys Primary Artist, Group
Kerry King Guitar
Technical Credits
Beastie Boys Composer, Producer
Adam Horovitz Composer
Mike D Composer
Steven Ett Engineer
Rick Rubin Composer, Producer
Howie Weinberg Mastering
Steve Byram Art Direction
World B. Omes Cover Art
Adam Yauch Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

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(10)

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    still a rocken album

    all of the music by the beastie boys is awesome and they have put out great albums threw out there carrer in rap. but there cd licensed to ill is my faviorte . i remeber first time hearing the tracks fight for your right/ rhymen and stealin brass monkey etc/ affter over 20 years since its relase. licensed to ill is still one awesome cd

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Soundclick artist Posse of Two in the house...

    Brass Monkey. That funky monkey. This album is the greatest of all time, except maybe for Beasties' "Ill Communication". Every song on this record is classic Eighties hip hop, and only one or two songs are at all forgettable (Posse in Effect, and Slow and Low). The best song is "Brass Monkey", followed closely by The New Style. B-Boys are always ill!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I want a re-release

    I love "Licensed to Ill" and I always will. This is the Beastie Boys at their earliest and their finest. Every song on the album is fantastic. The only downfall is the lack of the song "Scenario" which was not released on the album as it was originally intended. I hope that one day soon, they will re-release this album with "Scenario" on it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Their First Classic

    This cd depicts the Beastie Boys early years when their lyrics angered some adults, but it must have struck a cord with everybody else when it became the most popular rap cd of the 80's.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    beastie boys a awesome classic

    i was in my freshmen year of high school/ when the beastie boys album licened to ill was released for the first time. lots of great kicken tunes from that album.fight for your right/ paul revere/brass monkey etc/ i also have this 1986 classic on cd. and give it a listen everynow and then from start to finsh. this is for sure one of the best beastie boys albums ever

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beastie Boys have great songs.

    All the songs are great to listen to. They are fun songs, that as a dancer, I can say that there songs help you have a great time! In my conclusion, I believe that any person who is into fun and even funny music, you will enjoy any Beastie Boys C.D.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Brass Monkeys Themselves

    OMG is this the best CD ever!!! This band kicks the biggest butt!!!! Talk about AWESOME!!! I recommend this CD to anyone who enjoys some punk rock funn times!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    sweeeeeeeeet

    i have always liked this c.d. I hope you do to e-mail me also and we can talk about this c.d.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    100% hip hop....listen from start to finish

    THIS CD IS AWESOME...ALL THE SONGS ARE FRESH OLD SCHOOL HIP HOP/ROCK....I CAN LISTEN TO THE WHOLE CD STRAIGHT THROUGH...OVER AND OVER AND OVER....THE 80'S RULED

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    Posted April 2, 2011

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    Posted February 7, 2010

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    Posted May 29, 2011

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    Posted July 11, 2009

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    Posted September 3, 2009

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    Posted October 28, 2009

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    Posted January 5, 2009

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews