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"Ill Communication" came in 1994 as the fourth album from the Beastie Boys. The record, following an album which had them taking things in an alternative Jazz direction, sees them pressing forward with more material to show how they didn't fit in with the mainstream Hip Hop audience and so has them taking steps back towards their Punk roots to some degree as they bring a heavier Rock side to this record than in the past.
1. "Sure Shot"
The album gets off to a strong start as they break us right in with one of the top singles from the record. The tune is a big one and so is bound to excite listeners. It features a very memorable flute riff and so engages those who get into it through the interesting use of a non-typical instrument on a Hip Hop album and from there the MCs get down to what they're known for with no regard to the recent changes (at the time) of the rest of the game.
2. "Tough Guy" (Lude)
3. "B-Boys Makin' With The Freak Freak"
Running directly off a short blast of a little Punk as the act go bazck to the style of music that they started out doing before Rick Rubin directed them towards Hip Hop, we find that here they come to throw down a raw cut. Using heavy vocal distortion on the thing, the three MCs flow out their typical timeless flows which have enabled them to stay in the game with a style that always sounds fresh (in spite of not being too far from where they became eight years before this point).
4. "Bobo In The Corner" (Lude)
5. "Root Down"
We're taken on a funky instrumental journey on the short one before this and once we get here we see that there's no stopping them as they fly in with a powerful jam. Jumping on top of a freaky bass riff and then some punchy percussion, we see that the act are on top of their game showing how they represent the OG Hip Hop heads before it was lost through more commercial sounds which spoiled it as an art form.
6. "Sabotage" (Lude)
7. "Get It Together"
After another explosion of Punk Rock, we see that we're taken right into one of the best cuts off the whole thing. It's crazy to think how this one can sound to be one of the best when it appears that the three Beast Boys MC and Q-Tip (then part of A Tribe Called Quest) sound as though they are simply improvising some freestyle rhymes on the spot, but they come up with the goods as they take things back to the early days as a result.
8. "Sabrosa" (Lude)
9. "The Update"
After being provided with yet more funky instrumental work, we find ourselves thrown right into a little something different as this time around we get a cut that has them pushing the jazzy sound (that was a heavy feature on the album prior to this one too) in order to come up with a freaky sound which outdoes all of those who were plainly considered 'Jazz Rap' acts to show how it can be done in a more eclectic manner.
10. "Futterman's Rule" (Lude)
11. "Alright Hear This"
After running right on through a tune which has subtle Go-Go influences as they get us right into more experimental instrumental work where they show just how diverse their influence are, here we're presented with a straight-up hard Hip Hop tune that has them ensuring that they're able to keep their core fan base involved and not make them feel as though they haven't been given as much as the 'normal' beasties as usual.
12. "Eugene's Lament" (Lude)
13. "Flute Loop" (Lude)
14. "Do It"
Moving on from a part of short tunes (the latter better than the former), we find that here Biz Markie steps up to assist the three MCs (Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA) on a pretty intense one that has a lot to it and is bound to excite listeners as they jump over more pounding and thumping percussion to do more damage with their flows in a throwback manner (and so choosing not to conform with more contemporary trends in the genre).
15. "Ricky's Theme" (Lude)
16. "Heart Attack Man" (Lude)
17. "The Scoop"
We're brought off two short and extensively-experimental ones to take us right into another tune filled with lots of flowing grooves that take you away with the sound. I felt that this one was a very exciting one and although it may be held back by the risky nature of some of the things that they try out here, I thought that it was another successful trial from an act who have been rather consistent since their classic debut.
18. "Shambala" (Lude)
19. "Bodhisattva Vow"
Here we find ourselves in what's essential the final proper track on the album. I saw it to be another big jam from them and one that's able to fill out another quality record from the act as they show how they're advancing their sound by going down routes which others have in the past, but in more intense manners to set an example and show just how far things can go whilst still retaining the pure Hip Hop feel.
20. "Transitions" (Outro)
This, as with most of their albums, is another example of a great Beasties record where they just come through and kill things by taking on a style which prevents it from aging in any way (and so means that you'll always feel as though what they do is relevant to the game (no matter when you play it).
Following on from the awesome freestyle of Paul's Boutique, this album was a huge hit partly due to the fun rap, but also due to the amazing Spike Jonze directed trailer to the awesome 'Sabotage'.
This album really made the B Boys more commercial, mixing the jazz free styling which had become synonomous with their previous album, with significant contribution from keyboardist "Money" Mark, this album had 2 enormously commercial songs which caught the imagination of the MTV viewers and made them buy the album allowing them to then get more excited about the jazz and freestyle side of things.
The two big songs on the album commercially are Sure Shot and Sabotage, Sabotage is a screaming whirlwind of shouting rap over a fantastic riffing sample, the video of seventies cops is fantastic and the whole thing looks and sounds ground breaking, it is one of their best songs and rightly received critical acclaim.
Sure Shot is a rappier more intricate song and it really does grind you down too, when you add in riffing guitar based songs like "Tough Guy" and "Heart Attack Man", alongside "Do It" and "Root Down" with their chilled samples and "Get it Together" with its fun mixed up raps and you have a really interesting and varied album which is easily the sum of its parts, the raps are laid back and thoughtful as always while the music overlaying each song is exceptionally deep and you can listen to the album as a jazz or hip hop album and enjoy either perfectly well.
Enclosed are the track lists for the album I bought, there was a revised version in 2009:
1. "Sure Shot"
2. "Tough Guy"
3. "B-Boys Makin' with the Freak Freak"Bobo on the Corner"
4. "Root Down"
6. "Get It Together" (feat. Q-Tip)
8. "The Update
9. "Futterman's Rule
10. "Alright Hear This
11. "Eugene's Lament"
12. "Flute Loop
13. "Do It" "Ricky's Theme"
14. "Heart Attack Man"
15. "The Scoop"
17. "Bodhisattva Vow"
Overall, I love this album it mixes Jazz instrumentals, excellent hip hop and thrashing punk, overall this is an incredibly cool, timeless album which marked a coming of age for the boys and showed them to be consummate musicians as well as hip hop artists, it is a thoughtful, well rounded album, my copy cost £11.99 many years ago but
'Il Communication' relly defines what the Beatie Boys are all about. It may not be their best album (that award goes to 'Paul's Boutique'), but is the most Beatie Boys album that they have made. All the elements which made this band messianic kings of cool are on this album - the 70s references, hardcore punk, effortless yet hugely entertaining hip-hop and that one rapping syle that they have that goes 'de-de-dada-de-de-DA' where they sing in staccato and then emphasise the end. This really made them into the massive world-conquering institution that they have become. After 'Lincense to Ill' had millions of disaffected 80s teens stealing VW, badges, they released 'Paul's Boutique', a masterpiece, and waited for it to blow up. It never did and was essentially forgotten until recently. They then decided to get back to playing their instruments on 'Check Your Head', to a rapturous reception. 'Ill Communication' basically picks up where 'Check Your Head' left off. All the 70s funk samples are there, the aimless jams and big hitting raps, but just mucH much BIGGER! It features the most well known Beastie Boys songs (except 'Fight for You Right to Party' obviously), such as 'Sure Shot', 'Get it Together', and the ubiquitous 'Sabotage', which is rinsed hard at every indie-disco in the land to give it a bit of 'dope' vibe' (see we don't just like Shed 7', we be ghetto!). Though 'Ill Communication' features these astounding and now slightly over-familiar tracks, it is also perhaps the most inconsistent and least satisfying Beatie Boys album. You must remember that every album they have released is a masterpiece (except for those stupid mini-albums), but this falls into the very, very good category, which is no put down. There are just a few too many funk instrumentals, and a few too many aimless hardcore tunes. Though '
;Tough Guy' is great fun, it is basically the same song as 'Heart Attack Man'. Shaved of a little flab 'Ill Communication' could have been their 'Nevermind', it is undoubtedly the average fan's favourite, and probably the most commercial of their albums. Now all together now 'Get it together....Seeeeee what's happenin''
It could be said that the Beastie Boys have made a carrer out of telling people who they are, and thats all they ever say in their raps. True, most of their raps do contain references to themselves, but on this album in particular, they do so much more. 'Ill Communication' is a swirling melee of hip hop breaks, new york stlye 70s jazz- funk and a whole heap of attitude. From the album's hip hop- tastic starter, 'Sureshot', the album swerves from the rock/rap ('Sabotage'), the cool funk ('Sabrosa') and the skate- punk ('Heart Attack Man'). The songs compliment each other so well that to pick a favourite or best track on it would defeat the idea. Every tune has it's own twist, it's own sound and it's own flavour. It's easy to see why the Beastie Boys are still on top form, as this album showcases their diversity, their individuality and their god damn funky tunes! This album is one for the classic collections as it fuses the punk with the hip hop, the rock with the funk and the jazz with the rap, and that's just on the same song! Without a hint of over- production, the album is raw, rough but never dull. True, the distorted vocals on some of the later tracks on the album can become tiresome, it always remains a damn good excuse to part with your money! Sit back, press play and be pleasantly surprised. The Beastie Boys will see you now...
Oh tread carefully you innocent ones, it's got one of those 'Parental Advisory, Explicit Lyrics' stickers. Must be good then eh!. I reckon this sort of sticker is a ploy to inflate sales, a dark and sinister marketing tool that more often than not achieves its aim. It lends hormonal teenagers in need of a way to further infuriate their poor parents a vehicle to do so. There are so many albums with this much abused sticker that I'm surprised no one has thought of a 'Teenage Advisory - No Explicit Lyrics'. It would surely appeal to the over-35's. So there were bad boys before Eminem, although you'd be hard pressed to be offended while listening to 'Ill Communication' as the lyrics are indiscernible a lot of the time. The album was recorded in 1994 and entered the mainstream when 'Sabotage' and 'Sure Shot' became popular. A lot of the Beastie Boys success could be put down to the clever video for 'Sabotage' which is a pastiche of 70's cop shows. Ill Communication sprawls over 20 tracks which makes it close to impossible to take in, in a single listen. The Beasties sound is a fusion of rap and hip-hop but they are prone to throwing in the sweetest guitar turn that rounds things off nicely. The lyrics are intelligent (use the inlay card!) and rebellious and there are moments where the humour is side splittingly funny (who needs apple pie when you have mashed potato!). 'Sure Shot' slides on a repetitive flute groove that toddlers to Grans will find hard to resist. Incidentally the dog barking at the start is supposed to be saying 'I Love You'! 'Root Down' has that San Francisco flares and hot weather feel to it. So much so that dancing to it afro-less might feel like dancing naked in the rain. It is followed by the albums centrepiece 'Sabotage' which you will undoubtedly know. Adam Yauch more or less screams, records scrat
ch, guitars tumble and a chorus of hoods join in at various intervals. It sounds a mess but is a modern piece of Pop genius. The Beasties have since proven that they aren't just a one trick outfit with their very successful clothing company. The first 8 tracks are an album on their own and I rarely go beyond this point because all the juicier tracks are contained here. Things get a little skewed but not wayward from here on in. There is the sense of a bit of creative doodling going on highlighted by tracks like 'Flutterman's Rule' and 'Ricky's Theme' that provide gorgeous backdrops. While Ill Communication is essentially a modern day production it has one foot set firmly in the corridors of pop history. This unique blend of influences give the album a polished feel. For those not sold on Rap/Hip-Hop style (I've got my hand up) I would urge you to give Ill Communication a listen. Good music is precious, it should be embraced even when it comes from genres that are normally a turn off. This is a great album, why not get it together and do the necessary, know what I'm sayin'.
The Beastie Boys really shine on this album. The beats are clear, the rhymes are bold...wait, wrong album. "Ill Communication" paves the way for funkier breakin' in "Disco Breakin'" and "Alive" with smooth instrumentals like "Bobo on the Corner" and "Sabrosa". The hits from the album, "Sabotage" and "Sure Shot", are good, but songs like "Get it Together" and "Flute Loop" will keep you coming back for more. There are a lot of hardcore songs on this album, but with over 20 tracks, they don't clutter up the "hip-hop" too much. Additionally, a couple of the songs drone on near the end, but that's the point. I don't particularly care for them, but that doesn't make them bad. I'm pretty sure most of you who would like this album already have it, but to the few of you out there who don't, check out the musicianship. There are some really smooth songs on the album, and some great beats.
The Beasties hit on a fantastic formula for 1992's 'Check Your Head', and little changed between that and 1994's 'Ill Communication'. Taking straight-ahead hip-hop and mixing it brilliantly with funky guitar licks that could have come straight out of Starsky and Hutch, the B-Boys are once again wearing their influences on their sleeves, a fact evidenced to hilarious effect in the excellent video to flagship track 'Sabotage'. The album consistently pleases the ear with deep, hard grooves that don't let up until the somewhat weaker 'Get It Together', featuring Q-Tip, the only shaky moment on the record. From this point onwards, the album goes from strength to strength, combining funk, kick-ass hip-hop and punk with more chilled-out vibes. The album plays out beatifully with the delicate instrumental 'Transistions', which, having it's own deeply groovy leanings, ties the album together perfectly, just before fading out, leaving you little choice but to press play again. Not many albums of this length (59m 39s) would stand up to repeated listenings in a short period of time. I think that says it all.
There is very little wrong with Ill Communication. The tracks are pretty much all outstandingly likeable, and the album features some utter, utter classics (take a bow Sabotage and Flute Loop). The sense of humour running through this, and indeed most of what the Beastie Boys do, is great, and simply makes you like them more. This album shows the gents at their most appealing, and their most funky. It stands up to repeated listen after repeated listen, and should be owned by anyone interested in decent music.
This is my favourite Beastie Boys album - it's got everything, from brilliant instrumentals to the funkiest of beats, from relaxed chillout tracks to the funniest samples, from perfectly juggled rap to evil guitar noise, all topped off with the sheer genius that is Sabotage. This album is one of the finest works of a group of people who have acheived the impossible task of being consistently cool for the best part of two decades. You have to be something special to be a successful white rapper, and the Beasties are the most successful proponents of this (thankfully) sparsely populated genre. Ill Communication is the product of a varied and qualified mix of musical influences filtered through an incredible talent. I haven't come across many records this diverse, or this consistently funky. It's got tracks your gran would love, alongside tracks you wouldn't want your gran to think you listened to. It's just ace, generally. If you like the Beastie Boys but don't have this album, I strongly recommend you get hold of a copy. If you want an introduction to the Beastie Boys, this is perfect. If you're in a music shop and you fancy the person behind the till, buy this album - anyone who likes decent music likes Ill Communication, so they're bound to be either hideously impressed with your general skill, or not worth the bother... it says here. Yes, well, anyway, it's a great record, etc.
This cd my beat bumpin friends, rocks (and I don't think I'm allowed to say this, it kicks a**) I don't want to get in trouble about that but it really does. Now the greatest song on this cd of course is 'Sabotage.' I liked this song so much, I played it for my jr. high talent show. But that was when it just came out. Now I realize the greatness of this cd. The Beastie Boys had been a GREAT band, and lately, they have become a faded phrase. Buy this GREAT cd and REVIVE THE BEASTIE BOYS IN ALL OF US! Play this cd until the cops come. Until the cows come home. Until your neighbor who always complains about everything yells at you. Then turn it up.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Sure Shot
2 Tough Guy
3 B-Boys Makin' With the Freak Freak
4 Bobo on the Corner [Instrumental]
5 Root Down
7 Get It Together
8 Sabrosa [Instrumental]
10 Futterman's Rule
11 Alright Hear This
12 Eugene's Lament [Instrumental]
13 Flute Loop
14 Do It
15 Ricky's Theme [Instrumental]
16 Heart Attack Man
18 Shambala [Instrumental]
19 Bodhisattva Vow
20 Transitions [Instrumental]
21 Dope Little Song [*]
22 Resolution Time [*]
23 Mullet Head [*]
24 Vibes [*]