(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)

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"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)"
Single by Beastie Boys
from the album Licensed to Ill
B-side Paul Revere
Released February 22, 1987
Recorded Spring 1986
Genre
Length 3:29
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Rick Rubin
Beastie Boys singles chronology
"Brass Monkey"
(1987)
"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)"
(1987)
"No Sleep till Brooklyn"
(1987)
Audio sample
file info · help

"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)" (sometimes shortened to "Fight for Your Right") is a song by American group the Beastie Boys, released as the fourth single released from their debut album Licensed to Ill (1986). One of their best-known songs, it reached no. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the week of March 7, and was later named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The Beastie Boys also included the track on their hits album, The Sounds of Science in 1999, and Solid Gold Hits in 2005.

History[edit]

Ironically, the song, written by Adam Yauch and band friend Tom "Tommy Triphammer" Cushman (who appears in the video), was intended as a parody of party and attitude songs, such as "Smokin' in the Boys Room" and "I Wanna Rock".[3] However, the irony was lost on most listeners. Mike D commented that, "The only thing that upsets me is that we might have reinforced certain values of some people in our audience when our own values were actually totally different. There were tons of guys singing along to 'Fight for Your Right' who were oblivious to the fact it was a total goof on them."

Music video[edit]

Directed by Ric Menello and Adam Dubin,[4] many elements of the music video for "Fight for Your Right" appear to be influenced by George A. Romero's zombie horror movie Dawn of the Dead.[citation needed] In Dawn of the Dead a biker gang infiltrates a shopping mall and attacks the zombies with (amongst other things) pies-in-the-face. At one point a biker smashes a television set with a sledge-hammer, just like MCA in this video. There are also numerous cameos in this video, including an unknown at the time Tabitha Soren, Def Jam label mate LL Cool J, members of the punk band Murphy's Law, as well as the Beastie Boys' producer, Rick Rubin, who was shown wearing an AC/DC & Slayer shirt, who were also signed to Def Jam at the time.

Soren, whose hair was dyed blonde for the shoot, got her chance to be in the video because she was a friend of Rubin's and attended nearby New York University. "I worked hard at not getting any pie goo on me", she recalls, because the whipped cream used had been scoured from supermarket trash cans since there was no money in the budget for it. As a result it was rancid and had a foul odor. "The smell in that room, when everyone was done throwing pies, was like rotten eggs. You wanted to throw up."[5]

Fight for Your Right Revisited[edit]

In 2011, Adam Yauch directed and wrote a surreal comedic short film entitled Fight for Your Right Revisited to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original video's release. The short film serves as a video for the single "Make Some Noise" from Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. Most of the non-sequitur dialogue between characters were a result of improvisation by the cast.

'Revisited' acts as a sequel to the events that took place in the original music video and features Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA (played by Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood, and Danny McBride, respectively) as they get into more drunken antics, before being challenged to a dance battle by the future Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA (John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell, and Jack Black, respectively), coming out of a DeLorean.

The short also features a wide number of cameo appearances, including Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon, Steve Buscemi, Alicia Silverstone, Laura Dern, Shannyn Sossamon, Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson, Rashida Jones, Jason Schwartzman, Rainn Wilson, Amy Poehler, Mary Steenburgen, Will Arnett, Adam Scott, Chloë Sevigny, Maya Rudolph, David Cross, Orlando Bloom, Martin Starr, and the actual Mike D, Ad-Rock & MCA. Many of the listed appearances only appear for a few seconds.

Although the song itself is not performed, it can be heard at the beginning of the short.

Remake versions[edit]

Singer/songwriter Cara Quici sampled the song and added new lyrics for her 2013 song "Fight"[6] personally approved by Rick Rubin and licensed by Sony ATV and Universal Music Group. The "Fight" video by Cara Quici features a cameo by Dennis Rodman.[7]

Cover versions[edit]

The band Public Enemy sampled the song for their 1988 song "Party for Your Right to Fight".[8]

German thrash metal band Holy Moses covered the song as a bonus track on their fourth studio album, World Chaos.

McFly covered the song as a B-Side on their Baby's Coming Back/Transylvania Single. It's also featured on the album The Greatest Bits: B-Sides & Rarities.

Sammy Hagar covers the song on his 2008 solo album Cosmic Universal Fashion.

On August 2, 2009, Coldplay performed an acoustic piano-based version of this song during their concert on the final night of the All Points West concert series as a tribute to the Beastie Boys, who were unable to perform on opening night following Adam Yauch's announcement that he had cancer.[9] The band performed this version again on May 4, 2012, at their concert at the Hollywood Bowl as a tribute to Adam Yauch, who had died earlier that day.[10]

The song was performed in 2013 by Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith) and Noah "Puck" Puckerman (Mark Salling) for the Glee episode "Sweet Dreams". The performance was notable as the last song Monteith recorded before his death.

Accolades[edit]

Year Publisher Country Accolade Rank
1986 The Village Voice United States "Singles of the Year" (25)[11] 12
1987 NME United Kingdom "Singles of the Year" (60)[12] 14
1987 Record Mirror United Kingdom "Singles of the Year" (20)[13] 20
1994 Dave Marsh & James Bernard United States "Greatest Eighties Protest Songs"[14] *
1995 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame United States "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll"[15] *
1998 Triple J Hottest 100 Australia "Hottest 100 of All Time"[16] 38
1999 MTV United States "100 Greatest Music Videos Ever Made"[17] 66
2001 Uncut United Kingdom "The 100 Greatest Singles Of The Post-Punk Era"[18] 50
2001 VH1 United States "100 Greatest Videos"[19] 100
2003 PopMatters United States "The 100 Best Songs Since Johnny Rotten Roared"[20] 99
2003 Q United Kingdom "The 1001 Best Songs Ever"[21] 121
2003 VH1 United States "100 Greatest Songs of the Past 25 Years"[22] 96
2004 Q United Kingdom "150 Greatest Rock Lists" (30 Best Hip Hop Songs)[23] 20
2005 Q United Kingdom "Ultimate Music Collection" (Rap Tracks)[24] *
2006 Q United Kingdom "100 Greatest Songs Of All Time"[25] 51
2006 VH1 United States "100 Greatest Songs of the 80's"[26] 49
2007 Mojo United Kingdom "80 From The 80's"[27] *
2009 The Guardian United Kingdom "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear" (Party Songs)[28] *
2010 XFM United Kingdom "Top 1000 Songs Of All Time"[29] 191
2014 NME United Kingdom "500 Greatest Songs Of All Time"[30] 166

(*) indicates the list is unordered.

Chart performance[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^
    • Mitchell, Kevin M. (2003). Hip-hop Rhyming Dictionary: For Rappers, DJs and MCs. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-7390-3333-3. "The party anthem "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" by the Beastie Boys blended hard rock and rap." 
    • Stratton, Jon (2009). Jews, Race and Popular Music. Ashgate Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-7546-6804-6. "The Beastie Boys' success came from their acceptance by African- American audiences while making rap understandable to white audiences by combining it with hard rock — the most important example of this being '(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)'." 
  3. ^ "The Beastie Boys: The Fresh Air Interview". NPR Music. May 6, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  4. ^ Kaufman, Gil (March 4, 2013). "Beastie Boys Video Director Ric Menello Dead At 60". MTV. Viacom International. Retrieved March 17, 2013. 
  5. ^ Marks, Craig; Tannenbaum, Rob (2011). I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. New York, NY: Dutton. pp. 278–79. ISBN 978-0-525-95230-5. 
  6. ^ "Cara Quici". Maxim. Alpha Media Publishing. July 22, 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Cara Quici – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Public Enemy's Party for Your Right to Fight sample of Beastie Boys's (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)". WhoSampled. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Coldplay Soar at All Points West With Anthems, Beastie Boys Cover". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). August 3, 2009. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Coldplay pay tribute to Adam Yauch with Fight For Your Right performance". Metro (Associated Newspapers Limited). May 5, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Village Voice - Pazz & Jop Lists > 1986: Singles". The Village Voice. Rocklist.net. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  12. ^ "NME Singles 1987". NME. Rocklist.net. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Record Mirror End Of Year Lists 1987". Record Mirror. Rocklist.net. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  14. ^ Marsh, Dave; Bernard, James, eds. (1994). The New Book of Rock Lists. Fireside. ISBN 0-671-78700-4. 
  15. ^ "Experience The Music: One Hit Wonders and The Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Hottest 100 of all time". Triple J Hottest 100. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  17. ^ "MTV: '100 Greatest Music Videos Ever Made'". MTV. Rock On The Net. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Uncut – The 100 Greatest Singles Of The Post-Punk Era". Uncut. Rocklist.net. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  19. ^ "VH1: 100 Greatest Videos". VH1. Rock On The Net. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  20. ^ 100 From 1977 - 2003: The 100 Best Songs Since Johnny Rotten Roared > 91 - 100 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 3, 2003). PopMatters. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  21. ^ "Q Special Edition - 1001 Best Songs Ever..". Q. Rocklist.net. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  22. ^ "VH1's 100 Greatest Songs". VH1. CBS Interactive. June 10, 2003. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  23. ^ "150 Greatest Rock Lists Ever: Q Special Edition (July 2004)". Q. Rocklist.net. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  24. ^ "The Q Ultimate Music Collection". Q. Rocklist.net. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Q - 100 Greatest Songs Of All Time". Q. Rocklist.net. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  26. ^ "VH1: '100 Greatest Songs of the 80's': 1-50". VH1. Rock On The Net. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Mojo – 80 From The 80’s". Mojo. Rocklist.net. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Series: 1000 songs everyone must hear – Part seven: Party songs". The Guardian. 20 March 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  29. ^ "The XFM Top 1000 Songs Of All Time – 200 to 101: 191: Beastie Boys - Fight For Your Right To Party". XFM. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  30. ^ "NME 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time". NME. Rocklist.net. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  31. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  32. ^ "Ultratop.be – Beastie Boys – Fight For Your Right" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  33. ^ "Fight For Your Right – BEASTIE BOYS" (in Dutch). Top 30. Retrieved February 20, 2014. "Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 16" 
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  36. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. When searching "You've got to fight for your right". Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
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External links[edit]