Licensed to Ill
|Licensed to Ill|
|Studio album by Beastie Boys|
|Released||November 15, 1986|
|Genre||Rap rock, alternative hip hop|
|Producer||Rick Rubin, Beastie Boys|
|Beastie Boys chronology|
Licensed to Ill is the debut album by the Beastie Boys, released in 1986. It was the first rap rock LP to top the Billboard album chart. It was also one of Columbia Records' fastest-selling debut records to date and eventually sold over 9 million copies in the United States.
Kerry King of Slayer made an appearance on the album playing lead guitar on "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" and appeared in the music video which is a parody of glam metal. The name of the song itself is a spoof on Motörhead's No Sleep 'til Hammersmith album. King's appearance on the track came about because Rick Rubin was producing both bands simultaneously (Slayer's Reign in Blood was originally released on Def Jam).
The full album cover, front to back, features a Boeing 727 — with "Beastie Boys" emblazoned on the tail — crashing head-on into the side of a mountain, appearing as an extinguished joint. The tail of the plane has the Def Jam logo and the legend '3MTA3' which spells 'EATME' when viewed in a mirror. The livery of the plane is based on that of American Airlines.
The group originally wanted to title the album Don't Be a Faggot, but Columbia Records refused to release the album under this title – arguing that it was homophobic – and pressured Russell Simmons, the Beastie Boys' manager and head of Def Jam Recordings at the time, into forcing them to choose another name. Adam Horovitz has since apologized for the album's earlier title.
Music videos were made for the songs "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)", "No Sleep till Brooklyn", "Hold It Now, Hit It", "Rhymin' and Stealin'" and "She's Crafty".
CBS/Fox Video released a video album of the five Licensed to Ill videos, plus "She's on It" in 1987 to capitalize on the album's success. A laserdisc version was also released in Japan. All versions of the CBS/Fox release are currently out of print because the rights to the album passed from Columbia and Sony Music to Universal Music Group, and also because of the acrimonious nature of the band's departure from Def Jam Records. Until the 2005 release of the CD/DVD Solid Gold Hits, none of the Def Jam-era videos had been included on any subsequent Beastie Boys video compilations. The Solid Gold Hits DVD includes the videos for "Fight for Your Right" and "No Sleep Till Brooklyn", as well as a live version of "Brass Monkey" from a 2004 concert.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.
It is still the only album by a white hip-hop act to receive the coveted 5 mics from The Source.
Melody Maker – Bloody Essential – "There's lots of self-reverential bragging, more tenuous rhymes than are usually permitted by law and, most importantly of all, an unshakably glorious celebration of being alive.… A surprisingly enduring classic."
In 2012, Slant Magazine listed the album at #12 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s" saying "Rife with layer upon layer of sampling, start-stop transitions, and aggressive beats, it helped transform the genre from a direct dialogue between MC and DJ into a piercing, multi-threaded narrative" and "helped set an exciting template for the future".
Commercial performance 
The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on February 2, 1987 and eventually certified 9x multi-platinum on September 5, 2001. The single "Brass Monkey" was certified Gold for shipment of 500,000+ sales. In the week following Adam Yauch's death, which subsequently resulted in a surge in sales of Beastie Boys albums, Licensed to Ill reached #1 on Billboard's Catalog Albums chart. The album also re-entered the Billboard 200 chart at #18.
Track listing 
|1.||"Rhymin & Stealin"||4:08|
|2.||"The New Style"||4:36|
|4.||"Posse in Effect"||2:27|
|7.||"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)"||3:28|
|8.||"No Sleep till Brooklyn"||4:07|
|9.||"Paul Revere" (Adam Horovitz, Darryl McDaniels, Rubin, Joseph Simmons)||3:41|
|10.||"Hold It Now, Hit It"||3:26|
|12.||"Slow and Low" (McDaniels, Rubin, Simmons)||3:38|
|13.||"Time to Get Ill"||3:37|
- Beastie Boys – group, producer
- Joe Blaney – mixing
- Steven Ett – audio engineer
- Kerry King – lead guitar on "No Sleep till Brooklyn"
- Rick Rubin – producer
- Howie Weinberg – mastering
- Steve Byram – art direction
- Sunny Bak – photography
- World B. Omes (David Gambale) – cover art
- Keene Carse - Trombone
- Danny Lipman - Trumpet
- Tony Orbach - Tenor Sax
Chart positions 
|1986||The Billboard Pop Albums||1|
|Top Hip-Hop/R&B Albums||2|
|U.S. Billboard 200||18|
|U.S. Billboard Catalog Albums||1|
|U.S. Billboard Digital Albums||6|
Billboard (North America) – singles
|1986||"Hold It Now, Hit It"||Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks||55|
|Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales||41|
|"The New Style"||Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks||22|
|"Paul Revere"||Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales||20|
|1987||Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks||34|
|Hot Dance Music/Club Play||41|
|"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)"||The Billboard Hot 100||7|
|"Brass Monkey"||The Billboard Hot 100||48|
|Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks||83|
"Rhymin & Stealin"
- "Sweet Leaf" by Black Sabbath
- "When the Levee Breaks" by Led Zeppelin
- "I Fought the Law" by The Clash
- "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith
- "Two, Three, Break" by The B-Boys
- "Kool Is Back" by Funk, Inc.
- "Drop the Bomb" by Trouble Funk
- "Peter Piper" by Run-D.M.C.
- "The Ocean" by Led Zeppelin
"Posse in Effect"
- "Change le Beat" by Fab Five Freddy and B-Side
- "Pee-Wee's Dance" by Joeski Love
- "Catch a Groove" by Juice
- "The Return of Leroy" by The Jimmy Castor Bunch
- "Drop the Bomb" and "Let's Get Small" by Trouble Funk
- "Funky Stuff" by Kool & the Gang
- "Take Me to the Mardi Gras" by Bob James
- "Christmas Rappin'" by Kurtis Blow
- "La Di Da Di" by Slick Rick
- "Bring It Here" by Wild Sugar
"Slow and Low"
In the booklet included with the Beastie Boys' anthology set The Sounds of Science, Adam Yauch (MCA) noted that "Slow and Low" was first recorded by Run-D.M.C. in the sessions for their second album, King of Rock, but was ultimately left off the original release (though the demo version later appeared on the album's 2005 Deluxe Edition re-release). Being one of the Beasties' favorite songs from the sessions, they got Run-D.M.C.'s permission to record a cover version. Yauch states that only two lines were changed for the Beastie Boys' version: "D sees real well 'cause he has four eyes" was replaced with "White Castle fries only come in one size", and a line stating Run-D.M.C.'s name was changed to "We're the Beastie Boys, not Cheech and Chong". The notes for The Sounds of Science expand the writing credits to "Beastie Boys/J. Simmons/D. McDaniels/R. Rubin/D. Hayden", a credit corroborated by ASCAP's database.
"Time to Get Ill"
- "Boogie on Reggae Woman" by Stevie Wonder
- "Take the Money and Run" by the Steve Miller Band
- "Down on the Corner" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
- "Custard Pie" by Led Zeppelin
- "Gucci Time" by Schoolly D
- "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby" by Barry White
- "Funky Stuff" by Kool & the Gang
- "Nothing from Nothing" by Billy Preston
- "Flick of the Switch" by AC/DC
- "Rocket in the Pocket (Live)" by Cerrone
- Excerpts from the theme music from Green Acres and Mister Ed
- Plummer, Sean (September 16, 2011). "Beastie Boys "Licensed to Ill" – The most controversial lyrics in music". MSN Canada. Microsoft. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- Light, Alan (September 4, 1998). "The Story of Yo: The Oral History of the Beastie Boys". Spin. Spin Media. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
- Williams, Zoe (April 29, 2003). "Hiphopophobia". The Guardian (London). ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved November 24, 2007.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill > Review" at Allmusic. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
- Leone, Dominique (April 15, 2004). "Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
- "Licensed To Ill: Beastie Boys". Rhapsody. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
- Christgau, Robert. "The Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
- Coleman, Mark (February 27, 1991). "Licensed To Ill". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
- Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (2004). The new Rolling Stone album guide (4th revised ed.). New York: Fireside. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8.
- "Beastie Boys: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
- Young, Jayson (February 5, 2002). "Beastie Boys :: Licensed to Ill". Back to the Lab. RapReviews.com. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
- "Beastie Boys: Licensed To Ill". The Source (New York). 1986. ISSN 1063-2085. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
- "100 Best Rap Albums". The Source (New York) (#100). January 1998. ISSN 1063-2085. Retrieved November 24, 2007.
- "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone (Straight Arrow) (Special Issue). November 2003. ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on August 21, 2006. Retrieved November 24, 2007.
- Vibe (New York City: InterMedia Partners). December 1999. p. 158. ISSN 1070-4701.
- Q (Bauer Media). September 1994. p. 123. ISSN 0955-4955.
- Melody Maker (London: Holborn). July 22, 1995. p. 35. ISSN 0025-9012.
- Q (241) (Bauer Media). August 2006. ISSN 0955-4955.
- "Catalog Albums - Week of May 19, 2012". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
- "Billboard 200 - Week of May 19, 2012". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
- "Slow and Low". ACE Title Search. ASCAP.com. Retrieved November 24, 2007.
- Licensed to Ill (Adobe Flash) at Radio3Net (streamed copy where licensed)
- Beastie Boys - Licensed To Ill CD at CD Universe.
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