Jimmy James (song)
|Single by Beastie Boys|
|from the album Check Your Head|
|B-side||"The Maestro", "Boomin' Granny," "Drinkin' Wine"|
|Released||August 28, 1992|
|Format||12", CD, Cassette|
|Recorded||G-Son Studios, Atwater Village|
|Genre||Alternative hip hop|
|Length||3:14 (album version)
3:05 (original/single version)
|Writer(s)||Beastie Boys, Mario Caldato Jr.|
|Producer(s)||Beastie Boys, Mario Caldato Jr.|
|Beastie Boys singles chronology|
"Jimmy James" is the first song and third single from Beastie Boys' third album Check Your Head. The song has been described as a tribute to Jimi Hendrix by Beastie Boys member MCA, and contains samples from several Hendrix songs including "Foxy Lady", "Happy Birthday", and "Still Raining, Still Dreaming". The song also samples the drum beat from "I'm Chief Kamanawanalea (We're the Royal Macadamia Nuts)" by The Turtles, as well as a line from Mantronix's 1985 single, "Fresh Is the Word" ("...for all the Blacks, Puerto Ricans, and the White People too").
"Jimmy James" originally started out as an instrumental track with scratching done by Yauch (this version of the song appears on the "Jimmy James" EP as the "original original version"). Later on, lyrics were written and the other two Beastie Boys, Mike "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "King Adrock" Horovitz, asked to lend their vocals to the song along with Yauch.
However, Hendrix's family, who own the rights to most of his catalogue, denied the group clearance to use the samples (the group, however, were somehow able to keep the "Happy Birthday" and "Foxy Lady" samples in the song, though). Determined to keep the song on Check Your Head, the group re-recorded "Jimmy James" using samples similar to the Hendrix ones. This version ended up being released as the first track on the album.
A few months after Check Your Head was released, Hendrix's family finally relented and gave the Beastie Boys clearance to use the samples. As a result, the "single version" of "Jimmy James" was released as the third single from Check Your Head, and a music video was made for it which premiered in August 1992.
The original version has since been issued on their compilation album The Sounds of Science. The beginning of the album version of the track is a sample from the live version of "Surrender" by Cheap Trick from their live album Cheap Trick at Budokan.
MTV and VH1 credit the "Jimmy James" music video to Nathanial Hörnblowér, Adam Yauch's director alter ego. However, on the Beastie Boys' Sabotage VHS tape released in 1994, the "Jimmy James" music video is listed as being co-directed by Yauch (as Nathanial Hörnblowér) and Lisa Ann Cabasa, an actress, and Yauch's girlfriend at the time the video was made. Cabasa directed the dance sequences in the music video and also appeared in the video as one of the silhouetted female dancers.
Formats and track listing
In popular culture
- Beastie Boys
- Mike D – vocals, producer
- MCA – vocals, producer
- Ad-Rock – vocals, producer
- Mario Caldato, Jr – producer
- Tom Baker – mastering
- Other personnel
- Eric Haze – artwork
- "Are You Experienced?" by Jimi Hendrix
- "EXP" by Jimi Hendrix
- "Third Stone From the Sun" by Jimi Hendrix
- "Foxy Lady" by Jimi Hendrix
- "Still Raining, Still Dreaming" by Jimi Hendrix
- "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" by Jimi Hendrix
- "I'm Chief Kamanawanalea (We're the Royal Macadamia Nuts)" by The Turtles
- "Happy Birthday" by Jimi Hendrix and Curtis Knight
- "Rockin' It" by Fearless Four
- "Beat Bop" by Rammellzee and K-Rob
- "Fresh Is the Word" by Mantronix feat. MC Tee
- "Surrender" by Cheap Trick (live version from Cheap Trick at Budokan) [Used on "LP version" only]
In the UK, the song charted as a part of the EP Frozen Metal Head.
|UK Singles Chart||55|
- on YouTube
- "Jimmy James" at AllMusic
- "Jimmy James" at Discogs (list of releases)
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics