Rock Hard

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"Rock Hard"
Single by Beastie Boys
Released 1984
Recorded 1984
Genre Rap rock
Length 4:55
Label Def Jam
Songwriter(s) Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, Adam Yauch, Rick Rubin, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Brian Johnson
Producer(s) Rick Rubin
Beastie Boys singles chronology
"Cooky Puss"
"Rock Hard"
"She's on It"
"Cooky Puss"
"Rock Hard"
"She's on It"
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau B+ [2]

"Rock Hard" is a single by the Beastie Boys, released by Def Jam Records on 12" in 1984. The song, and the accompanying songs on the 12", feature the band's first major label rap effort.

The track contains samples from the AC/DC song "Back in Black", which was used without obtaining legal permission - thereby causing the record to be promptly withdrawn. Later, when the group planned to include the out-of-print song on their 1999 compilation, Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science, AC/DC refused to allow the sample to be used. Mike D spoke to AC/DC's Malcolm Young personally on the phone when their lawyers refused to clear the sample, and later said that "AC/DC could not get with the sample concept. They were just like, 'Nothing against you guys, but we just don't endorse sampling.'" Ad-Rock then added "So we told them that we don't endorse people playing guitars."[3]

The cover design is also famous for now being the official Def Jam records logo for vinyl releases; to this day, vinyl singles released by Def Jam have this design.

Long removed from print, it was considered a rare collector's item until Def Jam reissued the single in Europe in 2007.[4]

Track listing[edit]

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Rock Hard" 4:55
2. "Party's Gettin' Rough" 5:58
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Beastie Groove" 3:37
2. "Beastie Groove" (instrumental) 3:37
Sample credits

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Rock Hard - Beastie Boys" at AllMusic. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Beastie Boys". Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  3. ^ "AC/DC nix Beastie Boys sample" (LexisNexis Academic Search). New Musical Express. November 11, 1999. Retrieved February 15, 2007 
  4. ^ "Rock Hard". Discography. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age". About the exhibit. Retrieved October 10, 2011.