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Paul's Boutique Import

252 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, July 19, 1989
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After the out-of-nowhere success of Licensed to Ill, the Beasties had to prove they were more than one-album wonders, and they hit it out of the park with this follow-up. The Boys' lyrics are a hysterical deluge of cultural allusion (Ponce De Leon, Sadaharu Oh, and Love Connection's Chuck Woolery all get name-dropped), compressed wordplay, and adenoidal snottiness, but the real stars are the Dust Brothers, whose production is a hip-hop landmark. Their music tracks sound like the history of rock and funk radio boiled down to a pure concentrate--monster jams built out of thousands of unexpected samples (Johnny Cash! The Sweet!). It's a killer party album, kinetic and dense, and it never slows down. --Douglas Wolk

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 19, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000002UUN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (252 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,131 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 110 people found the following review helpful By "littleoldme" on September 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Every time I listen to this album (and that would be almost every day) I can't help but be awed by one simple thought: by all conventional rules of music, this album is not supposed to work. How many of you could add rhymes like "Tom Thumb/Tom Cushman/or Tom Foolery/date women on TV with the help of Chuck Woolery" over samples of the Commodores AND a cowbell? Can you drop Jean Knight's "Mr. Big Stuff" into a rockabilly groove about a homeless guy? I didn't think so, and it's a testament to the talent of the Beastie Boys and the Dust Brothers that this album not works so well, but that it works at all.
Lyrically, this is probably the most inventive album I've ever heard, as the Beasties will rap about ANYTHING. Pop-culture references include "The Brady Bunch", "The Flintstones", Donald Trump, Humpty Dumpty, Houdini, Ben Franklin, Ponce De Leon, Jack Kerouac, Vincent Van Gogh, Rapunzel, and "Amazing Grace", among others. They're simply hilarious. However, the real highlight of the album is the music, which is unbelievably rich and creative. "Paul's Boutique" contains a mind-numbing **400+** samples, including: Johnny Cash, the Ramones, the Beatles, Isaac Hayes, the Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Chic, Public Enemy, Curtis Mayfield, Bob Marley, the theme from "Psycho", Sly Stone, Alice Cooper, James Brown, and so many more. The samples are layered and used so creatively that they're never simply theft; instead, they create something new out of something old.
"Paul's Boutique" is not just one of the best rap albums of all time, or one of the best "alternative" albums of all time, or one of the best dance albums of all time. It is one of the best albums ever, period. If you don't own it, it needs to be the next CD you buy.
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92 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Evan Streb on January 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
They just don't make albums like this anymore. This would be IMPOSSIBLE to make today, what with all this controversy over sampling and whatnot. THIS is what sampling should sound like: Artists taking bits of found sound from various sources and incorporating them into their own unique creations. The problem with today's sampling is that rappers will take one catchy melody and loop it over the course of the song so that it never changes texture (e.g. "Will2K", "I'll Be Missing You", "Role Model"). Well there are at least 400 samples on this entire album (no hyperbole! ) and most of the time like three or four at once. During "EggMan", the themes from "Psycho" and "Jaws" are played... simultaneously! I've heard this album at least forty times since I "discovered" it like a year ago and I STILL hear something new with each listen. This is the ultimate "Oh! That part came from ____ by ____!" The Beastie Boys have basically sampled from every album they can get their hands on: the Beatles, The Ramones, Curtis Mayfield, Sly and the Family Stone, Johnny Cash (!), a Bob Marley interview, about 50 billion different Sugar Hill records, AND the "KICK IT!" scream from the Beasties' own "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)". Once during "Car Thief", Ad Rock screams the words "I'm the wretched old bum/A Hurdy Gurdy Man", and then right as he's saying that, they sample the John Bonham drum fill from the actual song "Hurdy Gurdy Man"! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW COOL THAT IS!
And the lyrics? Best they ever did. Snotty rap doesn't get any better than this, folks.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 11, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Yes, Paul's Boutique is the best Beastie Boy Album. Yes, the Beasties would be hard pressed to ever top it. Yes, it is one of the greatest albums of all time. Yes, every music critic is willing to give it's the recognition it deserves now. The question becomes: WHY DID IT FLOP IN 1989? As an owner & worshiper of the album, since the day it was released, I'll go back in time to explain it's "failure".
A misconception is that people didn't understand it back then, but Rolling Stone magazine gave it a 4 Star rating, and Spin gave it an equally flattering review. The first problem was that Licensed to Ill was a wonderful, hilarious album which happened to upset a lot of squares. Paul's B received an angry backlash by the mob who hated LTI.
Second problem: as rich and as textured as the sample smorgasbord of Paul's B. was, a few months earlier, De La Soul, debuted the first sample smorgasbord, "3 Feet High & Rising". So "Paul's B." wasn't the ground breaker. (Note: If you're a Beastie fan of "Paul's B.", you owe it to yourself to go buy "3 Feet High & Rising".)
Third problem: In 1986-1989, there was only one rap dynasty: Def Jam Records. Home of LL Cool J, Public Enemy, etc., the Def Jam label gave the `white' Beastie Boys street credibility. LTI had a large black audience. But the Beasties had left, and Def Jam pres. Russell Simmons started ripping the Beasties, saying he `created' them. They were seen as fakes, and they lost their large urban fan base. They would never regain them. In some ways, the Beasties had to become `alternative', because the rap world had disowned them.
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