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The Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique (33 1/3) Paperback – March 1, 2006


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The Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique (33 1/3) + Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (33 1/3) + Nas' Illmatic (33 1/3 series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826417418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826417411
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Title entry in Publishing News


'The idea was simple: to ask a group of authors to each write a book about a classic album. What emerged became Continuum's 33 1/3 series. Without guidelines or rules, each author embraced their own favourite album and chose exactly how they wanted to write about it.As a result, each book is by turn anecdotal, obsessive, technical and personal, but always passionate.' (Swell Music, December 2006)

Extract in Word, April 2007


"...recognized as acultish, kaleidoscopic classic...a frequently illuminating and entertainingtale..."- Stevie Chick, Mojo (Mojo)

"Just how the hell did three snot-nosed party boys from Brooklyn go from fighting for the right to party to creating 1989's hip-hop masterpiece Paul's Boutique? The album, with its thousands of samples, is an aural encyclopedia of musical landmarks, served up in a funk stew of arrogance, attitude, and ultimately, adoration for the components from which it comes. LeRoy has done a great job capturing the surroundings, the people involved, and the reaction then. The insights as to how the record was constructed, from the mighty foot of John Bonham to the scratchy guitar of '70s funk, are illuminating. Fire up Paul's on the iPod, crack the spine of this little tome, and "Shake Your Rump."—The Big Takeover (James Mann, author of About Face: A History of America's Curious Relationship with China, from Nixon to Clinton)

“…recognized as acultish, kaleidoscopic classic…a frequently illuminating and entertainingtale…”- Stevie Chick, Mojo (Sanford Lakoff)

"Just how the hell did three snot-nosed party boys from Brooklyn go from fighting for the right to party to creating 1989's hip-hop masterpiece Paul's Boutique?  The album, with its thousands of samples, is an aural encyclopedia of musical landmarks, served up in a funk stew of arrogance, attitude, and ultimately, adoration for the components from which it comes.  LeRoy has done a great job capturing the surroundings, the people involved, and the reaction then.  The insights as to how the record was constructed, from the mighty foot of John Bonham to the scratchy guitar of '70s funk, are illuminating.  Fire up Paul's on the iPod, crack the spine of this little tome, and "Shake Your Rump."—The Big Takeover  (Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

Dan LeRoy is the Director of Literary Arts at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland, PA. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Vibe, The Village Voice, National Review Online and Alternative Press. Mr. LeRoy is the co-author (with Michael Lipton) of 20 Years of Mountain Stage, a history of the National Public Radio show, and his book The Greatest Music Never Sold will be published by Backbeat in autumn 2007. He is also a contributor to But Prince Don't Moonwalk, an anthology of music writing to be published in 2008 by Crown/Random House.

More About the Author

Dan LeRoy is an author, journalist and teacher who has written for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, The Village Voice, Alternative Press and National Review Online. Mr. LeRoy is certainly the only person in history to have contributed to publications founded by William F. Buckley, Jr. and by Gene Simmons of KISS.

He has written two books: one about the Beastie Boys classic Paul's Boutique, for Continuum's 33 1/3 series, and one about famous unreleased albums, The Greatest Music Never Sold.

Mr. LeRoy is the director of literary arts at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School near Pittsburgh, PA. He is also a member of Bohemian Tories, the world's premier conservative soul-jazz ensemble, whose debut album, iCons, was released in August 2013. Hear more at https://soundcloud.com/bohemiantories

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Informative, well researched, quick and readable.
Hucklebuck
It is as filled with names and details as the album is full of samples.
Clare Quilty
Up there with the best of the 33 1/3 books I've read.
Mark L. Ayala

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By D.X. Ferris on June 11, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
LeRoy does an excellent, thorough job covering everything you'd hope he'd cover about the making of Paul's Boutique: The people behind the disc, including musicians, producers, and record-company types. The circumstances that led up to the album. The story of the Beastie's protracted legal complications with Def Jam. How the tracks came together. The stories behind the songs. The Beasties' relationship with Capitol. The disc's initial disappointing commerical reception. Its eventual recognition as a masterwork. A song-by-song look at the disc. The promotional campaign (or lack thereof). A rundown of B-sides. Actual conversation with a Beasite. Actual scenes. It's all there.

33 1/3 is a decent series, but in too many of the books, you learn as much about the writer as you do about the album -- sometimes more. You get a bunch of "I was in college when this disc came out, and it STILL reminds me of my ex-girlfriend! Awesome!" or a collection of lengthy, speculative interpretations of the lyrics. Like a true pro, LeRoy writes about the subject and keeps himself out of the book. He even includes a full-on works cited list.

This is the best book I've read in the series.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Big Daddy Cat on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
One of the best books ever written detailing the inspiration, creation, and on-going influence of a work of popular music. Leroy's thorough (almost obsessive) research and reporting, combined with his razor-sharp skills as a creative writer, offer a fitting tribute to one of the most interesting works of modern popular music of the late 20th century. If you don't own this book and the album it celebrates...well, YOU SHOULD!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Erik Ketzan on May 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Paul's Boutique may be my favorite album of all time, but I'd never known much about its creation. In this excellently written (and never over-written) little book, Dan LeRoy has constructed the most complete narrative we'll probably ever get regarding the Dust Brothers, the Beasties, and their once-in-a-lifetime creative synergy.

This is from a series of books by 33 1/3, each one devoted to a landmark album in the history of pop music. Paul's Boutique is the first I've read, and although I've heard mixed reviews on others, particularly those that emphasize the author's subjective theories and interpretations of the albums, this one is pure journalism-- lots of well-researched facts and entertaining memories from most of the people involved: the Beasties (mostly Mike D.), their producers, managers, promoters, and friends.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Skipper on May 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Good books on popular music are, frankly, few and far between. This is one of those precious few. Journalist Dan LeRoy has done a remarkable job of piecing together the details of the creation of this album. Even better, he has written an engaging story. It might be a cliche, but I couldn't put it down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clare Quilty on September 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
... and then I came here and read the unanimous 5-star reviews and agree with all of them.

There's not much I can add that wouldn't be redundant.

Except to say that "Paul's Boutique" -- one of my favorite albums -- has always kind of been shrouded in mystery. The album may be dense with information, but there's not a lot of background that I could find.

This book changes all that. It is as filled with names and details as the album is full of samples.

From Leroy's very well-reported account, we learn the backstory of the Dust Brothers and the mysterious Matt Dike (long rumored to be the main mastermind behind "Boutique") plus, a sampling of the late 80s L.A. scene from which this album emerged; we meet a host of side players like Mario C and Money Mark, and also the ill-fated exec Tim Carr (whose heart and mind, I'm convinced, where in the right place all along); there's the promotional wrangling that went on at Capitol before the release and after the record flopped; and also what was going on with the three main charcaters -- MCA, Ad Rock and Mike D -- who wanted to derail the locomotive of "License to Ill" and almost got crushed under the cattleguard.

The book tells the story of the album, and at first I thought it kind of scrimped on the background of the recording of the individual songs, but it closes with a finely detailed track-by-track examination that reveals a lot (but not nearly all) of the samples that helped make up one of the richest, coolest, bangingest records ever made.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Owen on May 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To this day, I'm still ashamed to admit that I didn't appreciate the Beastie Boy's iconic and classic rap album Paul's Boutique when it first came out. I'm afraid I followed the herd, scratching my head upon its release, wondering what they'd done with the rock/rap that I had loved so much on Licensed to Ill. (Hey, I was only 19 when it came out) I then followed the herd again years later, after the B-Boy's early and mid 90's revival, and found, like everyone else, I now got their point and loved nothing better than throwing on my headphones and getting lost in the intricate quilt the band built with the hundreds of samples used on the album. (Odd fact from the book: no one knows for sure how many samples were used. And another: sampling laws were changed after this album, ensuring there will never be another quite like it.) So it was with a sense of nostalgia and humility that I sat down to read Dan Leroy's take on Paul's Boutique for the 33 1/3 series.

LeRoy is a regular contributor to the New York Times and Rolling Stone, so you get a good piece of rock journalism here. He covers a lot of ground, interviewing almost everyone involved in the music, the bands' friends from that time, like Donovan Leitch and Ione Skye, and even Mike D. (Though not interviewing MCA and Ad-Rock were major misses.) A good chunk is devoted to the origins of the music, probably because there were so many people involved. Rap albums seem to be unusually dependent on producers, who often craft many of the beats and samples underneath the rap. Paul's Boutique was no exception.

LeRoy goes back to the mid 80's and the beginnings of the California DJ scene where Matt Dike and The Dust Brothers, the producers of the album, got their starts.
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