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I had a huge, ecstatic review all planned out for "Paul's Boutique"...,
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This review is from: The Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique (33 1/3) (Paperback)... 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.