Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stallion Alert Book Review: 33⅓: Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique by Dan LeRoy (2006)

I think this may be the only book in the 33⅓ series I've read so far, and that's a damn shame. I'll get to some others soon enough. If you're not familiar with them, they're short looks at the making of well-known records, usually giving insight into the recording/creative process. I've heard mixed reviews of some of them, but if you're a Beastie Boys fan, this is a solid read.

Paul's Boutique is the most interesting Beasties album for a bunch of reasons, but a lot of it comes back to two things: The G-Spot and The Dust Brothers. This book tells the tale of how the Boys ended up in the house that would become known as the G-Spot, and actually dispels a lot of the myths about what went on there. Worry not: they had some rowdy times. But apparently they were also very respectful of the house because, you know, it was a rental.

The story of how the Beasties hooked up with The Dust Brothers is fairly interesting (and very random), but the story of how the record got made once they joined forces is the real kicker. All that sampling and no computer program to keep track of it, sequence it, nothing. It's amazing that they pulled off those beats with just some samplers and some tape splicing.

Anyway, there's a lot more to it, and this book does a great job of getting to the bottom of this infamous record, even doing a track-by-track analysis of the entire album and all of its b-sides. Required reading for anyone who loves this slept-on (initially) classic.

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