A Tribe Called Quest: People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

Released on April 10, 1990, it was the group’s debut album. From Queens, New York, A Tribe Called Quest formed a friendship with hip-hop act Jungle Brothers, both groups formed a collective called Native Tongues, which also included De La Soul. They played with beats, technology and built their skills in the rap world.

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Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique

Scott Coates, January 2020

Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique 

I was super close to choosing an album by The Police or Willie Nelson this month, then read/listened to a post, Hear Every Sample on the Beastie Boys’ Acclaimed Album, Paul’s Boutique–and Discover Where They Came From, which got me thinking back to this album.

Disclosure, I own every Beastie Boys album but have not listened to Paul’s in its entirety in many years, so this will be rediscovering known territory. They spent US$250,000 on sample licensing, but this would simply not be possible today as fees have gone way up, making a modern-day Paul’s virtually impossible. 

Released on July 25, 1989 by Capitol Records, it was recorded over two years at a Los Angeles apartment. This was the highly anticipated follow-up to the Beastie’s debut album Licensed to Ill and expectations were beyond high. It was produced with the Dust Brothers, who broke new ground utilizing multi-layered sampling, drawing on 105 songs. 

Paul’s Boutique debuted to less than favorable reviews and fans didn’t know what to think. It peaked at just #24 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and quickly found its way to the discount bins (where I bought my original CD copy). It turns out Paul’s was way ahead of its time, and as the decades passed, people came to realize it as a masterpiece.

Put on some kick-ass headphones or turn up a quality hi-fi and digest Paul’s Boutique.

‎Paul’s Boutique by Beastie Boys on iTunes – Apple Music

Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique – Amazon.com Music

Paul’s Boutique on Spotify:


Also Considered this Month:

Willie Nelson: Shotgun Willie

The Police: Ghost in the Machine

Radiohead: Kid A

I’ve never listened to an entire Radiohead album.
I really like Creep.
I’ve heard a couple other songs, but they didn’t resonate.
I feel Radiohead is a band I won’t like, will be a bit too weird, but I’m not sure why?
I semi-reluctantly selecting Radiohead’s Kid A as my pick for August 2019, fearing I won’t like it, which will make for a long August. But the time for a Radiohead experience has come.

They most recently came to attention while reading a list of Best Albums to Listen to High and Kid A was right at the top. Searching ‘Best Radiohead Albums’, many other sites also listed Kid A as their best.

This, the band’s fourth studio album, was released on October 3, 2000, and incorporates electronic elements, drum machines, and was influenced by Brian Eno (someone I really like) among others. Interestingly, the band released no singles or videos for Kid A, instead relying solely upon the Internet to promote its release, something highly unusual at the time. It won a Grammy for Best Alternative Album and in 2012, Rolling Stone ranked it number 67 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Strap in for Kid A and lets see where it takes us!

Wikipedia Page




Other albums considered this month:

Massive Attack: Mezzanine

Massive Attack: Mezzanine
Scott Coates, April 2019

I’ve been listening to a fair bit of funky, jazzy, electronica lately: The Brand New Heavies, Chemical Brothers, Morcheeba and a few others. While thinking of similar bands, Massive Attack came to mind. I’d listened to their Blue Lines release a few times but hadn’t listened to this month’s pick, Mezzanine. Upon giving it a listen I realized there are a lot of tracks that I’ve heard before, namely Angel which was on the Snatch soundtrack and Safe from Harm which was featured on The Insider soundtrack. Some of my mixed chillout albums also have Massive Attack tracks on them. 

Mezzanine is the third studio album by the Bristol, England, released on 20 April 1998. It took a long time to make and band members pushed themselves in various new directions, often finishing songs, then tearing them apart and almost starting again from scratch. It features many samples, ranging from Isaac Hayes to The Cure. In 2003, the album was ranked number 412 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It faired very well in the UK, entering the charts at #1 but didn’t do as well in North America, peaking at 51 in Canada and 60 in the US.

This is a potentially dark exploration, but one I’m looking forward to and I hope you enjoy doing so as well. Settle in to a relaxing spot and give it a roll.

Mezzanine on Spotify

Mezzanine on Apple Music

Mezzanine Wikipedia page

Massive Attack website

Massive Attack fan page

The Allman Brothers Band: At Fillmore East

The Allman Brothers Band – At Fillmore East
Scott Coates, July 2018
I’ve known of the Allman Brothers my entire life but until recently had never listened to one of their albums. A few years ago while searching ‘best live albums’ online, their At Fillmore East album was listed; I was intrigued but didn’t listen to it. Fast-forward a couple years and I came back to it.
The double album, featuring just seven songs, was recorded at New York’s Fillmore East theatre on March 12th and 13th, 1971. They were the opening, opening act for Johnny Winter and Elvin Bishop Group the first two nights, but gained so much momentum, they closed the third show as the headliner. The band was paid $1,250 each show. This was the band’s third album and the one that made them a commercial success, being released in July 1971.
It’s interesting to note just how regarded Duane Allman was at the time, regularly jamming with Eric Clapton, and he was invited to join Clapton’s band Derek and the Dominos but declined. Find a comfy chair, nice drink and settle in to what many publications have listed as one of the best live rock albums of all time.
Other Albums Considered
Rolling Stones: Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!
MC5: Kick Out the Jams
Motorhead: No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith
Kiss: Alive!
Bob Seger: ‘Live’ Bullet
Wikipedia Page
On iTunes
On Amazon

The Black Crowes: The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion

The Black Crowes: The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
Scott Coates
Hard to Handle was the hit song of the moment and I was spinning it as a young DJ at Lloyd’s Recreation, a rollerskating rink and Calgary landmark that sadly recently closed. I was 17 and didn’t realize the ‘hit’ was a cover. A few other tracks on The Black Crowes first album, Shake Your Money Maker, caught my ear but then they kind of disappeared. Their second album, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion came out but it didn’t really grab me.
Years passed, then sometime in the 2000s, I hit upon The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion again, and, wow… Age and maturity was needed to appreciate this one it seems. Much like Catcher in the Rye read at 15-years-of-age wasn’t fully grasped, this album escaped me during first listens at a young age.
The Crowes second release, it came out on May 12, 1992 and went on to spawn four hit singles. This album reminds me a lot of old Rolling Stones albums and rock albums of the seventies. I’ll stop here and let you decide – sit back – have a listen – and enjoy.
Wikipedia page
On iTunes
On Amazon

DJ Shadow: Entroducing

DJ Shadow: Entroducing…..
Scott Coates
I came upon this album some years ago on a list of top albums of some sort or genre. I listened to pieces of it here and there, forgot about it, then when DJ Shadow’s Nobody Speak track came out in 2016, I was knocked-out and it spurred me to revisit Entroducing…..

Released on September 16, 1996, he set out to create an album composed entirely samples. DJ Shadow spent two years crafting the tracks and it’s since been heralded by many as the best sample-based album ever made. Most samples are quite obscure but there are many by more prominent artists such as Björk and Metallica.
His studio set-up was minimal, with only three primary pieces of equipment being used in making the album: an Akai MPC60 sampler, a Technics SL-1200 turntable and an Alesis ADAT tape recorder. He became a master with the Akai – crediting it with the end-sound of the album.
This is a different album, one I find that requires me to be in the right mood to get all the way through in a single session, but is incredibly creative and unique. Enjoy the journey…..
Sample list from Endtroducing
Endtroducing….. has been frequently ranked in professional lists of the all-time greatest albums
Entroducing…. on Wikipedia
Entroducing…. on iTunes
Entroducing…. on Spotify
Scratch documentary

Review of Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

Please read Scott Coates pick for Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Quick Summary: 

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Worth the hype?

Review of Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

I have to admit that our little group is on a great streak of great albums to review and our member Scott Coates from Bangkok, Thailand did not disappoint. Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back blew the doors and speakers open with it’s extremely raw sound and messages. Have a listen to our review and find out just how influential this album was, how much sampling happened and what 4 white Canadian boys think of this fun ride. Yeah…. boy!!!!
Ps. I feel like we didn’t give enough credit to the other members of PE. Though Chuck D is the leader all these greats contributed: Harry Allen, Chuck D, Fab 5 Freddy, Flavor Flav, Erica Johnson, Oris Josphe, Professor Griff

Our Individual Review Scores
Scott Coates:
Overall opinion: 4
Would I recommend?:4
Influenced my tastes: 3.5
Worth the hype?: 4
Darren Scott:
Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5
Worth the hype? 5
Scott Gregory:
Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5
Worth the hype? 4.5
Alain DuPuis:
Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5
Worth the hype? 4.5
Check out PE’s latest album. How does this one stand up?

Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

I’ve recently been listening to concerts and tracks (Unfuck the World – amazing video) from the newly formed super-group Prophets of Rage and been enjoying them a good deal. Pumped for their album coming out in September 15, 2017. I also re-watched an episode of Dave Grohl’s Sonic Highways where Public Enemy frontman Chuck D is interviewed and it got me to thinking about Public Enemy. I realized I’d never listened to one of their albums in full. Well it’s time.

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back was released in June 1988 by Def Jam Recordings and was the band’s second studio album. It quickly went on to be named by many to be the best album of the year and has continued to grow in significance since then. The lyrics are poignant and it represents a snapshot of America in the late eighties. Strap in for a rap journey that’s regarded as one of the greatest of the genre…
Album on iTunes
Album on Amazon
Wikipedia Information on the album.

Neil Young: After the Gold Rush

I’m Canadian, love music, know Neil Young, but strangely have never listened to an entire Neil Young album. While watching music documentary Sound City for the fifth or sixth time, Young was featured and mentioned recording some of After the Gold Rush at the studio and I had my pick for March 2017. It’s time to dive in and get a complete taste of one of Canada’s most famous musical exports.
This is the third studio album by Young and he’s backed by Crazy Horse. The album was originally written as a soundtrack for a movie script by the same name that never got produced. Initial reception was weak but it’s gone on to become one of Young’s most famous albums. Lets see what’s inside?! Listen to why I selected this album and listen with us at The Sonic Collective.
Listen to our review of this album here.
Wikipedia: Neil Young: After the Gold Rush 
Buy the album on iTunes
Buy the album on Amazon
Other Considerations 
The Message: Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five
The Color and the Shape: Foo Fighters
Tibetan Meditation: Phil Thornton