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.

Links
‎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

Iggy and The Stooges: Raw Power

(Top image credit: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)

Darren Scott, December 2019

As we reached the 5th birthday of The Sonic Collective it was great to celebrate and reflect upon all the great music we had gone back to listen to. We have definitely discovered that the really great bands of the past do span the test of time and their songs sound great. 

It is always difficult to make a selection as there are so many worthy bands, but I decided that it would be a downright travesty if we let Iggy Pop and the Stooges wait another second to be added to our show. 

Listen to my selection reasoning above and please join us as we rediscover the Godfather of punk, Iggy Pop. Will this music still stand up 46 years later? Wow, 46 years!

Personally, I can’t wait to dive back in to Iggy Pop. If you want to join us on an amazing journey that involves drugs, sex, David Bowie’s friendship, and the definition of a cheaply run studio session, I know you won’t be disappointed.

I give you Raw Power by Iggy and The Stooges.

Article about Raw Power from Louder (With awesome photos!)

Wikipedia Page

Spotify

Def Leppard: Hysteria

def leppard band photo

Scott Gregory, November 2019

Love is like a bomb, baby, c’mon get it on

Livin’ like a lover with a radar phone

Lookin’ like a tramp, like a video vamp

Demolition woman, can I be your man?

 

Despite similar hairstyles in the 80s, Def Leppard and Celine Dion are worlds apart when it comes to love ballads, but if you caught from last month’s review I already had hair metal on the mind, this pick might not be as big a surprise for you.

 

Not only did Def Leppard help form the vanguard of the 80s British heavy metal scene, they were at ground zero for the creation of the MTV generation. It’s hard to imagine anyone who hit their teens back then not running into these guys on TV or radio weekly if not daily.  And if you worked in a mall with piped-in music, god help you.

 

I was tempted to go with Pyromania from 1983, but so much happened to the band between then and when their next album, Hysteria, released in 1987. I eventually went with Hysteria because it’s really the first album with their crystalized sound, and seemed to excite and piss off fans in equal parts. It introduces the new electronic elements needed to accommodate drummer Rick Allen losing his arm in a car crash, and Mutt Lange really went all out in the production of a locked down, masterfully crafted album.

 

They say the intention was to create a similar to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, where every song could be a single, and the fact seven of the twelve tracks actually did chart shows how successful they were in this goal. Rolling stone ranks the album in their top 500 of all time, and the top hair metal album of all time.

 

So step inside, walk this way, you and me babe, hey hey. Join the Sonic Collective this November in head banging to Def Leppard’s 1987 album Hysteria. Rock on dudes and dudettes.

 

Def Leppard, Hysteria

Spotify

Apple Music 

Wikipedia

Def Leppard doing a perfect cover of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus

Celine Dion: Falling Into You

Celine Dion - Falling Into You

Alain Dupuis, October 2019

This is not a joke.
We are absolutely listening to Celine Dion this month.

I’ve been threatening everyone with this for a while, and now, as the leaves turn yellow and the cold October air brings with it the looming threat of another Canadian winter, the time has come!

I fully expect this to be a polarizing one, but those are some of the most enjoyable and interesting episodes of The Sonic Collective, as far as I’m concerned. So strap in, bucko. We’ve got ourselves a damn album to review!

Back in 1996, Celine Dion released Falling Into You, an album which eventually came to sell 32 million copies. Let that sink in. THIRTY-TWO MILLION COPIES. It’s one of the best-selling albums of all time, so how could we not review it at some point? I won’t even mention all the awards Dion managed to take home as a result of this album. Needless to say, regardless of our personal feelings now or at the end of the month when it’s review time, history suggests that people seemed to really appreciate the music of Celine Dion in the 90s.

Indeed, Falling Into You is a heavy-hitter that received a lot of radio and television play thanks in no small part to singles like It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, Because You Loved Me, and of course the title-track, Falling Into You.  The album also contains a number of notable covers.

What I find particularly interesting is that despite the incredibly impressive sales-figures and innumerable radio-plays, this was a critically mixed album. Billboard, AllMusic, and Entertainment Weekly gave it positive reviews, while the LA Times and Rolling Stone Album Guide gave it very unfavourable reviews. It makes me wonder what the Sonic Collective’s final consensus is going to be. Tune in at the end of the month to see for yourself. And better yet, join us along for the ride!  Listen to the album then let us know what you think in the comments, or on Facebook, or Twitter, or SoundCloud.  Good pick? Bad pick? We wanna hear from you!

That’s it… we’re finally doing this, fellas! Grab yourselves a pumpkin-spiced latte, because autumn has arrived, it’s my turn to pick, and the only thing that can warm my icy-cold heart is some mid-90s power ballads from the queen of Can-Con, Celine Dion.

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

iTunes

Amazon

Spotify

Other albums considered this month: