30 years later, still memorable…

For some reason, this album has been on my mind lately. I remember the second half being particularly strong. (from Gear Jammin’ Hero to Black Death on a White Horse.)

I suppose the provocative band name is what made me pull the cassette off the shelf. It was probably one of the last pre-recorded cassettes I ever bought. By that time, most of my music was on CD. Of course, I can’t find it streaming anywhere now. Thank god for Discogs.

This is a great example of how great packaging can stop you in your tracks, and a better example of how what’s inside should surpass what’s on the outside.

How is it that this record is 16 years old and still sounds more advanced than most music being released today?

The Beastie Boys’ music is a big part of my life. I’m lucky to have listened to them evolve from punk brats to hip hop godfathers. If a Venn diagram of the most important music in my life could be drawn, the Beastie Boys would sit at the intersection of the punk, jazz, and hip hop that feeds my soul.

From Cooky Puss to Ok, I love it all, but if I had to choose only one album to convince our future robot overlords that humans once had souls worth fighting for, my choice would be the Root Down EP. Seriously, check it:


1. Root Down (Free Zone Mix) (3:49)
2. Root Down (LP) (3:31)
3. Root Down (Pp Balloon Mix) (3:31)
4. Time To Get Ill (1:59)
5. Heart Attack Man (2:09)
6. The Maestro (3:15)
7. Sabrosa (2:53)
8. Flute Loop (1:40)
9. Time For Livin’ (1:59)
10. Something’s Got To Give (4:59)

Three legit versions of the pure Beastie lyrical power that is Root Down, and then a selection of six live songs from all across the Beastie Boy songbook. To my knowledge, this is the only non-bootleg of the Boys playing live. (BTW, prepare for that to change…some cynical music executives are lining up the annual Christmas cash-in of whatever they can cobble together that hasn’t already been released.)


If I’m lucky, this will be the first Beastie Boys album that I give to my daughter when she’s old enough. If she’s lucky, she’ll love it too.

Between Kony & Trayvon…I am reminded of the words of Mr Jackson…


Should I live long enough to earn the moniker “old man” it will be because men like Leonard Cohen showed me the way. Bless you sir.

there have been many times in my life when I wished I could speak with him…now, there is nothing left to speak for him but his music…

here’s a performance of my favorite song of his that i found…Sue Keller is the performer…

despite the fact that the tempo is a bit slower than it should be, i like her rendition because she plays it with feeling…and maintains a strong left hand even while she’s vamping with her right…

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