Check Your Head


Check Your Head
Check Your Head
Studio album by The Beastie Boys
Released April 21, 1992
Recorded G-son Studios Atwater Village California, 1991-92
Genre Punk rock, alternative hip-hop, hardcore punk
Length 53:29
Label Capitol
Producer Mario Caldato, Jr.
The Beastie Boys chronology
Paul's Boutique
(1989)
Check Your Head
(1992)
Ill Communication
(1994)

Check Your Head is the third studio album by the Beastie Boys, released on April 21, 1992.

Three years elapsed between the release of Paul's Boutique (the band's second album) and their recording of this album. Check Your Head was recorded at the G-Son Studios in Atwater Village, California in 1991. The album features the popular hits "So Whatcha Want" and "Pass the Mic"; the music videos for both songs are available on the Criterion Collection Beastie Boys Video Anthology DVD set. The album was re-released in 2009 in a number of formats and featured 16 b-sides and rarities as well as a commentary track.[1] The album is extensively broken down track-by-track by Mike D, MCA, Ad-Rock, Mario Caldato Jr., and Money Mark in Brian Coleman's book Check the Technique.[2]

Contents

Background

In contrast to their previous album, Paul's Boutique, the Boys returned stylistically to their punk rock roots on Check Your Head, playing their own instruments for the first time on record since their early EPs (although they did provide live instrumentation on at least two songs on Paul's Boutique). Hence photographer Glen E. Friedman's idea to shoot photos with their instrument cases (one of which became the cover). The cover itself is a subtle depiction of the famous Three Wise Monkeys: "See No Evil," "Hear No Evil," and "Speak No Evil." (This theme is revisited in the lyrics of "Finger Lickin' Good.") The album was their first to be fully co-produced by Mario Caldato Jr. Caldato was an engineer on Paul's Boutique and was credited as producer on that album's track "Ask for Janice". The album also marks the first appearance of long time collaborator keyboardist Money Mark.

The Beastie Boys toured with the Rollins Band and Cypress Hill in the spring of 1992 to support Check Your Head.

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau (neither)[4]
Entertainment Weekly (A) [5]
Pitchfork Media (6.7/10)[6]
RapReviews (7.5/10)[7]
IGN (7.8/10)[8]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[9]
Drowned in Sound 8/10 stars[10]
PopMatters 9/10 stars[11]

Rolling Stone - 3.5 Stars - Very Good - "…their most unconventional outing to date…Beneath the seeming chaos, the Beastie Boys have created a harmonious playground out of their musical fantasies…"[9]

Spin - Ranked #12 in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s".[12]

Spin - Ranked #4 in Spin's list of the "20 Best Albums Of The Year".[13]

Alternative Press - Ranked #23 in AP's list of the "Top 99 Of '85-'95".[14]

The Village Voice - Ranked #5 in the Village Voice's list of the 40 Best Albums Of 1992.[15]

PitchforkMedia - Ranked # 34 in Pitchfork Media's list of the Top 100 Albums of the 1990s.[16]

Track listing

All tracks by Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz and Adam Yauch, except as indicated.

  1. "Jimmy James" – 3:14
  2. "Funky Boss" – 1:35
  3. "Pass the Mic" – 4:17
  4. "Gratitude" – 2:45
  5. "Lighten Up" – 2:41
  6. "Finger Lickin' Good" – 3:39
  7. "So What'cha Want" – 3:37
  8. "The Biz vs. The Nuge" – 0:33
  9. "Time for Livin'" – 1:48 (Sly & the Family Stone)
  10. "Something's Got to Give" – 3:28
  11. "The Blue Nun" – 0:32
  12. "Stand Together"– 2:47
  13. "POW" – 2:13
  14. "The Maestro" – 2:52
  15. "Groove Holmes" – 2:33
  16. "Live at P.J.'s" – 3:18
  17. "Mark on the Bus" – 1:05
  18. "Professor Booty" – 4:13
  19. "In 3's" – 2:23
  20. "Namasté" – 4:01
Japanese bonus tracks
  1. "Dub The Mic (Instrumental)"
  2. "Drunken Praying Mantis Style"
  3. "Skills to Pay the Bills (Pass the Mic, Pt. 2)"
  4. "Netty's Girl"
2009 Remastered Edition Bonus Disc
  1. "Dub The Mic (Instrumental)" - 4:30
  2. "Pass The Mic (Pt2, Skills To Pay The Bills)" - 4:25
  3. "Drunken Praying Mantis Style" - 2:40
  4. "Netty's Girl" - 3:24
  5. "The Skills To Pay The Bills (Original Version)" - 3:16
  6. "So What'cha Want (Soul Assassins Remix Version)" - 4:08
  7. "So What'cha Want (Butt Naked Version)" - 3:29
  8. "Groove Holmes (Live vs The Biz)" - 6:13
  9. "So What'cha Want (All The Way Live Freestyle Version)" - 3:39
  10. "Stand Together (Live at French's Tavern, Sydney Australia)" - 2:32
  11. "Finger Lickin' Good (Government Cheese Remix)" - 4:15
  12. "Gratitude (Live at Budokan 9-16-92)" - 4:28
  13. "Honky Rink" - 2:13
  14. "Jimmy James (Original Original Version)" - 3:44
  15. "Boomin' Granny" - 2:18
  16. "Drinkin' Wine" - 4:42

Personnel

Beastie Boys:

  • Ad-Rock – Vocals, guitar
  • Mike D – Vocals, drums
  • MCA – Vocals, bass

Other:

  • James Bradley, Jr. – Percussion
  • Drew Lawrence – Percussion
  • Money Mark – Organ, synthesizer, keyboards, clavinet, wurlitzer
  • Art Oliva – Percussion
  • Juanito Vazquez – Percussion, conga, cuica

Technical personnel

Partial list of samples

The following lists some songs and sounds sampled for Check Your Head.

"Jimmy James"

"Funky Boss"

"Pass the Mic"

"Finger Lickin' Good"

"So What'cha Want"

"The Biz vs. The Nuge"

"The Blue Nun"

  • "On Wine: How To Select and Serve" by Peter M. F. Sichel and Sondra Bianca
  • "Hector" by The Village Callers

"Stand Together"

"Live at P.J.'s"

"Mark on the Bus"

  • Dialogue from the film Wild Style
  • "Mr. Roberts #1" from National Lampoon's That's Not Funny, That's Sick! (1977)
  • Dialogue from a bootleg recording of pioneering black metal band Venom's 1986 performance at City gardens, New Jersey

"Professor Booty"

Chart positions

Album

Year Chart Position
1992 The Billboard 200 10
1992 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 37

Singles

Year Single Chart Position
1992 So What'cha Want The Billboard Hot 100 93
1992 So What'cha Want Hot Dance Music/Max-Singles Sales 26
1992 So What'cha Want Hot Rap Singles 18
1992 So What'cha Want Modern Rock Tracks 22
1992 Pass The Mic Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 38
1992 Jimmy James
1992 Gratitude

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ "Beastie Boys' Check Your Head "special features" posted". Punknews.org. 7 April 2009. http://www.punknews.org/article/33007. Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  2. ^ Coleman, Brian (2007). Check The Technique: Liner Notes For Hip-Hop Junkies. New York: Villard. ISBN 9780812977752. 
  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Beastie Boys: Check Your Head > Review" at Allmusic. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "The Beastie Boys: Check Your Head". Consumer Guide Album. RobertChristgau.com. http://robertchristgau.com/get_album.php?id=8755. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  5. ^ http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20269319,00.html
  6. ^ Patrin, Nate (14 April 2009). "Beastie Boys - Check Your Head: Deluxe Edition". Pitchfork Media. http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/12923-check-your-head-deluxe-edition/. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Juon, Steve 'Flash' (6 July 2004). "Beastie Boys :: Check Your Head". Back to the Lab. RapReviews.com. http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/BTTL_checkyour.html. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  8. ^ http://uk.music.ign.com/articles/973/973315p1.html
  9. ^ a b "Beastie Boys: Check Your Head". Rolling Stone (Straight Arrow): p. 41. 25 June 1992. ISSN 0035-791X. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/beastie-boys/albumguide. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Slater, Luke (17 April 2009). "Beastie Boys: Check Your Head". Drowned in Sound. http://drownedinsound.com/releases/14311/reviews/4136597/. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Murphy, Sean (30 April 2009). "Beastie Boys: Check Your Head". Yesterday's Jukebox. PopMatters. http://www.popmatters.com/pm/feature/73740-beastie-boys-check-your-head. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s". Spin: p. 124. September 1999 (1999-09). 
  13. ^ "20 Best Albums of the Year". Spin: p. 67. December 1992 (1992-12). 
  14. ^ "Top 99 of '85-'95". Alternative Press: 81. July 1995 (1995-07). 
  15. ^ "The 40 Best Albums of 1992". The Village Voice (New York): p. 5. 2 March 1993. 
  16. ^ "The Top 100 Albums of the 1990s". PitchforkMedia. 7 November 2003. 
  17. ^ Diamond, Michael (June 1992). "Finger Lickin' Good". Boston Rock (123). http://www.beastiemania.com/songspotlight/show.php?s=fingerlickingood. "Seven hundred bucks, but he asked for two thousand dollars. I thought it was kind of fly that he asked for $2000.00, and I bartered Bob Dylan down. That's my proudest sampling deal." 

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