Record #14

Pauls Boutique

Beastie Boys

Released – 25 July 1989

Label – Capitol Records

Track listing

Side 1

1. To All The Girls

2. Shake Your Rump

3. Johnny Ryall

4. Egg Man

5. High Plains Drifter

6. The Sounds of Science

7. 3-Minute Rule

8. Hey Ladies

Side 2

1. 5 Piece Chicken Dinner

2. Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun

3.Car Thief

4. What Comes Around

5. Shadrach

6. Ask for Janice

7. B-Boy Bouillabaissee


I bought my copy of Pauls Boutique from Beatdown Records in Newcastle. Its a 1998 US reissue and cost around £10.

Following the release of their debut album ” Licensed to Ill” and the break up of the bands relationship with producer Rick Rubin and record label Def Jam, the Beastie Boys set out on writing and recording their second album. The band exiled themselves in Los Angeles and began to write new material for the album that was to become “Pauls Boutique”.  The band were totally written off by the music press as one album wonders, even before the release of album number two.

20170503_201303The record and psychedelic inner sleeve shot of the band

The band wanted to make a more creative record than their debut and spent a number of months working on the production of the album with producers the Dust Brothers. “Pauls Boutique” was released in the summer of 1989 and was produced at Record Plant in LA. All the tracks were recorded in the living room of record executive Matt Dike and band member Adam Yauch. The album pretty much bombed upon release even to the point where Capitol Records stopped promoting the record.

However, this record is touted at the bands breakthrough album both musically and lyrically and is probably the bands most popular album from their discography. The albums producers, the Dust Brothers careful use of sampling and layering provided such a complex sound for the record that it is widely considered as a piece of musical art and also one of the greatest hip hop records of all time! There were 105 songs in total sampled on “Pauls Boutique” including 24 songs on the last track of the record!!

20170503_201336The gatefold sleeve of Ludlow Street

The artwork for the gatefold cover is a photograph of Ludlow Street in New York City shot by Jeremy Shatan.

Since the records release its gone double platinum and win over a number of critics who disliked it upon release. It is a constant on critics lists of greatest albums and rightly so. The record is a favourite of jazz great Miles Davis and also Public Enemy’s Chuck D!

So why should you own this record? 

As already mentioned, it is one of the best hip hop records ever released so there is good enough reason as any. But this is a very cleverly produced and crafted album. Its unpretentious, in your face but also can prove a complex listen. Its not a record to have on in the background. Its worth sitting down and listening to it! Definitely a record to have in your hip hop collection.


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