The Beastie Boys are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their hit album, Ill Communication (1994) and have just released a retrospective mini-documentary to mark the occasion: Still Ill: 25 Years of Ill Communication. Watch below.
Still Ill begins with a look at the spontaneous creation of “Sabotage,” it then backtracks to a review of the Paul’s Boutique (1989) and Check Your Head (1992) eras, explaining how the band transitioned from a traditional recording studio setup to their own space which lead to them including more live instruments and expanding their already-eclectic sound: "Because we were listening to so much different kinds of music because of sampling we all had this lightbulb moment where we were like, 'Wait, we should try playing some stuff like that,'" Diamond says.
The underlying heartbeat of hardcore running through Ill Communication showcases the influence of bands like Minor Threat and Black Flag on three guys who cut their teeth in the NY punk scene, but it's just one ingredient in the melting pot of creativity. The Beastie Boys were genre-bending pioneers, melding hip-hop and hardcore with everything from '70s Kung Fu and lo-fi skate tapes, to Miles Davis and Bad Brains to earn them universal love from all walks. The body of work they’ve left us with is a timeless and transcendent testament to experimentation that people from all corners of the musical world consider genre classics.
Listen to Ill Communication on Spotify:
Listen to Ill Communication on Apple Music: