Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, the long awaited album from the B-boys is finally here. The last studio album was in 2004. Quite the stretch to run without new material. The delay mostly caused by MCA’s bout with cancer.
Most of the reviews are clocking in at a solid B+ to A- performance. Not bad for 3 Jewish kids from New York. Especially when they were the first white kids to gain any sort of notoriety in an all black genre. A genre that was, like rock and roll 30 years earlier, supposed to be just a passing fad.
In 1984 when License To Ill was released, the bands my parents listen to were experiencing some continued momentum. The Stones released Undercover in 83′ and Steel Wheels in 89′. They also went on to release another albums over the following 6 years. They, by no means, were the only ones still squeezing every ounce the rock and roll lifeblood they could manage out of the fans.
I used to joke with my brother that we’d be at the Public Enemy Reunion tour in 25 years, Flava Fav would be rolled out in a wheel chair, Chuck D would just be Chuck, and we’d have the best seats in the house because we got advanced tix thru our AARP membership.
So what’s the allure? Clearly each generation throws their pop hero’s up the charts and then worships them until the bitter end. I can say that…having watched rock and roll get old, having watched the crooners of the 40’s and 50’s age so ungracefully. The hair bands of the 80’s are particularly fun to watch. Those guys are coming apart at the seams fast. The Beastie’s are just the edge of the aging rap scene. They are one of the few enduring rap bands from that far back. Off hand I can’t think of any other rap group still kick’n it old school.
Are these icons really that good? Sure they may have been innovators, musical genius’, timely, hip, and pretty. Let’s be honest here, half these one hit wonders were there because of their looks (can you say Duran Duran). The real question is are they still really that good? Is the latest album a rehash of the stuff they did 20 years ago?
Let’s explore that one for a minute. Rod Stewart, remember him? I’m talking about the Rod Stewart from Faces. Pure rock and roll, all about sex , drugs, booze and more sex. He evolved into a solo career that produced some decent hits, still rock, but did you notice that every following album got softer and softer? Rod’s banging out old jazz standards these days. No where near where he came from. U2, Bono and the boys, started out almost punk rock. They evolved, album to album they changed and grew. They remained innovative for years. Granted it’s been a few years, but each album kept fairly true to essentially rock. Maybe a few mainstream cuts in there, but that’s what happens when you’re around longer than a decade. The same could be said of Zepplin, Van Halen, and even Ozzy. They all bent a little to the mainstream, but essentially kept to their roots. I will admit that Ozzy has not necessarily been producing quality stuff over the last 10 years. Sex, drugs, and an MTV reality show will do a guy in years ahead of their time. Like I said , rock and roll doesn’t age well.
So I have my Beastie Boys album, I watched the video’s, I’m totally psyched.
My 9 year old, on the way home from dance class last night, says to me after I sing word for word the entire Paul Revere song …
“who are those guys? ”
“the Beastie Boys” I reply
“Never heard of them”
I can’t wait for the phone call from her in 25 years when her kids tell her that Demi Lovado is old people music. Lets just hope Ad Rock and MCA are not doing old Tony Bennett covers at that time.