On this day in music history: July 25, 1989 – “Paul’s Boutique”, the second album by the Beastie Boys is released. Produced by the Beastie Boys, The Dust Brothers and Mario Caldato, Jr., it is recorded at Mario C’s, The Opium Den in Los Angeles, CA and The Record Plant in New York City from Mid 1988 – Early 1989. After the huge success of their debut album “Licensed To Ill”, the Beasties fall out with Def Jam Records over royalties and creative control, leading them to the leave the label in 1988. Quickly signed by Capitol Records, they relocate to California to work on their second album, at the home studio of Delicious Vinyl Records co-founder Matt Dike. The Beasties collaborate with The Dust Brothers, constructing the tracks from dense layers of samples from R&B, funk, rock records, and numerous other musical genres. It differs greatly from its predecessor, and initially is looked upon as a commercial disappointment when it initially sells just over 700,000 copies (compared to the four million plus sales of “Ill” at the time). However, the album grows in stature during the 90’s, with online fan websites sprouting up to discuss its intricate sampling. In time, it comes to be regarded as one of the greatest Hip Hop albums of all time. The cover photo features a wide panoramic shot of Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The original vinyl LP is released with two variations of the cover art. The first being a regular gatefold jacket, and the second is a limited edition, with an eight panel foldout featuring the complete image on the outside and inside of the jacket. It spins off two singles including “Hey Ladies” (#36 Pop) and “Shadrach”. “Ladies” is supported by a tongue-in-cheek music video parodying 70’s pop culture, and films like “Saturday Night Fever” and “Dolemite”. The video version features a sample of Deep Purple’s “Hush” which is removed from the released singles and album, to avoid any potential legal action. “Hey Ladies” is also issued as part of a 12" EP titled “Love American Style” c/w “Shake Your Rump”. The B-side includes dub mixes of both songs titled “33% God” and “Dis Yourself in ‘89 (Just Do It)”, that include additional samples not used in the original versions. The single is packaged in an eye catching sleeve with fish eye lens photo of a kitchen painted in American flag colors. Upon closer inspection, one can see three nude women covered in body paint, and perfectly camouflaged into the background. The limited edition 12" is later reissued by Grand Royal Records in 1998. The video for “Shadrach” (directed by Adam Yauch under his alter ego “Nathanial Hornblower”) features live performance footage, intercut with hand painted film frames and animation by the famed animation studio Klasky Csupo. “Paul’s Boutique” peaks at number fourteen on the Billboard Top 200, number twenty four on the R&B album chart, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
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