25 years ago today the Beastie Boys released Paul’s Boutique, the follow up to their smash hit debut. The album was controversial right form the start, with the band parting ways with producer and mentor Rick Rubin and Def Jam to release the record on Capitol/EMI, and for taking a conspicuous left turn from the fratty, rock-rap braying on Licensed to Ill.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the album was something of a commercial bust at the time. Once the dust settled, however, the album came to be recognized as one of the most forward-thinking, influential albums of the decade, in no small part because of its overwhelming scale of sampling (some 105 songs sampled, with as many as two dozen samples on one song at a time), which, depending on how you looked at it, was either the death of originality in music or whatever, or an early forerunner of the collage style that would define popular culture for years to come, including the way we interact with music and art online today.
Check out this pretty thorough breakdown of all the samples and references on the album here, and check out an interview with the band from the release party in 1989 below.