Hands down---the best album of 1989 was the Beastie Boys' monumental Paul's Boutique, 53 minutes of rump shaking, egg throwing, high plains drifting joy. The band is releasing a re-issue to celebrate the 20th anniversary, which you can read about here. The album includes a mind-boggling but seamlessly woven 105 samples, and I was surprised to read that "Shake Your Rump," one of the album's best tracks, includes a sample of Led Zeppelin's "Good Times, Bad Times"---not because the Beasties weren't fans of Zeppelin, of course ("Rhymin and Stealin" after all, was pure "When the Levee Breaks")---but because I've listened to "Shake Your Rump" probably a thousand times and I'd never noticed it. But I think I've found it---it's in a drum roll.
I got to thinking of how much I love this album after reading this fantastic poet's list of 20 influential albums. It's hard to believe it's been 20 years. I don't think e-mail even existed in 1989, or if it did, I sure didn't have it. In those days, when I could handle being among the sweaty mass and front row pit of bodies at a Beastie Boys show, I saw them live five times. I'm too old to handle the ruckus of the shows now, but now and then I can sure enjoy a good flashback, like this: