On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Beastie Boys – Sabotage (1994)
” Sabotage” is a 1994 song by American rap rock group Beastie Boys, released as the first single from their fourth studio album Ill Communication . The song features traditional rock instrumentation ( Ad-Rock on guitar, MCA on bass, and Mike D on drums), turntable scratches, heavily distorted bass guitar riffs and lead vocals by Ad-Rock.
We’re leaving Australia today, dear reader, and making our way back to the US and to New York. It is a second appearance on our list from Beastie Boys. They previously appeared back in 1986 with No Sleep Till Brooklyn. We join them in 1994 with the release of their fourth album – Ill Communication – and from there 1001 Songs have lifted the track – Sabotage.
In Sabotage, Beastie Boys dabbled in a spot of rock and rap, with the song beginning as a bass line in the studio before being built on to create Sabotage. For the lyrics, the group decided it would be fun to write a scathing attack against their then producer, Mario Caldato Jr, and how they believed that working with him was not only holding them back but he was going out of his way to bring them down, to “sabotage” Beastie Boys and ruin their work. It is not clear whether Caldato Jr was really this bad but the song seems to have a lot of anger to it so the assumption is he wasn’t great.
Beastie Boys appear eight years after their initial appearance and demonstrate their durability with Sabotage. The song wasn’t as well received as some of their previous work but the group had staying power and loyal fans with them all the way. They would continue until 2012 when two key events concluded their career. Firstly, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, being only the third rap act to achieve this feat. Sadly, that same year, Adam Yauch (MCA), died of cancer and with his passing Beastie Boys disbanded.
Favourite songs so far: