KTOM: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Honourable Mention Song #12: Egg Man by The Beastie Boys (as Nominated by Jackie Pepper).

This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.

KTOM: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Honourable Mention Song #12: Egg Man by The Beastie Boys.

Today we have a new category of person doing the nominating of a song. So far, I have had co-workers, friends from High school, as well as, a former student of mine. But today, we have something new…….we have someone who isn’t actually a friend of mine at all. Please allow me to introduce a lady named Jackie Pepper who is, actually, a good friend of my wife, Keri. Because of that relationship, Keri and I have gotten to know Jackie and her husband, Steve. They are a great couple, who have two teenage-ish sons. They also have developed and are marketing a line of books and toys called “The Night Knights”, which I have always thought had a lot of potential. All in all, Jackie has become a good person to know and someone I knew would give me a good song to talk about when I called for Honourable Mention nominations. And boy, she really came through with a doozy! I am extremely confident that I could give my wife one hundred million guesses and she would never have picked out her good friend, Jackie’s song recommendation of “Egg Man” by The Beastie Boys! What a novel choice, Jackie. Here is the story of “Egg Man” by The Beastie Boys. Let’s go…….!

As you may know by now, The Beastie Boys were a Hip Hop group that often incorporated rock music into their songs. They were/are the only white Hip Hop group ever inducted into The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. They have sold close to one hundred million albums over the course of their career. One of the things that characterizes a Beastie Boy song are the intelligence of their lyrics. They often use humour and/or cultural references in their lyrics which, in turn, serve to make the larger point that the band wished to communicate. “Egg Man” is a prime example of this.

“Egg Man” comes from their second album called, “Paul’s Boutique”. The premise of the song is somewhat juvenile, I will admit but, it goes to serve a larger purpose in the end. Apparently, all throughout their time together as friends and bandmates, the guys in The Beastie Boys (Mike “Mike D.” Diamond, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz and Adam “MCA” Yauch) liked to throw eggs at people and at objects, such as buildings and cars. Like I said, kinda juvenile. However, they used this premise to create a character who functions as an anti-hero called, “Egg Man”. In the song, Egg Man starts out as a trouble maker who eggs unsuspecting passersby….there is even a drive-by egging. It is all fun and games until Egg Man is caught by the Police and thrown into jail. While there, Egg Man resolves to turn his strengths into something good which, as it turns out, is taking a stand against racism…which is the ultimate point of the song. Thus, “Egg Man” by The Beastie Boys is, in fact, one of the biggest selling and cleverest anti-racism songs ever written!

The thing about this song is that it is loaded with cultural references…..almost like a Hip Hop DaVinci Code, of sorts. One of the things that people most enjoy while listening to this song is trying to pick out all of the references that come so fast and furious as the song’s story unfolds. To help guide you a little bit, listen for Dr. Suess, the movie, “Psycho” and many more. The genius of their work in a song such as “Egg Man” is using the references, along with song and sound sampling, to add layers of meaning to the song. For example, pay attention to what is being said when you detect the “Psycho” movie reference. The inclusion of such a sample at that exact moment in the song sends out an added layer of meaning without the boys having to articulate it in words. The bottom line to it all is that what might, at first, come off as silly, jokester rap, is actually, a very tight, well-organized and thought out song that comes at us, as listeners, from multiple angles to, in the end, give us a message about racism that is deeper and has more meaning that we might realize at first.

To me, Jackie’s choice of “Egg Man” makes me smile. I really like listening to songs that are not formula-driven. If someone creates a song that is original and unique yet, still enjoyable to listen to then, I am there with bells on. That is why I am drawn to artists such as Radiohead, Bjork and Kate Bush. The Beastie Boys are like this, too. One of the best things about Hip Hop is how creative Rappers can be with their lyrics. In “Egg Man” we have all of the creativity you could ever want in a song, when it comes to weaving the samples and references, in and out of each other, all throughout the song. The song still sounds like a Hip Hop song but there is so much going on that it ends up causing the listener to attend to the song the same way we tend to view great works of Art in a museum. Every detail matters in “Egg Man” and, just as important, every detail is there in the first place. There is much thoughtfulness in how this song is constructed and because of that, I like the song. However, I am fairly confident that my wife….who is Jackie’s good friend….would not even give “Egg Man” a listen. It is not her style of music at all. It just goes to prove that even good friends don’t necessarily have to share everything in common to be friends. There can be secret sides to ourselves that are just for us and that is ok. But, if Jackie is up for a challenge then, the next time the two of you are heading out for a leisurely brunch date, try to explain “Egg Man” to my wife in such a way that she would give the song a fair chance herself. Now, that would really be something.

Thank you, Jackie, for giving me such a great song to talk about. I am a fan of The Beastie Boys, too. “Sabotage” is my favourite song of theirs but they have lots of other great songs, too. Thanks, as well, for all of your comments and stories that you shared with everyone all throughout this musical countdown of ours. Your input has made this journey more enjoyable for me and, for that, I thank you.

So, without further delay, here is one heck of a song…..”Egg Man” by The Beastie Boys. Enjoy.

The link to the video for the song, “Egg Man” by The Beastie Boys, can be found here.

The link to the official website for The Beastie Boys, can be found here.

The link to the official website of Jackie’s company, “The Night Knights”, can be found here.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Song #203: Sabotage by Beastie Boys.

This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #203: Sabotage by The Beastie Boys.

This is one of my favourite songs to see performed live. It is loud and comes at the listener in a sonic assault. The energy of the cadence of “Sabotage” is one that routinely elicits a manic response from those in attendance; furious dancing and jumping and head bobbing are all part of how audiences normally react. However, the funny thing about “Sabotage” is that it became a famous and noteworthy song, not because of how it sounded live but, because of an award-winning video created by director Spike Jonze. For the record, I can’t stand the video but, obviously, that’s just me.

The Beastie Boys no longer perform since the death of member, Adam Yauch. But, in their day, they were one of the most important, creative and influential musical acts anywhere in the world. The Beastie Boys were three white Jewish guys from Brooklyn, NY (Adam Horovitz, Adam Yauch and Mike Diamond, better known as “Ad-Rock”, “MCA” and “Mike D.”, respectively, by their fans). The Beastie Boys were important because they picked up the musical torch held up by Hip Hop groups such as Run-DMC, who helped merge the musical genres of Hip-Hop and Rock. The song, “Sabotage” takes this genre-hopping one step further and ends up with a song that is, as much a Hard Rock, Arena-anthem, as it is a Hip Hop song. Because of the creativity of the band members, The Beastie Boys ended up selling over 20 million albums worldwide. They were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame; making them one of only five Hip Hop acts ever inducted (Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy, N.W.A. and Run-DMC, being the others) and, as well, makng them the only white Hip Hop group so honoured.

The song is known for the signature, fuzzy bombastic, heavy bass notes that begin the song. The notes erupt out of the silence that proceeds them and help give this song a lot of its energy, right off of the top. The lyrics to “Sabotage” aren’t that important. (The song is about the band’s frustration with a sound engineer who was trying to force the band to be more productive and efficient with their use of studio time during the making of the album, “ILL Communication” which, for the record, debuted at #1 on the charts when it was released.) But, there are lines that stand out such as “Your crystal ball’s not so crystal clear”. Overall, “Sabotage” stands out as a song because of the strength of the bass notes, the funk-inspired slapping of their guitars and the superlative “scratching” done by the DJ.

“Sabotage” became a cultural phenomenon when it was released because of the video that accompanied it. In the video, directed by Spike Jonze, the Beatise Boys all don disguises and pretend to be police officers in a spoof of 1970s TV detective shows. This video was nominated for almost ever conceivable award upon its release; winning several along the way. I tend to find the video annoying because of the goofiness of it all. In a way, it reminds me of The Beatles and their “Magical Mystery Tour” silliness. But, evidently, enough people liked it to make it one of the highest rated and biggest selling music video ever made. Who am I to quibble, I suppose?

So, without further delay, I am going to give you three (!) different videos for this very same song. First off, like I said, I LOVE this song live. So, I am going to start with my favourite Iive performance, which is from a concert in Glasgow, Scotland. In this video, the band is closing out their set. They are being deliberately awkward in how they close out the show. The crowd gets restless as they are unsure of exactly what the band is doing. The Beastie Boys say goodbye. The lights go out. There is a four-count and then, the song begins and all Hell breaks loose. The band is in top-notch form during this performance and the audience responds with a ton of enthusiasm. To me, this is the magic of rock n’ roll for all to see. What a grand show! In addition to that video, I will, of course, show you the official video that ended up winning so many awards. Finally, I will share another great live version that happened when the album was just released and the band showed up on the David Letterman Show to promote it. Enjoy any or all of these videos and have an awesome day!!!

The link to the video for the song, “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys,, from their Glasgow, Scotland concert, can be found here.

The link to the song, “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys, from their award-winning music video by Spike Jonze, can be found here.

The link to the song, “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys, from their appearance on the David Letterman Show, can be found here.

The link to the official website for The Beastie Boys, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Rolling Stone Magazine, can be found here.

KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Song #341: You’ve Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party” by The Beastie Boys.

This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their list, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.

KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #341: “You’ve Gotta Fight for Your Right To Party” by The Beastie Boys.

This song and post are dedicated to my beautiful wife, Keri MacInnes.

The song, “You’ve Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party” by “The Beastie Boys” was originally meant as satire; spoofing the keg-draining antics of Frat boys and local louts, made famous in such songs as “Thin Lizzy’s, “The Boys Are Back in Town”. Ironically enough, my wife, who goes around all day singing phrases and snippets of songs (but never the whole song) likes to sing the chorus to both of these songs. My wife is the coolest wife I know, just saying. 🙂

Anyway, “The Beastie Boys” were a Rap group from NYC that formed in 1981. They were comprised of Adam Horowitz (Ad-Rock), Adam Yauch (MCA) and Michael Diamond (Mike D.) Originally, their rhymes were comedic, in nature and, although their skills were clearly evident, they weren’t always taken seriously as Hip Hop artists. This is why the reaction was what it was when they released, “You’ve Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party”. Most people thought the group was endorsing out-of-control house parties when, in fact, they were attempting to spoof them. As they career progressed, audiences began to “get” who “The Beastie Boys” were and what they were trying to do and, as a result, the group had numerous hit songs such as “Hey Ladies!”, “So Whatcha Want?”, “Sabotage” and many more. They have sold over 20 million albums worldwide and were inducted to The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 (only the third Hip Hop group so honoured at the time).

In 2012, Adam Yauch passed away due to cancer causing the remaining members to retire the name “Beastie Boys”, going forward. But, while he was alive and the group was writing and performing, “The Beastie Boys” were among the top Hip-Hop groups in the world. And, to think that it was a Hip Hop song sung by my wife, Keri K., that got them started. Here is, “You’ve Gotta Fight for Your Right to Parrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrty!” Enjoy.

The link to the video for the song, “You’ve Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party” by The Beastie Boys, can be found here.

The link to the official website for The Beastie Boys, can be found here.

Thanks, KEXP, for always supporting good music in all genres. The link to their official website can be found here.