- Released: May 23, 1994
- Label: Capitol
Rolling Stone - 5/13/99, p.54
Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone - 6/2/94, p.684 Stars
- Excellent - "...Their mission remains intact: to explore the unifying threads between hip-hop and punk, taking their basic elements--the scratch of a needle across a vinyl groove, a pounding snare-bass thump, the crunch of a power chord--and slicing them up with a ginsu knife...."
Spin - 12/94, p.78Ranked #19
in Spin's list of the '20 Best Albums Of '94' - "...spice their trademark Toucan-Sam style wise-cracking with jazz samples....and Meters-meets-Santana instrumental chillouts, while 'Sabotage' is flat-out the best hard rock song of the year..."
Entertainment Weekly - 6/3/94, p.54
"...it's the most tantalizing ear candy in years, the incessantly inventive sound of brats dismantling pop and trying to reassemble it in their own ingeniously klutzy ways....ILL COMMUNICATION is a cacophony of sleazy wah-wah guitars, voices screaming out from alleys behind buildings, and other joyful chaos, and the Beasties revel in it like kids in a crammed, smelly playground...." - Rating: B
Q - 12/99, p.82
Included in Q Magazine's "90 Best Albums Of The 1990s."
Option - 8/94, pp.91-92
"...In recent years they've managed to hit new heights of musical sophistication without ever compromising the geekoid charm that is at the heart of their cool..."
Village Voice (3/94, p.5) - Ranked #2
in the Village Voice's 1993 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
Village Voice (2/28/95) - Ranked #15
in the Village Voice's 1994 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
Billboard (p.29) - "[E]verything -- lyrics, samples and production -- locks seamlessly, giving rise to the group's most mature and satisfying album."
Q (Magazine) - p.1344 stars out of 5
-- "[A] mix of hard-edged funk, punk thrash and noodling instrumentals, but with tentative signs of maturity..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.60Ranked #54
in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "Swapping their metal-thieving brat-rap for a most hyperactively eclectic maturity..."
NME (Magazine) - 12/24/94, p.22Ranked #3
in NME's list of the 'Top 50 Albums Of 1994.'
NME (Magazine) - 5/28/94, p.35
8 - Excellent - "...ILL COMMUNICATION is a deliberately positive noise that encourages us to start taking responsibility for a change..."
Pitchfork (Website) - "ILL COMMUNICATION is the album that let them infuse their turn towards sincerity with a renewed sense of playfulness, solidifying their transition from the gleefully exaggerated bad-boy anarchists of their first two albums to a trio of (slightly) more mature, trend-setting enthusiasts."
- 1.Sure Shot
- 2.Tough Guy
- 3.B-Boys Makin' With the Freak Freak
- 4.Bobo on the Counter
- 5.Root Down
- 7.Get It Together
- 9.The Update
- 10.Futterman's Rule
- 11.Alright Hear This
- 12.Eugene's Lament
- 13.Flute Loop
- 14.Do It
- 15.Ricky's Theme
- 16.Heart Attack Man
- 17.The Scoop
- 19.Bodhisattva Vow
The Beastie Boys: Mike "Ad-Rock" Horovitz (vocals, guitar); Adam "MCA" Yauch (vocals, acoustic bass, electric bass); Mike "Mike D" Diamond (vocals, drums).
Additional personnel: Q-Tip, Biz Markie (rap vocals); Eugene Gore (violin); "Money" Mark Nishita (keyboards, organ); Amery Smith (drums); Eric Bobo (percussion).
Producer: Beastie Boys, Mario Caldato, Jr.
Recorded at G-Son Studios, Atwater Village, California and Tin Pan Alley, New York.
"Sabotage" was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance in the 37th Annual Grammy Awards.
Personnel: Q-Tip (vocals).
First time around they were written off as more of Presley's snot-nosed ancestors, shamelessly appropriating breaking black musical styles. Then, after creating an undisputable hip-hop masterpiece (1989's PAUL'S BOUTIQUE), they were tossed aside because they'd seemingly lost their commercial value. But now, having successfully made their "new style" over and debut it at Number 1, the only thing the Beastie Boys can be dissed about is their media over-exposure.
The phattening pleasures of ILL COMMUNICATION's 20 tracks come when they visit the old school--whether with DJ Hurricane on the wheels of steel in "Sure Shot," or freestyling classic Beastie rhymes with Q-Tip on "Get It Together." Or when they turn that classroom on its ear by replacing the samples and machine-beats with live jams.
And it's not just their musical skills which have progressed over the years. On ILL COMMUNICATION, the lyrical jokesters who've previously added figures as diverse as Japanese baseball legend Sadahura Oh and prominent science dude Galileo Galilei to hip-hop's lyrical canon, finally allow their individualism to shine brightly through the usual veil of Beastie-speak. By casually expounding on an undercurrent of values ranging from Buddhism, to corporate slackdom, to (of all things) marriage, ILL COMMUNICATION goes further to define the parameters of a twentysomething community than any other commercially successful record in recent memory.