Like so many rock groups, the Beastie Boys have been around for quite some time. They’re also a group that people either tend to love or hate. There’s not a lot of middle ground here. That’s really not all that uncommon, especially when you consider the fact that rock music as a genre tends to be a bit divisive in and of itself. If you’re a fan, you might already know that the band has produced eight studio albums. If you’ve only casually heard a song or two on the radio, you might want to go check out some of their other music and see what you think for yourself. Either way, here are all eight studio albums ranked from number 8 to number one, complete with a YouTube link for each album.
8. Hello Nasty (1998)
This was the fifth studio album released on the 14th of July, 1998. The album was released by Capitol Records, selling 681,000 copies in its first week alone. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. It was produced by the Beastie Boys themselves, along with Mario Caldato, Jr. More than an hour in length, it features alternative hip-hop and rap rock. It proved to be one of their more influential albums, featuring songs such as “The Move” and “Remote Control.”
7. The Mix-Up (2007)
This was the band’s seventh studio album. It came out on the 26th of June, 2007. It was also very different from anything that the band had ever done before because it consisted of nothing but instrumental performances. Gone was the rap rock, the hip hop or the funk rock in lieu of instruments alone. It produced a very different sound from anything that had ever been associated with the band before. It was also something that fans absolutely loved. As a matter of fact, the band eventually won a Grammy award for best pop instrumental album. In the album itself, they included elements of funk, jazz and instrumental rock, among other genres.
6. III Communication (1994)
In the band’s fourth studio album, released on the 31st of May, 1994, a lot of different sounds were brought to light. In fact, this particular album that was recorded at Ten Pin Alley Studios in New York City, along with G-Son Studios in Atwater Village, California, involved rock, jazz, funk and hip-hop. It easily made it one of the most varied albums that the band had ever produced. Released in conjunction with Capitol Records and Brand Royal Records, this album was co-produced by Mario C. and the Beastie Boys. Top songs on the album include “Tough Guy” and “Short shot.”
5. Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (2011)
This not only marked the eighth studio album by the band, but also their last album. It was released on the 3rd of May, 2011 by Capital Records. Initially, the label had planned on releasing this album as a two-part project, but that didn’t come to pass. It features the band’s standard hip-hop, but also has some electro music added to it. It includes songs such as “Non-Stop Disco Powerpack” and “Make Some Noise.”
4. Check Your head (1992)
In this third studio album that was released on the 21st of April, 1992, fans had an opportunity to listen to a wide range of different sounds. Those sounds included progressive rap, rap rock, punk rap, hip-hop and alternative rock. Produced by Capital Records, the album was recorded at G-Son Studios in California and is just over 53 minutes in length. It turned out to be one of the more popular albums produced by the band and includes the songs “Pass Mic,” “Funky Boss” and “Jimmy James.”
3. To the 5 Boroughs (1994)
This sixth studio album, released on the 14th of June, marks one of the only times that an album by the band was released internationally. Like so many times before, it was released on the Capitol Records label. However, this album was recorded at the Oscilloscope Laboratories in TriBeCa, New York City. It wasn’t as long as many of the band’s other albums, coming in at just over 44 minutes in length. However, it was a major hit with fans. It also features some of the band’s more popular songs including “3 the Hard Way” and “Right Right Now Now.”
2. Licensed to III (1986)
In addition to having one of the more interesting titles, this was also the band’s debut studio album. Recorded on the 15th of November, 1986, this particular album became the first of its type to top the Billboard charts. Previously, there had been no rap album that had made it this far on the charts. It was released through both Columbia Records and Def Jam and produced by the Beastie Boys, along with Rick Rubin. It featured a lot of different genres of music. Predominantly, the album featured rap rock, hard rock and heavy metal, along with some punk rock thrown in for good measure. There were also a few songs that can best be classified as hardcore punk and of course, the thing that the group became most well-known for, hip-hop. The band eventually sold 10 million copies of this album that lasts for just over 44 minutes. Top songs on the album include “The New Style,” “She’s Crafty” and “Rhymin & Stealin.”
1. Paul’s Boutique (1989)
This was only the band’s second studio album. It came out on the 25th of July and was produced by members of the band, along with Mario Caldato, Jr and the Dust Brothers. This particular album was recorded over a period of two years. Band members say that they used an apartment to record some of the samples available on the record while others were recorded at the Record Plant in Los Angeles. Apparently, there were also a few songs that were recorded at the Opium Den in New York City. Top songs on the album include “Shake Your Rump” and “To All the Girls,” a sample that is only 1 minute 29 seconds in length.