Beastie Boys - Solid Gold Hits

Mike Mantin 07/11/2005

Rating: 3/5

I sometimes feel ashamed that my favourite rap collective is a trio of middle-aged, Buddhist white guys who used to be a novelty band. But the truth is that the Beasties really are good rappers: their rhymes are perfectly executed, witty and exciting, the perfect antidote to the macho, misogynistic and pretty pathetic mainstream rap that pollutes the airwaves. 'Solid Gold Hits', despite having more than a whiff of record label cash-in about it (after all, they have already released a three-disc anthology, 'The Sounds Of Science'), contains some of their finest moments. You've probably heard most if not all of them somewhere before, but even though some of these are almost two decades old, it's still a fun listen.

Spanning most of their career, most of the Beastie spectrum is represented, though the choices are a little predictable. There's 'Fight For Your Right', that infamous OTT house party anthem at one end, and the overtly political 'Open Letter To NYC' at the other, via the shining rock-out of 'Sabotage' and a Fatboy Slim remix of 'Body Movin', which certainly improves on the original. There are some understandable but still annoying omissions, though: where the heck, for example, is the Mixmaster Mike scratch-a-thon '3 MCs And One DJ'? Four stars for the music, three stars because you probably don't need it. Just dust down your copy of 'Hello Nasty', 'Ill Communication' or 'Paul's Boutique' or perhaps their far better-value DVD video anthology (who couldn't love that 'Sabotage' video?) and reappreciate an important and oft-underestimated group, the coolest geeks in town.