“I’m Down” – The Beastie Boys

After giving high praise to the Beatles’ original, here’s the lost, molar-rattling, rude, and punk-as-hell Beastie Boys cover that was supposed to be included on their legendary Rick Rubin-produced 1986 masterpiece “Licensed to Ill,” but was left off for legal reasons.   Rumor has it that Michael Jackson, by then the copyright owner, put the kabosh on it.  He felt fine licensing the Beatles’ most political song “Revolution” to Nike but … well … that’s another story.   All I can say is … thank God for YouTube.

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“No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn” – The Beastie Boys

From the Beastie Boys’ debut “Licensed to Ill,” this is the track (even more so than “Fight for your Right”) that sucked me into the world of the Beasties back in 1986.  The title is a shout-out to Motorhead’s classic “No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith” live LP.  The positively sick lead guitar is by Kerry King of Slayer (which becomes prominent when the gorilla starts his solo in the video).  This album is in my all-time Top 20 … and as much as I admired the avant-garde direction the Beasties went later in their career (especially 1989’s “Paul’s Boutique), this is the one I never hesitate to listen to.