Beastie Boys Video Anthology

A part of this view­ing list: Cri­te­ri­on Col­lec­tion Spine #100: Beast­ie Boys Video Anthol­o­gy.


I have a dis­tinct mem­o­ry of danc­ing Inter­galac­tic stop-motion style at some dance or oth­er with my high school bud­dies senior year. I was nev­er a huge Beast­ie Boys fan, though I cer­tain­ly got down to their music. For a per­son my age, it is pret­ty much impos­si­ble to quan­ti­fy the many ways their impres­sive career has affect­ed the pop­u­lar cul­ture I was exposed to in my teen years. That’s pret­ty much Criterion’s rea­son for putting this col­lec­tion togeth­er. The main sell­ing point for the Cri­te­ri­on edi­tion is the wealth of extras that come with it, mul­ti­ple angles, remix­es, spin­offs and oth­er accu­mu­la­tions of music video loose ends are all gath­ered here for a Beast­ie feast.


The videos them­selves sort of run the gamut, from pure stock footage to height of their pow­er pro­duc­tions to hand­held base­ment hijinks. The trade­mark low-angle fish­eye fronting is present in just about every video, and it is this, cou­pled with the fre­quent home-movie aspect of many of the videos, that defines the tech­ni­cal side of their video con­ceits. This is a good thing, since the rough-cut feel makes the Beastie’s seem like your friend­ly neigh­bor­hood MCs. Even their videos with high­er pro­duc­tion val­ues have an air of delib­er­ate whim­si­cal­i­ty to them. I’d nev­er actu­al­ly seen the video to Body Movin’ so it was with great delight that I pegged it as a spoof of the ultra-campy 60s spy flick Dia­bo­lik! which is prob­a­bly one of my favorite Mys­tery Sci­ence The­ater 3000 episodes as well. The hand-paint­ed ani­ma­tion of Shadrach was also a sur­prise, and remind­ed me of Gondry’s Lego-ani­mat­ed White Stripes video.


My favorite video of the col­lec­tion was Three MCs and One DJ, main­ly because of its effec­tive sim­plic­i­ty, it is a bit goofy, of course, but also prob­a­bly their most inti­mate as well, and you real­ly get to see Mix Mas­ter Mike go nuts. I don’t real­ly have a lot more to say about their videos, but the two-disc anthol­o­gy is a choose-your-own-adven­ture romp through Beast­ie cul­ture that is worth any audiophile’s time and mon­ey. Check out the links below, espe­cial­ly the Paul’s Bou­tique one and their anno­tat­ed lyrics. And don’t sleep ’til B-lyn.


• Paul’s Bou­tique Sam­ples and Ref­er­ences List.
Offi­cial Site.
Beast­ie Muse­um.
Beast­ie Mania.
Mic to Mic weblog.
Anno­tat­ed Beast­ie Boys lyrics.
• Beast­ie Boys YouTube Group.

3 Replies

  • I’ve got ten years on you and they were a HUGE influ­ence on me as well. I saw them open for Madon­na at the Palace in ’85. I have seen every Cleve­land show since. I was at Sandy’s on Sun­day and checked out your house. LOVE IT!

  • I’ve always had a soft spot for the “Fight For Your Right” video, most­ly on account of get­ting to see Slayer’s Ker­ry King hit in the face with a pie.

    Now that’s com­e­dy.

    Also, you have to appre­ci­ate the sub­lim­i­nal “FREE JAMES BROWN” mes­sage in the “Hey Ladies” video.

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