On 4th May 2012, the world lost one third of music’s greatest innovators when Adam Yauch’s life came to a premature end at the age of 47.
As one of the founding members of Brooklyn Trio the Beastie Boys, Yauch’s musical legacy has been highly prised over the decades. To those mostly unfamiliar with the band, the Beasties’ will always be synonymous with their world-wide hit ‘Fight For Your Right (To Party)’, a track supposedly written for a joke to imitate various New York numbskulls. For those willing to delve farther into the Beasties catalogue, it is clear (at least from their second album onward) that the Beasties’ records offer far more depth and sophistication than some might think.
Between the release of their 1989 album ‘Paul’s Boutique’ right through to 2011’s ‘Hot Sauce Committee’, there are elements of rock, hardcore punk and rap, often served up with a strong funk influence. It was, perhaps on their funk experiments where the trio showed their strongest skill for musical chops as well as gift for sneering and rhyming. On their third album, ‘Check Your Head’ the Beasties’ pot pouree of styles came of age and their fourth (the wondrous ‘Ill Communication’) provided a worldwide smash, complete with hit singles. From then on, it seemed that everything the Beastie Boys released was beyond criticism, from both fans and critics.
In 2009, Adam Yauch was diagnosed with cancer of the parotid gland, for which he underwent treatment. When the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in early 2012, Adam Yauch was unable to attend due to ill health.
In his personal life, Yauch was a vegan and a practicing Buddhist. He is survived by his wife and a daughter.
With Yauch’s passing, there comes the end of an era…and the end of a great band.
Looking beyond the some of the more obvious cuts, the career of Mr. Adam Yauch (aka MCA) is celebrated below, followed by a complete 95 minte live set.
“Yeah, that’s right…my name’s Yauch!” (‘The Sounds of Science’; Beastie Boys, 1989)