Back to the Five Boroughs
After the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York’s Manhattan CBD the Beastie Boys stepped their level of political activism up another notch with the formation and headlining of the New Yorkers Against Violence Concert a month after the horrific event. Proceeds from the concert went towards the New York Women's Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Association for New Americans (NYANA).
In 2002 after the foreclosure of their west coast recording studio and label, Grand Royal the Beastie Boys began erecting a new working recording studio facility, Oscilloscope in downtown Manhattan where they began working on their new album. They released a protest song, ‘In a World Gone Mad’ directed against the 2003 Iraq invasion by the US government and put it on their website for free download on several websites including the Milarepa, MTV, MoveOn.org and Win Without War sites making it the most downloaded track during April of 2003. By this stage the Tibetan Freedom Concerts were counted to 18 with the 19th and 20th events held in Tokyo and Taipei (the Beasties’ first Taiwan appearance.) They also headlined the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
The Boys’ released their latest single, May 2004, ‘Ch-Check it Out’ which debuted on The OC: The Vegas episode from season one which aired April 28th, 2004. The single, released in May reached top spot in Canada, second on the US Billboard Modern Rock chart and world Internet download charts, and third on a composite world modern rock chart. Soon behind was the much-anticipated sixth studio release from the Beastie Boys, ‘To the 5 Boroughs’, their first in six years. It hit the streets running, June 15th, 2004 and was the first album the Boys produced entirely themselves. It peaked at first position on the Billboard 200 album chart, second in the UK and Australia and third in Germany. The album sparked controversy with allegations that the album had components that installed spy-ware on the CD drive of a computer. The band denied this stating that there is no copyright protection agents software on the album sold in the US or UK. However it is standard practise for all European copies released under EMI/Capitol Records but does not install any spy-ware software. The album’s remaining singles dropped in July, ‘Triple Trouble’, ‘An Open Letter to NYC’ and ‘Right-Right Now Now’ and premiered on US and UK radio stations. Incidentally the latest studio album was a respectful homage to the city of New York where all three Beastie Boys members hail from and to the September 11, (9/11) attacks on the World Trade Center which is featured prominently on the album’s cover.
‘Solid Gold Hits’ is the greatest hits collection released from the Boys in November 7th and 8th, 2005 in the UK and US respectively. Unlike their anthology collective release, this album is comprised only of their singles that broke gold sales throughout their definitive album catalogue. The single CD compilation contains a DVD with 15 tracks. The Japanese release has the song and video for their 2004 single, ‘Right Right Now Now’ as the final track.
The Beastie Boys stated recently in the summer of 2006 they are currently writing material for the next album, and are expecting to undergo the production themselves.
- 1986 Licensed to Ill (Def Jam/Columbia)
- 1989 Paul’s Boutique (Capitol)
- 1992 Check Your Head (Grand Royal/Capitol)
- 1994 Ill Communication (Grand Royal/Capitol)
- 1998 Hello Nasty (Grand Royal/Capitol)
- 2004 To the 5 Boroughs (Capitol)
- 1984 Some Old Bullshit (Grand Royal/Capitol)
- 1996 The In Sound from Way Out (Grand Royal/Capitol)
- 1999 The Sounds of Science (Grand Royal/Capitol)
- 2005 Solid Gold Hits (Capitol)
- 1982 Pollywog Stew (Rat Cage)
- 1983 Cooky Puss (Rat Cage)
- 1984 Rock Hard (Def Jam/Columbia)
- 1995 Aglio e Oilo (Grand Royal/Capitol)