In the Jewish religion, it's traditional for males to get Bar Mitzvah-ed--to undergo the ceremony of adulthood--at age 13. Judging them by that standard, for one, the Beastie Boys are ahead of the game; between 1986's Licensed to Ill
and 1999's hits package The Sound of Science
, the Beasties have matured from attention-starved brats to insightful, funky trend-setting brats with an ace record collection and top choice in collaborators. And by staying in tune with their inner children, the Boys have also managed to not drop off in fervour as they've continued to push their boundaries: How many other hip-hop/rock groups would be able to put songs as different as the hardcore "Egg Raid on Mojo" and the jazzed-out instrumental "Sabrosa" on the same collection? And
a slightly deranged take on Elton John's "Benny & the Jets"?
At a hefty 42 tracks, this collection has something for everyone--and manages not to skimp on the hits or pad them with filler. Though it would serve well as an introduction, The Sound of Science is even better as a companion. --Randy Silver
BEASTIE BOYS The Sounds Of Science (1999 US limited edition 2-CD album set compiling a 42-track anthology of their greatest hits plus a selection of rarities & previously unreleased recordings both discs come housed in a fold-out digipak withdeluxe 80-page booklet with picture outer slipcase CDP72435)