Beastie Boys: Check Your Head LP
Some albums define an era, a place, a certain time in one's life. The Beastie Boys Check Your Head practically defined the summer of 1992 for those who were wary of the mainstreaming of rap and the insurgency of grunge. It was here that MCA, Adrock and Mike D. created a musical montage that defied genre, one with the swagger of punk and the rootsy earthiness of early-'70s soul-jazz, all layered with a hip-hop consciousness. Lo-fi, garagy, guitar-riff-loaded tracks like "Pass Da Mic" and "Gratitude" made it clear that the Beasties could be taken as serious musical forces, even innovators. Yet they still brilliantly tempered the proceedings with romps like "Professor Booty" and "Funky Boss." One of the best albums of the '90's, Check Your Head was a turning point for the band and the genesis of a new musical hybrid.