Tunesday: Beastie Boys – “Body Movin'”

It’s Tuesday so that means at ilisteniwatch.com, it’s Tunesday! Every Tuesday, we will share a song with you that we love and hope you will too.

I am wistful over the Beastie Boys. I am especially wistful over their 1998 LP Hello Nasty.

Here’s the story. What I can remember of it anyway, lo all these years later, as my mind’s sponge rapidly releases these early memories to make room for things like “Don’t forget floss the next time you are at the store” and “To throw away the trash in your hand, idiot. THAT’S why you came into the kitchen.”

At some point, I heard the Beastie Boys.

Probably by way of MTV, but maybe by way of Saturday Night Live, or maybe even Rick Dees. Somehow they got to me. At least part of it was MTV because I remember seeing some of their older videos in the haze of my memories. One thing I remember for sure. “Intergalactic”  found its way to me, and that made me want to buy Hello Nasty badly.

With some money I earned by handing out samples at a grocery store, I purchased it from a K-Mart. I know. I was pretty street. It was a precarious undertaking, as I recall. I was just 13, and my parents were strict. I have no idea how I slipped that title past them. (Nothing compared to how I hid Orgy’s Candyass upside down and backward in my CD tower later. Shew.) Anyway, I got it, and I remember riding in the backseat with my off brand Discman and being awoken by what I heard.

According to Wikipedia:

Caroline Sullivan writing for The Guardian awarded the album “Pop CD Of The Week” claiming that it “fills a gap created by the current profusion of serious rock bands like Radiohead; elbowing its way up front, [and letting] rip with adolescent vigour.”

Yes, YES! Adolescent vigour. Man, they were fun, huh?

This was a while before I would understand the intricacies of hip hop both musically and culturally, and I was about a year away from getting into a lot of punk bands (because high school). And here this album came with sounds I had never heard before, ones I could have never imagined. This album created my interest in sonic experimentation and the fun of cacophony. There’s silly lines that I still love and randomly sing about my house to my husband’s confusion (he of earlier Beastie loyalty).

“I’m the king of Boggle / There is none higher / I get 11 points off the word quagmire!”
“I don’t mean to brag, I don’t mean to boast, but I’m intercontinental when I eat French toast!”

The way in which “In your home, I’m cloned, I’m on your headphones / I love it when you spazz out all alone” rocked my world is kind of ridiculous because I was like, “Dude. You know???? You KNOW!”

“Remote Control” and “Putting Shame in Your Game” are both full of commentary that hit me in the gut as a kid. All the sudden things were getting more real than what was tearing up my heart. As an adult? The lyrics still make me think. There are few albums I listened to at 13 that I can listen to now and still feel excited about the content and not just nostalgic. It transcends the context in which I discovered it. I love this album.

But, officially this is a Tunesday, so now I must pick one song to share. I have to go with the one that is pure fun, pure Beastie party music. “Body Movin'” samples an old exercise record’s audio in such a perfect way that I still die over it. It’s possible you were only ever familiar with the Fatboy Slim remix of this song which was the version used for the music video, and it is DEVOID of Ed Durlacher’s voice giving out aerobic counts and instructions. And if that is the only version you know, well that is the saddest. Instead, the original album version is presented below. Maybe it will inspire you to check out the rest of the album, if you don’t currently have it in your collection, with the weird cardboard packaging all torn and frayed. “Start and land on the balls of the feet.”

Read more from Amanda here and on Twitter: @aaahmanda.