Back in the year 1993, you were a sweet kid. Your days were filled with paint by numbers tasks and your ears were drowning in neat little pop tunes from UB40, Sting, and Taylor Dayne. You were happy as a clam. But your sonic landscape was about to change. Because unbeknownst to you, Mike D, Ad-Rock, and MCA were about to drop a track that would rock your sensibilities. Better known as Beastie Boys, the NY hip-hop pioneers would release “Sabotage” from their fourth studio album ‘Ill Communication’ and everything you thought you knew about the rap and rock game got turned upside down.
On this track, the band went back to their punk roots and blasted out a modern take on hardcore with an added mesmerizing bassline. And while the Spike Jones directed video captivated MTV audiences, no one truly knew what the song was about. Until now, An excerpt from the band’s new autobiography, Beastie Boys Book (Penguin Random House), explains that the angst anthem is actually about an annoying studio engineer named Mario Caldato Jr.
Adam Horovitz recounts, “We were totally indecisive about what, when, why and how to complete songs. Mario was getting frustrated. That’s a really calm way of saying that he would blow a fuse and get pissed off at us and scream that we just needed to finish something, anything, a song. He would push awful instrumental tracks we made just to have something moving toward completion.” Adding, “I decided it would be funny to write a song about how Mario was holding us all down, how he was trying to mess it all up, sabotaging our great works of art.”
I wonder if Mr. Caldato is happy as a clam about this revelation…
And whichever way you’ve interpreted the track is your thing. “Sabotage” is a part of our histories and much respect to the lasting power of this classic has had on our life’s soundtrack. And as I do, I dug up as many cover version of this one, surprisingly there aren’t many brilliant ones. But with that said, here are the best of the best odes to one of the craziest and influential rap-punk songs ever…
Hail Hail the Boys Entering Anarchic States Towards Internal Excellence.
Korn ft. Slipknot
Linkin Park – Bleed It Out / Sabotage
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