7.28.2011

If You Claim You Liked Paul's Boutique When It First Came Out You're A Fucking Liar

On a long enough timeline, everyone you know will become a liar. At some point, you WILL be lied to by everyone you know.

This will likely happen sooner rather than later if you bring up the subject of music. And if you bring it up with any hipster, showoff, wannabe music expert, the chances of it happening are reduced to within a day of your meeting them. They will, at some point, lie about how quickly they found a band, how early they adopted them, how much they like / hate a band (usually inversely proportionate to the popularity of the band).

Now, if you want to shortcut this timeline to "immediately" all you have to do is bring up Paul's Boutique by the Beastie Boys.

I cannot tell you how many goddamn times I've had this exact conversation:

"How about the B-boys? You like them?"

Well yeah, of course. They're great (except for the notable blemish of Hello Nasty, which sucked).

"Dude, my favorite Beastie Boys album is Paul's."

Mmmhmm. 

"No, seriously, it's like... Genius."

I agree.

"Man... The Dust Brothers, they brought a whole new sound to the game."

No argument there.

"Hey Ladies... Man. Great jam."

Indeed.

"And don't even get me started on the, uh... Whatsitcalled? Cut-and-paste sampling? Anyway, it's genius."

Yup.

"I got it the week it came out."

Okay, now you're a fucking liar hipster douchebag and I want you to immediately find the nearest pitchfork and fuck yourself with it. 

NO ONE liked Paul's Boutique when it first came out. No one.

The album sold roughly 70,000 copies on its release week. It barely went gold the year it was released. It spent only a few weeks on Billboard's top 200, and it was universally panned by critics and customers alike as being unapproachable, lesser than License To Ill, and a terrible effort from a group who should just slink away with their one hit wonder and never show up again.

I was 12 when it came out in 1989. I didn't know fuck all about quality when it came to records -- I just liked songs that were catchy and fun and had the occasional curse word which would shock my mother. License to Ill was the first CD I ever bought with my own money, and I loved Brass Monkey and Fight For Your Right, just like every kid my age did.

And in 1989, the Beastie Boys were NOWHERE on my (or anyone else's) radar, except the college crowd who heard it on their schools' radio stations -- and even then, it was played ironically.

In the early 90's, after Check Your Head came out, everyone went apeshit over that record. And even then, no one went back to Paul's and called it genius. It was only around 1996 when the Manchester / Bristol UK 'electronica' wave hit, with Moby and Massive Attack kicking everyone's heads in and making even Madonna (with Ray of Light) and U2 (with Pop) pay attention.

All of a sudden, Paul's shone like a beacon from the past. The electronic cut-and-paste production sounded almost current, but it was nearly 8 years too early. Every fucking music retard and their brother piped up and started claiming how into the sound they were, long before everyone else.

Fast-forward to today, when we all know just how high the peak on the musical landscape Paul's was, and you have two generations of hipster-ass need-to-be-first jerks claiming to be "OG B-Boys" and loving Paul's Boutique. And they're full. Of. Shit.

Every time I have the above conversation with someone who wants to claim how into Paul's they were before everyone else, I begin questioning them on what else they were listening to at the time, when it was released, where they heard it first, and so on. And that's not because I'm one of the lucky 70,000 who found it first -- I admit, I slept on Paul's until my friend Mike forced me to listen to it in 12th grade (and even then, I didn't like it very much -- which of course is not the case now). He was one of the first 70,000, because Mike was born being ahead of everyone on every curve. He turned me onto Helmet before anyone else knew who they were.

The thing is, no one can really hold up to the interrogation. At some point, they flub some point of data, with the vast majority saying it was released in the 90s -- I've even had people claim it came after Check Your Head, and even a few who said it was after Ill Communication. And I've gone an exhausting 10 rounds with kids as young as 19 who want to claim they had that album the day it came out... Which would make them -3 when they bought it.

They weren't even an embryo.

Let this serve as your warning: I don't care if you're with your girlfriend and want to impress her; I don't care if you are the only girl in your gaggle of girlfriends who listens to "old school"; I don't care what radio station you claim to have worked at "in the 90's" -- If you claim to be an original Paul's Boutique fan, you had better come to me with a receipt from 1989 proving it.

Anything else, and you're just looking for a fist to put your face in.