Solid Gold Hits

Artist: Beastie BoysTitle: Solid Gold HitsRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: K.O. SlowThe ever-irreverent Beastie Boys have finally grown-up, they have released their first greatest hits collection. Unlike their anthology, Sounds of Science, Solid Gold Hits (Capitol) is pretty much what the name implies – nothing but the hits. While Sounds of Science had most of the Beastie’s hits, it was also rounded out with b-sides, remixes, rarities, unreleased jams and an extensive set of liner notes, making it something worthwhile for the fan that already had everything.

Solid Gold Hits cannot boast the same (though, oddly, of all the remixes the Beasties have had done, it includes Fat Boy Slim’s remix of “Body Movin”, which probably didn’t need to find a home here). The album was assembled for the newest generation of fan or just the casual listener who wants to hear the “frozen metal and lead guitar" by Slayer guitarist Kerry King on “No Sleep to Brooklyn” (besides the singles from To the 5 Boroughs, the only song on Solid Gold not to be found on Sounds of Science).

While not known for deep introspection (well, MCA did get all Buddhist, but the “ohm-ing” just never cut the mustard, musically speaking), the Beasties have packed Solid Gold Hits with what made them famous: tongue-in-cheek, pop-referenced, party all the time Hip-Hop. While their roots are in punk, the Beastie Boys were the first clowns of Hip-Hop (as well as the first white group to be of any relevance). This collection focuses on their Hip-Hop side and leaves their punk, instrumental funk, country (yeah, Mike D has a country album), electro, prank calls, and the kitchen sink-kitsch to be found elsewhere. Needless to say, this collection is not inspired; it’s simply a chance to make money off the catalog.