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Production Credits:

Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun


Click for Lyrics


First Appearance: Paul's Boutique LP, July 1989
Written by: Beastie Boys & Dust Brothers
Performed by: Beastie Boys
Production Notes: Produced by Beastie Boys & Dust Brothers. Recorded at Mario G's, mixed at Record Plant. Engineered by Mario Caldato, assisted by Allen Abrahamson. Originally released on Capitol Records.

Behind the Beats and Lyrics...

Samples

  • "Time" by Pink Floyd from the album Dark Side of the Moon (2004)
  • "Put Your Hand in the Hand" by Ocean from the album Put Your Hand in the Hand (2001)
  • "Mississippi Queen" by Mountain from the album Climbing! (1970)
  • "Last Bongo in Belgium" by Incredible Bongo Band from the album Bongo Rock (1973)

References

  • Chuck Chillout - a rap DJ and producer
  • Ultra Violence - the mayhem caused by the protagonist of A Clockwork Orange (original novel by Anthony Burgess which was turned into a Stanley Kubrick-directed film)
  • Rambo - a 1982 action film and the name of the title character, portrayed by Sylvester Stallone; also referenced in "Shadrach"
  • Die Hard - an action film series, starring Bruce Willis
  • Bruce Willis (1955- ) - a television and film actor, best known for his role in the Die Hard films
  • Son of Sam - David Berkowitz (1953- ), a notorious serial killer who terrorized New York in 1976-1977
  • Dave Scilken - a close friend of the Beastie Boys

Sample & Reference Breakdown

  • Main beat is from "Last Bongo in Belgium" by Incredible Bongo Band
  • Drum beat sample is from "Put Your Hand in the Hand" by Ocean
  • Piano chord sample is from "Time" by Pink Floyd
  • "Coordinator trim is my man, Dave Scilken" - refers to Beastie Boys friend Dave Scilken, who was hired as their "trim coordinator" for their Licensed to Ill tour
  • Drum and guitar chord sample after "Gettin' paid, gettin' rich" is from "Mississippi Queen" by Mountain

Commentary:

Beastie Boys

"I read this review where the guy said that we still only use the same drugs and violence themes. I don't understand why people think [this song] is about us. We just get together and write stories." - Michael Diamond, August 1989

Press

"...nineteen-year-old Dave Scilken, a scrawny friend from Horovitz's Young and Useless days, has been hired as 'trim coordinator' for seventy dollars a week. His current position seems to entail two responsibilites: to find, outfit and train a hot dancer for the onstage cage, and to scout the crowd or local malls for pretty girls he can give backstage passes to" - Rolling Stone, 1987

"...another man's fantasy/nightmare, not theirs" - Spin, 1989

"...the one tune similar in style to the hugely successful rap-metal of the Beasties' debut, Licensed to Ill; it is, in fact, a funkier, more spohisticated doppelganger of the first album's 'Rhymin' and Stealin'" - excerpted from the 33 1/3 Series book Paul's Boutique by Dan LeRoy, 2006

 

Released Versions:

Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun
Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun (Demo)
Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun (Egon & Jon Doe Instrumental Remix)
Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun (Egon & Jon Doe Remix)
Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun (Green Mix Clean)
Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun (Green Mix)
Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun (Instrumental)
Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun (Live)

Live:

Performed in 27 known Concerts.

First known Performance:
17-May-1992 : Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, United States

Last known Performance:
31-Dec-1995 : Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

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