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Production Credits:

The Sounds of Science Click for Lyrics

First Appearance: Paul's Boutique LP 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

  • "Back in the U.S.S.R." by The Beatles from the album White Album (1968)
  • "Walk from Regio's" by Isaac Hayes from the Shaft soundtrack (1971)
  • "My Philosophy" by Boogie Down Productions from the album By Any Means Necessary (1988)
  • "When I'm Sixty-Four" by The Beatles from the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
  • "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles from the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
  • "The End" by The Beatles from the album Abbey Road (1969)
  • "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" by The Beatles from the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
  • "Get Up, Get into It, Get Involved" by James Brown from the album In the Jungle Groove (1986)
  • "Don't Sniff Coke" by Pato Banton from the album Never Give In (1987)

References

  • Range Rover - a sport utility vehicle
  • Isaac Newton (1642-1727) - an English philosopher and mathematician
  • Ben Franklin (1706-1790) - an American patriot, writer, scientist, and diplomat
  • Shea Stadium - home of New York Mets
  • Radium - a radioactive metallic chemical element
  • Palladium - a Manhattan concert hall and nightclub, located on E. 14th Street, between Irving Place and 3rd Avenue; it was demolished in 1999
  • Rope-a-Dope - Muhammad Ali's boxing strategy
  • Quarter Deluxe - a McDonald's Quarter Pounder hamburger with the works
  • Jimmy protector - a condom
  • Crack - a form of cocaine
  • Ponce de Leon (1460-1521) - a Spanish explorer who discovered Florida in 1513
  • Fountain of Youth - a legendary fountain said to have the power of restoring youth, sought by Ponce de Leon and other early explorers in Florida and the West Indies
  • Robotron - a popular 1980's arcade video game
  • Adidas & Fila - well-known athletic gear companies
  • Coke - cocaine, an illicit drug used for its stimulant and euphorigenic properties
  • Sinsemilla - marijuana from seedless female hemp plants that contain very high levels of THC
  • Cheech Wizard - a 1970's underground comic strip by Vaughn Bodé; also referenced in "Sure Shot"
  • Galileo (1564-1642) - Galileo Galilei, a Florentine astronomer and physicist, founder of the science of dynamics

Sample & Reference Breakdown

  • Crowd noise - a sample from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles
  • Oboe - a sample from "When I'm Sixty-Four" by The Beatles
  • Violins and orchestra tuning - a sample from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles
  • Scratch - samples from "The End" by The Beatles
  • Drum samples from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" by The Beatles
  • "Ben Frankin with a kite, gettin' over with the key" - refers to an historical event in which Ben Franklin tied a metal key to a kite and flew it in a thunderstorm to prove a link between lightning and electricity
  • "I got pegs through my hands and one through my feet" - refers to Jesus Christ's crucifixion to the cross
  • "Right up to your face and dis you" - a sample of KRS-One from "My Philosophy" by Boogie Down Productions
  • "Time and money for girls covered with honey" - refers to an incident for which Beastie Boys were sued by the parents of some young girls who partied with them backstage after a show. Video of the party, which included a Budweiser beer, whipped cream, and honey "food fight," can be seen at the end of the Licensed to Ill home video
  • "Yeah, that's right my name's Yauch" scratch - a sample from "Get Up, Get into It, Get Involved" by James Brown
  • "I do not sniff the coke, I only smoke sinsemilla" - a sample from "Don't Sniff Coke" by Pato Banton

Commentary:

Beastie Boys

"E.Z. Mike [Mike Simpson] does all the scratching on this song." - Adam Horovitz on Paul's Boutique-20th Anniversary Edition audio commentary, 2009

Press

"...builds from a casual, smartass schoolboy singsong to a breakneck chant" - Rolling Stone, 1989

"Adrock reinforces a little-voiced but street popular ghetto conspiracy theory: 'Well I figured out who makes the crack, suckers with the badges and the blue jackets.'" - paraphrased from Rhyming & Stealing: A History of the Beastie Boys by Angus Batey, 1998

"Mike D was playing the tracks for me. They started with a drum that was obviously from the intro to 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.' And I said, 'I don't know if you can do that.' And right as I said that, a guitar line from Abbey Road came in, and you realized that there were two Beatles samples. Mike said, 'Well, hopefully they'll be able to work it out.' And I said, 'Mike, come on, man, it's the Beatles.' He goes, 'Yeah. I know. But what could be cooler than being sued by the Beatles?'" - Tim Carr (former A&R executive/Capitol Records), excerpted from The Skills to Pay the Bills by Alan Light, 2005

 

Released Versions:

The Sounds of Science
The Sounds of Science (Demo)
The Sounds of Science (Instrumental)
The Sounds of Science (Live)

Live:

Performed in 53 known Concerts.

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

Last known Performance:
08-Jun-1997 : Downing Stadium, Randall's Island, United States

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