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Circuit II

In July on 1998, fans of the Beastie Boys sat up and took notice as the long awaited Hello Nasty album was released. In July on 2003, five years later, fans of the Beastie Boys nearly fell out of their computer chairs when they heard reports that a long lost track from 1985 had surfaced. This track featuring Adam “MCA” Yauch had gone under the radar and undetected for eighteen years. What was it? Where did it come from? Those questions and many more began to percolate in the minds of collectors. It turns out that the album, which the mysterious track appears on, was entitled Can’t Tempt Fate (1985) and released on the Elektra label by the group Circuit II. The track itself was called “Rock This (Take Me Out),” and the musicians who comprised Circuit II were three guys from Detroit, Michigan: Alan Sanchez, Tim Bryant, and Tom Rossiter. Although Circuit II’s band members are not house hold names, Alan Sanchez was an active member in Detroit’s punk rock scene. His punk band, the Cubes, put out a rare seven inch back in 1979. When Circuit II did not make a last impression on the music industry Alan went on to be a well known artist in New York.

Recorded at the Shakedown Sound Recording Studio and engineered by Jay “Burzootie” Burnett, upon first listen one will pick up on the distinct similarities in sound that “Rock This (Take Me Out)” shares with the Drum Machine and Rock Hard 12” records. Even the Latin Rascals, who worked on the fore mentioned Beastie Boys recordings, had a hand in the creation of Circuit II’s Can’t Tempt Fate album. Adam Yauch received two mentions in the album’s liner notes. Obviously one for his rapping on “Rock This (Take Me Out),” and the other credit was given (along with Mark Russak and Ned Feldman) for assisting on the entire album.

The appearance of this long forgotten project has prompted more than one Beastie Boys fan to wonder if Yauch may have helped out on some other albums. Any album coming out of the Shakedown Studio around 1985 would be worth investigating as Yauch was working as an assistant to Arthur Baker. Keep that in mind the next time you are flipping through a box of old records at a garage sale or digging through a crate at your favorite record store. After all, who would have guessed that Yauch had assisted and lent his vocals to a song by Circuit II.

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