It’s practically unfathomable to think that the Beastie Boys’ License to Ill (a.k.a. “the first album I ever bought on cassette tape”) turns 25 this year.
After all, it seems like the kind of thing that should never age, mostly because it gave us the quintessential “sublimely stoopid” video of the 1980s: “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party).” The clip was a classic ode to festivity that, whether it intended to or not (probably not) also managed to sum up so much of the decade so well — the vapidity, the inebriation, the wearing of hood ornaments on gold chains. It doesn’t deserve to get old; rather, it should be preserved in ’80s amber for all eternity, or at least until scientists learn how to extract its DNA.
And yet, in November, Ill will turn 25. And in anticipation of that, the Beastie Boys have decided to celebrate the milestone with the release of “Fight for Your Right Revisited,” a 30-minute retelling of the events that followed the epochal “Party” clip, with a host of Hollywood stars (Danny McBride, Elijah Wood and Seth Rogen) playing the B-Boys and a boatload of wink-wink celebrity cameos thrown in for good measure. It is funny and pretty clever, to be certain; it is also about 25 minutes too long.
Fortunately for all of us, the Beasties (or, more specifically, the director) probably realized that too, which is why they’ve decided to distill the greatest moments from the film into one five-minute tour-de-force: the video for “Make Some Noise,” which premiered Wednesday (April 20) on MTV.com.
“Noise” is, of course, the first single from the Beastie Boys’ upcoming The Hot Sauce Committee Part Two album (due May 3), which, perhaps due to the lengthy battle with cancer MCA endured last year, many are speculating may be the final effort of the group’s 30-year career. There’s been no comment on the matter from the Beasties themselves, but those rumors lend another wrinkle to both the short film and the video: If this really is the Beastie Boys saying goodbye, well, then it’s certainly in a way we’ve come to expect from them.
Namely, with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Because “Noise” is a riot. McBride, Rogen and Wood are clearly having a ball here (and, it should be noted, Wood does a killer imitation of Ad-Rock’s posturing), slugging beers, terrorizing bystanders and basically acting very much like the Beasties themselves, circa 1986 . The guest stars — everyone from Ted Danson and Jason Schwartzman to Will Ferrell and Chloë Sevigny — ham it up with equal glee (and Beastie fans will no doubt get a kick out of comedian David Cross throwing on Nathanial Hörnblowér’s lederhosen).
And, presumably, that’s the entire point of “Make Some Noise”: It’s a treat for both Beastie Boys fans and anyone who enjoys a quick game of “spot the celebrity” too. Whether it also symbolizes the beginning of the group’s slow wave goodbye remains to be seen — though, if this really is their funeral, at least a whole lot of people showed up.
What did you think of the video? Let us know in the comments!