Beastie Boys: The Series – Root Down EP (1995)

Ah, Root Down. I love this song.

This EP was released after Ill Communication, and at first I wasn’t sure I needed to own it. I had all the songs, right? And I don’t usually go for remixes of songs I love. However, this one is a keeper. Here’s why:

Root Down (Free Zone Mix) is a radically different imagining of the track. It’s basically a new song, in sound and approach. As much as I love the album track, I really like this too!!

Root Down (LP), of course, is the killer album version. Why this comes second in the mix instead of first, I couldn’t tell you.

Root Down (PP Balloon Mix) turns the track into more of a party jam, as if the album track wasn’t already. It’s quite a good version, more of a club feel.

*NB I linked to all three songs, so you can hear the differences. You’re welcome.

Tracks 4-10 were “Recorded LIVE in Europe, Winter 1995.” Sadly, there’s hardly (if any) crowd noise. I hate that. It’s live, let me hear it like I was there. Anyway.

Time To Get Ill is a super-cool run through. It has a great bottom end.

Heart Attack Man is a fun hardcore blast.

The Maestro has great sound… um, they’re a bit unhinged, here…

Sabrosa remains a superb instrumental.

Flute Loop has huge bass compared to the album. Huge. A superb version.

Time For Livin’ is more sweet hardcore. Woo!

Something’s Got To Give is still a cool slow groove, with a toy bomb noise added here and there for this version. Big effects on the vocals, almost like a buzzsaw or a tree frog or something. Also, from 4:28-4:57 there’s a brief hidden track, which is a snippet of So What’cha Want in Hebrew. Sounds like a radio commercial, but I can’t translate.

In sum: Is this an essential EP? Yes it is. There’s definite value for the money, even in just the title track versions alone. But the live tracks are the clincher. I don’t think they ever released an official live album, did they? A live DVD, yes (I have that), but not a live album. Weird. Anyway, this CD is great fun!


Posted on June 6, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. With crowd noise, I like it somewhere in between. I don’t like a lot of it, which seems to be a trend these days.

    So What’cha Want in Hebrew? Fucking cool, man.


    • Me, I want the full show. Perfect template: Rollins Band’s The Only Way To Know For Sure. A monster live album, straight from the stage to the CD. No fixes. Now THAT is purity. And killer tunes. Damn I love that album.

      It wasn’t the B-Boys doing the Hebrew, it was the radio station guys. Still, fun!


  2. Thanx MUCHO for links to alternate versions, hadn’t heard them. Root Down is THE album for me….. doing the ‘I have to pee’ dance in anticipation ……


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