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!