Beastie Boyswas formed in New York City in 1979. The group began as a punk rock group and later switched to hip hop. The members of the band are Michael (Mike D) Diamond, Adam (MCA) Yauch, Adam (Ad-Rock) Horovitz, and the DJ for the group, Michael (Mix Master Mike) Schwartz. They released their debut album in 1986 and it was called, Licensed To Ill. The album received commercial success and critical acclaim. The group is well known for their outlandish suits they wear and their flippant attitudes and personalities. The band is one of the longest lived hip hop groups and are still going today. On September 27, 2007, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The name of the band in the beginning, in 1979, was The Young Aborigines. Then in 1981 they changed their name to the Beastie Boys. The bands original members were, according to Mike D, Kate Schellenbach (drums), Adam Yauch (bass player), John Berry (guitar player), and Michael Diamond (Mike D) (vocals). The band had their first gig on Yauch’s 17th birthday at Berry’s house. The band earned support slots for Bad Brains, Dead Kennedey, and Reagan Youth.The same year they recorded a 7" EP called Pollywog Stew at the 171A Studios. John Berry left the group and formed Thwig. He was replaced by Adam Horovitz formerly from the punk band, The Young and the Useless. The band performed and released their first rap track called, Cooky Puss, and it was a big hit in the New York underground dance clubs. It was around this time that producer Rick Rubin entered the picture and the Beastie Boys changed their punk rock style to a three man rap group. They released a 12" single called Rock Hard.
The band supported Madonna on her North American Virgin tour in 1985. Later that same year they toured with Run Dmc, Whodini, LL Cool J, and the Times Social Club on the Raising Hell tour. Licensed To Ill was released in 1986 and it was a big hit. It became the best selling rap album of the 1980's. It was also the first rap album to reach number one on the Billboard Album chart, and it stayed there for 5 weeks. It also went to number 2 on the Urban Album chart. The album sold over 5 million copies. The band toured around the world the following year to promote the album. The group parted ways with Def jam and ended their relationship with Rick Rubin and signed on with Capitol Records. The group can still be seen and heard today and were still going strong as of 2005.
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