In a world gone mad, it’s hard to think right.
This isn’t quite the natural fit that it was when the Black Album and the White Album got mashed up into the Grey Album with the Beatles and Jay-Z getting mixed together, but the principle is the same. dj BC mixes up the Beatles with the Beastie Boys with basically good results, if rarely transcendent ones. The obvious Beatles samples work as well as you’d expect they would. Tripper Trouble mixes the indelible riff from Day Tripper with the frantic raps of Triple Trouble and it works brilliantly. Even better is I Feel Fine Right Now, which points up just how perfect the riff in I Feel Fine really is; it feels like it was made to be rapped over, years ahead of rap. No points for mixing up Sure Shot, one of my favorite Beastie Boys tracks, with Ob-Bla-Di, Ob-Bla-Da in order to create the basically unlistenable (and horribly titled) Sure-Bla-Di, Shot-Bla-Da and the cacophonous Root Down Reprise, a mix of Root Down and the Sgt. Pepper reprise is about as bad. But it’s the odd choices that really work. Mother Nature’s Rump is a melding of the beautiful and ethereal Mother Nature’s Child with the Beastie’s Shake Your Rump and it somehow works magnificently. Best of all is Mad World Forever. It melds the angry raps of In a World Gone Mad with the luminously beautiful Strawberry Fields Forever and it’s somehow genuinely transformative. Hearing the chorus of In a World Gone Mad over the quiet, sad opening harmonium chords from Strawberry Fields changes the feel of the original Beastie Boys track unbelievably. The song stops being angry and becomes deeply sad. “So much violence, hate & spite” used to be an angry declaration; now it’s a sad, almost resigned refrain. But anyway, this is worth listening to simply as a curiosity; the fact that a large portion of it works well and some of it extremely well is a bonus. 3 stars.
tl;dr – DJ remix of the Beatles & the Beastie Boys is a compelling curiosity, though less transformative than it could be; some of the tracks work incredibly well taken on their own merits. 3 stars.