Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Paul's Boutique” as Want to Read:
Paul's Boutique
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Paul's Boutique

(33⅓ #30)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,093 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Not only did "Paul's Boutique" transform the Beastie Boys from frat-boy
novelty to critically lauded hip-hop giants, its groundbreaking collage
of rhythm and recycled soundbites made it one of those rare releases
that forever alters the course of popular music. Through interviews with
Mike D, the Dust Brothers, and legendarily reclusive producer Matt Dike,
among others, Dan LeR
Paperback, 132 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Continuum
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Paul's Boutique, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Paul's Boutique

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,093 ratings  ·  116 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Paul's Boutique
Kevin Fanning
Oct 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Enjoyable for me as a fan of the album.

Incidentally, this is the perfect size, weight, and length for a book. More books should be this size. It's so easy to carry a book around with you wherever you go when the book is this size. I encourage more books to be this size. Maybe if we all carry around books this size, we will be less inclined to bury ourselves in our phones at the doctor's office and in line at the supermarket.

Thank you for reading this social commentary disguised as a book review
Andrew Kleimola
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Paul's Boutique - the book - succeeds because the author is able to express his love for the album without descending into complete fanboy raving. But the book earns high marks by actually telling the story of the making of the album. Blessed with interviews with key figures, including Mike D., the book is elevated above merely re-introducing old interviews and using rumor and conjecture to draw a picture of what might have happened. I even enjoyed the track-by-track analysis, because LeRoy also ...more
May 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book made me so happy.

It's divided into three parts. The first is what you might call the business end, as it delves into the events leading up to the making of the album, the band's disputes with Def Jam, their desire to move the hell away from their Licensed To Ill image, their escape to LA, how the team all came together that would make it happen, and finally the actual making-of, followed by critical reactions. It’s packed with quotes from the people who were there, including members of
Phil Overeem
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you love the album (and why shouldn't you?), this is a great afternoon's undertaking, and one of the best in the 33 and 1/3 series. Certainly, you will want to get the record out while you read, because the book uncovers quite a few secrets. ...more
Greg Talbot
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Because the rhymes I say, sharp as a nail/Witty as can be and not for sale/Always funky fresh, could never be stale/Took a test to become an MC and didn't fail/I couldn't wait to demonstrate/All the super def rhymes that I create/I'm a wizard of a word, that's what you heard/And anything else is quite absurd" - Run & D.M.C

"La-di-da-di, we like to party
We don't cause trouble, we don't bother nobody" - Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh - La Di Da Di

What can you say about youth when you're young. You're
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. My first foray into this series and I loved it. The first 1/3 is maybe a little rough trying to get a handle on the scene and the names of everybody, but that is the nature of the beast and no way around it. I learned so much about an album that was one so influential to my adolescence. After finishing I devoured books on Pet Sounds and Let It Be from the same series.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Delightful and quick read about this landmark Beasties album. So fun and bizarre to read about the circumstances of its creation. Even wilder than I imagined.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a great book but still a must read if you love Paul’s Boutique - it drops science like Galileo dropped the orange
Eric Cartier
Apr 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
"'I never felt like I knew less, and I have never been more confused about what's going on,' Mike D told Village Noize in 1990. He was talking about movies, but it's easy to read more than that into the statement."

Divided into three sections, David LeRoy's Paul's Boutique charts the making of the Beasties' masterpiece, offers an analysis of each of its songs (as well as the b-sides) and notes the album's impact and influence. I spent three nights simulateously listening to and reading about one
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A must read for any serious Beastie Boys fan. The book covers the time from the end of the License to Ill tour to the release of Paul’s Boutique. Between these first two albums, the Beastie Boys left Def Jam and went to Capitol Records. They wanted to get away from making a second License to Ill, a decision with which Rick Rubin (their original DJ, producer of License to Ill, and founder of Def Jam) had serious issues. Because of this, and loss of group cohesion during the License to Ill tour, D ...more
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the book you hope you're getting when you cop one of these 33 1/3 books (which I'm not saying you definitely should). It manages to shed quite a bit of light on something you feel you should know more about than you do.

Paul's Boutique is regarded as one of the top rap albums in the history of everdom - the Sgt. Pepper's of rap, according to many an older CAC. Or, at one point in time it was. It doesn't seem to be as well regarded as it was when I copped, back in the mid '90s, and I think
Jun 29, 2008 rated it liked it
This really isn't all that good, but that doesn't mean I didn't love it. I wore out a green Paul's Boutique cassette (literally) in '89 and replaced it with a tie-dyed one that ended up looking gray. So while there's not much here in the way of criticism or insight, I loved reliving the record (and thereby my junior year of high school--through the "making of" story. Hell it would have been worth my time just to learn that "Sounds of Science" begins with "When I'm 64" cranked down to 1/10th the ...more
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
My own opinions of the album* aside, this was a great book.

The Beastie Boys had a lot to run from on their sophomore record: their stifling association with Def Jam (who wanted License to Ill 2 as a follow-up), the claims that they were a Rick Rubin product and not a talent unto themselves, and the jokester image perpetuated by "Fight for Your Right" and, well, their real-life prankster behavior both on- and off-tour. (Egging was a favorite pastime of the group.)

Though Paul's Boutique is viewed
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, 33-1-3, music-rap
If you're looking for an encyclopedia of all the samples used on the album, you're out of luck (though the author will cover some of it in the text and direct you to online reference resources for the rest of it). Speaking as someone who had heard the album before but didn't know a whole lot about either the Beasties or the Dust Brothers, it was an enjoyable and informative read, with more space devoted to the background of the album and its creators than the tracks themselves, though the track- ...more
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I was 11 years old when this album was released, in the now distant before times of the pre-internet age. I also lived in the rural midwest, so literally the only info I had about this album when I bought it was the sleeve notes. And this album was so unique, even to me, at 11 years old, I could tell. Not all the songs resonated with me honestly, but the ones that did, they grabbed my imagination and filled me with a sense of amazed wonder. This was not the same Beastie Boys from Licensed to Ill ...more
Bruce Jenkins
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dan LeRoy's 331/3 book on the Beastie Boys "Paul's Boutique" is like an insightful and well-researched set of liner notes (Extended Mix). The style is informative without ever being opinionated; unlike some in the series, LeRoy is happy to let the story tell itself without inserting himself into the mix. The result is engaging and entertaining - even to a non-fan like myself. I ended up with a much greater appreciation of what the B-Boys achieved with "Paul's Boutique" and, indeed, a kind of int ...more
Norb Aikin
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my Top 3 albums of all time, and an album that will never be recreated or duplicated...a touchstone of my youth. This is an in-depth look at a legendary record, full of stories and anecdotes and information...can't wait to sink into the 66-2/3 follow-up, which is waiting for me. Even if you have a passing interest in the Beastie Boys, it's still a stellar read. The behind-the-scenes looks at how it was made and the people involved just fills in every gap in your synapses. Lotta fun, lotta ...more
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another fantastic 33 1/3 record investigation installment.

I learned plent of fun details about the making of the album, got to tie together some loose ends of trivia about the Beastie Boys I had always wondered about.

All around good time read, glad to see the album get this sort of treatment; I dismissed it when it came out and came back around to it after Check your Head came out...they were clearly ahead of their time when it came out.

David Collins
Jul 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This was quite enjoyable, if not a literary treasure. I had forgotten just what an ingenious trio of twerps the Beasties had been in the '80s and had kind of lost interest in them during the Paul's Boutique period.

Big ups to my brother-in-law for introducing me to the 33-1/3 series, which includes hundreds of titles about landmark recordings in various flavors of rock, pop, R&B, hip-hop, etc. I'll be seeking out more of them.
Isaiah Espinoza
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was quite happy to read this book as I love the Beastie Boys and the Dust Brothers. Until I read it I had never known the reason behind the group leaving Def Jam. One of my favorite parts about this series is the author usually breaks the songs down track by track. It was more interesting to me however how the Beasties came to be on Capitol and met with those who eventually collaborated on what would become Paul’s Boutique.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The 33 1/3 series is inconsistent af, but this one is pretty great as a potted history of the making of a record. It's sent me back to listen again, which is what these books should always do. It seems like only one Beastie was interviewed, Mike D, but for what's basically a long magazine article it's enough. ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is another one of the short books in the 33 1/3 series of titles on specific albums. I’ve been drawn to these because of a fondness of the album. Having already devoured the band’s recent biography there’s not that much I’ve not already read or heard here before but it’s still an good bit of music scholarship, mixing textual analysis with historical anecdotes
Mindy Burroughs
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book about one of the best albums of all time. Full of details and insights, especially loved the line “there are no bad trips to the musical wonderland of Paul’s Boutique.” Can’t wait to read the follow up.
Grayson Wasteland
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very well researched with lots of history and stories.
Enda O' Gara
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Well written and insightful, lots of intimate detail and background into the making of one of hip-hops early masterpieces. .
James Almond
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent addition to the series...a great insight into life after Licensed to Ill.
Benjamin Van Buren
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A thorough look at one of my absolute favorite — and easily most listened to — albums ever. Purchased in Vegas over a decade ago and finally read this thing in its entirety.
Adrian Bloxham
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book about the B-Boys?? Um yeah- that's a 5 fa sho!! ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book about one of my favorite albums and especially all the samples that were used in its creation.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Design Pretty 1 2 Aug 29, 2019 01:06PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Beastie Boys Book
  • Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968
  • Nobody Knows My Name
  • This Isn't Happening: Radiohead's "Kid A" and the Beginning of the 21st Century
  • Do What You Want: The Story of Bad Religion
  • Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove
  • Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused
  • This Is Graceanne's Book
  • Revolutionary Tales: African American Women's Short Stories, from the First Story to the Present
  • Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family
  • They Call Me Mad Dog!: A Story for Bitter, Lonely People
  • The White Bone
  • The Curing Season
  • Women and Fiction: Short Stories By and About Women
  • Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived
  • Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids
  • The Awakening and Selected Stories
  • Jesus Land: A Memoir
See similar books…

Other books in the series

33⅓ (1 - 10 of 153 books)
  • Dusty in Memphis
  • Forever Changes
  • Harvest
  • The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society
  • Meat is Murder
  • The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
  • Abba Gold
  • Electric Ladyland
  • Unknown Pleasures
  • Sign o' the Times

Related Articles

Punk rock legend, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, award-winning writer, photographer, activist, and all-around Renaissance woman Patti Smith is...
185 likes · 24 comments
“Nostalgia is a longing for home,” Svedana Boym writes, “that no longer exists or has never existed.” In the 20th century, that longing, she adds, quoting historians Jean Starobinski and Michael Roth, had “shrunk to the longing for one’s childhood.” 0 likes
“According to Russell Simmons, producer Eric B once claimed he could have created fifteen albums with the ideas from Paul’s Boutique. Even the late Miles Davis reportedly once said he never tired of the record.” 0 likes
More quotes…