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Production Credits:

Alive


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First Appearance: Alive 1999
Written by: Beastie Boys
Performed by: Beastie Boys
Production Notes: Alive produced by the Beastie Boys, engineered by Sue Dyer at RPM Studios (New York, NY). Alive at Yauch's House produced and remixed by Beastie Boys, remix engineering by Bill McMullen. Remixed at Adam Yauch's house, engineered by Sue Dyer at RPM Studios (New York, NY), mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk. Alive (Remix by Evidence for the Dilated Peoples) produced by Beastie Boys, remixed by Evidence, cuts by Babu. Remix engineer is Sean Freehill, engineered by Sue Dyer at RPM Studios (New York, NY), mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk. Alive (B.R.A. Remix) produced by the Beastie Boys, written by William M. Joel, recorded live at Tibetan Freedom Concert 1997, remixed by Bentley Rhythm Ace

Behind the Beats and Lyrics...

Samples

  • "I'm Still #1" by Boogie Down Productions from the album By All Means Necessary (1988)

References

  • Freckles - nickname of Kathleen Hanna, Adam Horovitz' wife since 2006
  • Afrika Bambaataa (1957- ) - New York record producer, arranger, and DJ who recorded the influential 1982 song "Planet Rock"
  • Jazzy Jay (1961- ) - former member of Afrika Bambaataa's Soulsonic Force
  • Bombay - city in India
  • Pele (1940- ) - a world-famous soccer player
  • Ali bomaye - comes from the 1974 heavyweight boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman held in Zaire and known as The Rumble In the Jungle. It means "Ali! Kill Him!" which was chanted by the locals before and during the fight. This is also related to the next line, "So fed up with racism today" as Ali was a key figure in civil rights issues.
  • UltraBrite - toothpaste
  • Mix Master Mike - Beastie Boys' DJ since 1998
  • Country Mike - Mike Diamond's country western alter-ego
  • Shazam - DC Comics' ancient wizard who bestows super-human powers onto ordinary mortals; also a cartoon TV show; also the name of track 11 on To the Five Boroughs
  • Biz Mark dance
  • Cabbage Patch - a dance

Sample & Reference Breakdown

  • "J'ai des bonbons pour vous manger" - French for "I've got some sweets for you to eat"
  • "Oui, oui, c'est vrai" - French for "Yes, yes, it's true"
  • "Reading you the news 'cause I'm Country Mike" - refers to the lyrics in "Sloppy Drunks" by Country Mike ("You get liquored up in my house, son, I'm gonna hafta read ya the news" and "So I gathered him up by the scruff of the neck and yes I read that boy the news")
  • "Don't smoke cheeba, can't stand crack" - during the late 80's, Adam Yauch was into drugs like acid and pot; lyrics are reminiscent of the lyrics from "It Takes Two" by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock ("Don't smoke buddha, can't stand sess")
  • "Dip dip dive, so so socialize/Open up your ears and clean out your eyes" - similar to lyrics from "Superrappin'" by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five ("Ya gotta dip dip dive, so so socialize/Clean out your ears then open your eyes")

Commentary:

Beastie Boys

"Don't smoke cheeba, can't stand crack" - "I stopped smoking herb three or four years ago. The one thing about doing hallucinogens is that they open up your solar plexus chakra and allow you to take in the energy of everybody else around you, whether you want to or not. Hallucinogens blow that chakra wide open and you can start taking in a lot of negative energy - worries, jealousy, anger, or whatever other contractive emotions are flying around. I just can't even mess with that now. I feel a little more in control by keeping my energy separate." - Adam Yauch, in an interview with Tricycle Magazine, Winter 1994

Press

"'Alive' is so formulaic that it sounds as if the Boys - who've have gone their entire careers without subscribing to convention - maybe are in the waning days of their existence" - CDNow, 1999

"...[a] streamlined phased-funk single" - New Musical Express, 1999

"[Alive] brims with straight-edge earnestness: 'Don't smoke cheeba/Can't stand crack'. The song also acknowledges the Beasties' unlikely new role as keepers of the hip-hop flame by sampling one of Boogie Down Productions' mottoes: 'Bringin' back that old New York rap.'" - Rolling Stone, 1999

 

Released Versions:

Alive
Alive (2 Many DJ's Mix)
Alive (Acappella)
Alive (At Yauch's House Instrumental)
Alive (At Yauch's House)
Alive (Beastie Boys vs. Wire)
Alive (Beastie Boys vs. Wonderwall)
Alive (Bentley Rhythm Ace Remix)
Alive (David X Mix)
Alive (DJBC Remix)
Alive (Grandmas Moustache Mix)
Alive (Instrumental)
Alive (Live Remix 1)
Alive (Live Remix 2)
Alive (Mash-Up)
Alive (Pearn & Bridges Club Mix)
Alive (Pearn & Bridges Juki Remix)
Alive (Rapscalion Remix)
Alive (Remix by Evidence for the Dilated Peoples)
Alive (Supergroovaliciousecho Mix)
Alive (T-Ray Instrumental Remix)
Alive (T-Ray Remix)
Alive and Rubberband (Beastie Boys vs. the Penguin Cafe Orchestra)
Alive Blitzkrieg Bop (Beastie Boys vs. the Ramones)
Alive It's Tricky (Beastie Boys vs. Run-DMC)
Alive Judge (Beastie Boys vs. 10CC)

Live:

Performed in 8 known Concerts.

First known Performance:
28-Oct-2001 : Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY, United States

Last known Performance:
02-Feb-2005 : Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia

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