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Production Credits:

Shazam! Click for Lyrics

First Appearance: To the 5 Boroughs LP, 4 June 2004
Written by: Beastie Boys/R. Bell/G. Brown/C. Smith/D. Thomas
Performed by: Beastie Boys
Production Notes: Produced by Beastie Boys. Mixed by Supa Engineer "DURO" for No Question Ent./Loreal Inc. Recording engineered by Beastie Boys and Jon Weiner. Turntable Extraordinaire: Mix Master Mike. Recorded and mixed at Oscilloscope Laboratories. Mastered by Chris Athens at Sterling Sound.

Behind the Beats and Lyrics...

Samples

  • "Open Sesame" by Kool & the Gang from their album Open Sesame (1976)
  • "Do What You Wanna Do" by Frank Howard and the Continentals

References

  • Shazam - a magician's expression
  • Chicken Tikka Masala - mild curry dish of chicken in a tomato-based sauce, cooked tandoon style (in a charcoal-fired oven)
  • Muenster - pale, mild white cheese
  • Gorgonzola - a strongly flavored, white Italian cheese made from pressed milk
  • Provolone - Italian cheese with a smoky mild flavor
  • Joe Bazooka - trademark character of Topps' Bazooka Bubble Gum
  • Fred Sanford - cantankerous elder junk dealer, portrayed by Redd Foxx, on TV sitcom "Sanford & Son" (1972-1977)
  • Weezy - Louise "Weezy" Jefferson, a character portrayed by Isabel Sanford on "The Jeffersons" (1975-1985)
  • Scrabble - brand name for a game combining anagrams and crosswords of various point values to form words on a playing board
  • Be-Dazzler - trademark stud and rhinestone setting machine that was fashionable in the 80's
  • Panache - enthusiasm or energy, especially as manifested in artistic production
  • 14th Street - a New York City street
  • Keebler - the second largest cookie and cracker maufacturer in the United States
  • Keebler Elf - Keebler's elfin trademark character
  • Crazy Eddie - the crazy, maniacal, loud-mouthed spokesman for electronics chain Crazy Eddie's
  • Hampty Hamps - the Hamptons, a posh resort community located on Eastern Long Island in New York state
  • Chance Gardner - Peter Sellers character (really named Chauncey Gardiner) from the 1979 film Being There
  • Dolly Parton (1946- ) - famous country singer, songwriter, and actress; she is also referenced in "Funky Donkey"

Sample & Reference Breakdown

  • "I'm a super-duper MC party pooper" - a lyric borrowed from Biz Markie's song "Let Go My Eggo" from his album I Need A Haircut (1991)
  • "Make you do like Fred Sanford with 'I'm comin' Weezy!'" - In unpleasant situations on the television show "Sanford & Son," junk dealer Fred Sanford would grab his chest and feign a heart attack, look upwards and proclaim, "I'm comin' Elizabeth!" (his deceased wife). "Weezy" was the nickname used by George Jefferson for his wife Louise (portrayed by Isabel Sanford) on the television series "The Jeffersons" (1975-1985)
  • "On the court, I go by the name Praying Mantis" - lyrics are similar to those in "Get It Together" by Beastie Boys ("Praying Mantis on the court and I can't be beat")
  • "I'm in the lab all day, I Scrabble all night" - Adam Horovitz is an avid Scrabble player; he averages 350 points a game
  • "Putting MC's out of business like they're Crazy Eddie" - Crazy Eddie was a loud and obnoxious salesman who pitched outrageous sales deals with "Lowest prices anywhere truly INSANE!!"
  • "Working 9 to 5 Dolly Parton" - In in the early 1980's, country superstar Dolly Parton made her movie debut in the film 9 to 5 and also had a hit song of the same title
  • "Freak out with the genie!" - a sample from "Open Sesame" by Kool & the Gang
  • "Everybody get down!" - a sample from "Open Sesame" by Kool & the Gang
  • "I'm gonna tell on you!" - spoken by Adam Yauch's daughter, Losel

Commentary:

Beastie Boys

"I do need to make an important announcement to all the people out there: 'Shazam!' is top dog on goofy island. Indisputibly." - Beastie Boys, using their "Three Islands" approach in describing the songs on their new album

I'd like a lettuce, tomato and Muenster on rye/All this cheese is gonna make me cry/ Gorgonzola, provolone/Don't even get me started on this microphone.
"[Food is] a big theme for us. To be honest, at the studio, instead of working, we spend a lot of time ordering lunch. The last album was so political and even still, it had a lot of references to cheese and sandwiches. A lot of lunch. How are you going to talk politics without lunch?" - Michael Diamond, October 2004

"Couplets [are] cool! I'm impressed with one of Adam's rhymes: 'I sneak a/Chicken tikka'"; - Michael Diamond, October 2004

Press

"Mix Master Mike's scratching highlights [Shazam!]" - Jonathan Cohen, Billboard, April 2004

"[Shazam! isn't a] bad track. [It's] tight, intricate and listenable, but not the compelling music of the great Beastie Boys albums that demanded repeat listening." - Chloe Sasson, Sydney Morning Herald, June 23, 2004

 

Released Versions:

Shazam (DJBC Remix)
Shazam!
Shazam! (Acapella)
Shazam! (Instrumental)

Live:

Performed in 2 known Concerts.

First known Performance:
17-Sep-2004 : Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA, United States

Last known Performance:
11-Nov-2004 : NBC Studios, New York, NY, United States

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