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Production Credits:

Time for Livin'

Click for Lyrics

First Appearance: Check Your Head LP, 21 April 1992
Written by: Lyrics by Sylvester Stewart, music by Front Line
Performed by: Beastie Boys
Production Notes: Engineered by Mario Caldato, produced by Beastie Boys and Mario Caldato. Recorded and mixed at G-Son Studios, Atwater Village, CA. Sequenced at PCP Labs.

Behind the Beats and Lyrics...

Sample & Reference Breakdown

  • "Soul fire! And we ain't got no water. We don't have no water" - identical to lyrics in the song "Soul Fire" by Lee Perry


Beastie Boys

"The music is by a really great but unknown, and I believe unreleased, early '80s New York hardcore band called Front Line. Yauch was particularly fond of this one song by them and had asked Miles Kelly, Front Line's guitar player, to show it to him. I kind of remember Yauch would just play it on his bass every now and then when we would be messing around. One day after playing it a bit with Yauch showing me the arrangement, we decided [to] put it on tape. As usual for the time, Mario C. was ready to roll. I think we did a few takes, and then we had it. Because it was a hardcore song, everyone turned and looked at me and said, 'Come on, hook it up like you used to.' One night, after much frustration over what to say or how to approach it, Mario handed me the Sony Karaoke mic and along with Adam and Adam, ordered me to get loose. Not really having an idea of what to say, I remember just sort of randomly grabbing the Sly and The Family Stone Fresh album and pulling out the sleeve with the lyrics for inspiration. Then I went the next step and just started to scream the lyrics from the song 'Time for Livin'' over the track. Before I knew it, everyone was moving shit out of the way in our relatively small control room, making room for me to go buck wild. After a few takes of screaming my brains out and stage diving off the control room couch, it was done." - Michael Diamond, 1999


"...punk nonsense" - Boston Herald, 1992

"...a straight up hardcore punk anthem" - Rapsheet, 1992

"...the riffs feature high-density punk-rock guitar textures" - Rolling Stone, 1992

"...ludicrous hardcore punk" - excerpted from Rhyming & Stealing: A History of the Beastie Boys by Angus Batey, 1998

"[A] mach 2 mock-core cover, probably the signature tune of the bands new incarnation" - excerpted from The Vibe Story of Hip-Hop by Alan Light, 1999


Released Versions:

Time for Livin'
Time for Livin' (Instrumental)
Time For Livin' (Live)


Performed in 207 known Concerts.

First known Performance:
17-May-1992 : Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, United States

Last known Performance:
12-Jun-2009 : Great Stage Park, Manchester, TN, United States

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