20 years of Paul’s Boutique

It’s the 20th Anniversary of Paul’s Boutique and I’ve been musing about the album and its influence on pop culture and bike culture.

Where were you when it came out? Did you hate it at first or have been coveting it since it hit the record shops?

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@aerocha (twitter) says:

I was just out of high school, attending a local junior college, working at a Costco in Martinez, when this gem hit. I’ll admit to having two 10’s and a 15 inch woofer in a box the consumed the entire hatchback area of my VW Sirocco (looked like this one, but red: just for such music.

I was amazed, at the time, by how different it was from their previous offering, Licensed To Ill. Musical genius, one of the greatest recordings of my/our generation!! I listened to it twice daily, at least.

Cause I’m a High Plains Drifter.

I was in high school when it first hit and bought it a couple of days after it came out. I remember listeneing to it straight through on my Walkman while wandering around the neighborhood. Somehow even in my youth I knew that it was a love it or hate it experience. I had a feeling that most would not like since it was such a departure from their previous work that gained them their fan base. I also knew that it was a work of pure genius and way ahead of its time.
I have owned this album a number of times, similar to my copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I have such a desire to turn people on to this that I give it out to anyone that has not realized the genius, often not getting the copy back and having to get yet another one.

I remember the first nice car I got and calling up Byron and us taking a long ride all over town jamming to this. It was the only CD in the car at the time and there was no issue with that, never wanting any variety or wishing we could change to something different. We would also use that album and Intergalactic to juiced up before cross races. The beats, the samples, the depth and the irreverance will never be matched.

I can remember a clear divide among those of us listening back when it came out.  A lot of people were hoping for “License to Ill 2” and couldn’t get their heads ‘round Paul’s Boutique at all.

Some of them got it when “Check Your Head” came out, some drifted away completely.

Thinking that all that happened twenty years ago makes me feel *old*.

For some reason I have two copies on the rack.  One is a simple gatefold, pressed on cheap, light vinyl.  The other is a gorgeous four fold sleeve with two discs pressed out of heavy vinyl that plays much nicer.  I’ve no idea why I own two.

I wasn’t that into it when it came out at all, but rediscovered it with Marcus as we rode to those races and later recognized how good it was.

It wasn’t the party anthem that Licensed to Ill was (having been in a frat house at the time, I know).  It took a while for me to appreciate what they did on this album.  I was amazed at the depth and the sampling.  It’s still their best album in my opinion.

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