This is Steve Ett, the missing link between The Beastie Boys and Steely Dan. After a decade working with Steely Dan and Rickie Lee Jones, he was hired by Rick to engineer 'License To Ill'. The album took a year of 3am finishes to make, which was unheard of for a hip hop record in 1986. Why so long? It was polished. Ett and Rick recorded 'It's the New Style' by recording 24 tracks of percussion loops from drum machines, then dropping tracks in and out, playing the fader's mute buttons like an instrument (Ett is also a drummer). But the most torturous track was 'Fight For Your Right':
The original track had a tape-loop drum track, which was soon replaced by a Oberheim DMX being played by hand by Steve Ett.
Rick played guitar himself (the guy from Slayer played on the album, but not this single). The Beasties rapped over the track, left Chung King studios and went home.
Rick was totally into the track. He'd been waiting for the Beasties to write him a hit for two years and knew this was it. Trying to create the ultimate 80s rock parody, he stripped off the drum machine and put huge rock drums on, and replayed the guitar with a cheesier sound.
The Beasties hated the track when someone bought a tape of the finished mix to their tour bus. But Rick knew it would work, and 'License to Ill' went 9 times platinum.
The original working title for 'License to Ill'? "Don't Be A Faggot"
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