It's weird to think about now, but the Beastie Boys' universally beloved album Paul's Boutique was not a success in its time. In fact, it nearly derailed the band's career. In a new documentary celebrating the 25th anniversary of Ill Communication, the group shared what it was like to climb back from the album that many of today's listeners consider their most essential work.
Still Ill—a new documentary short from Amazon Music—focuses on the era in between Boutique and their world-conquering return on Communication, behind the hit "Sabotage."
"And we were making all this music and you think it's great. Paul's Boutique comes out. We're really excited about it. Some critics maybe are excited about it," explained Mike D. "But it turns out people are actually not that excited about it. Bricks.”
Adam Horovitz agreed, noting that the sales numbers were more than a little dissappointing.
“Nobody bought it. We went to the record label and the president was like, "Next time. I don't know what to tell you," he said.
Michael Diamond admitted that the poor sales for an album as tirelessly worked and reworked as Paul's Boutique gave the band a bit of a crisis of confidence. They ultimately recovered with yet-another classic in Communication.
"It was just one of those weird moments that you have as a band where you're just like, you literally don't know if anybody cares about you anymore," he said.
Still Ill is available to stream now via Amazon Music. Give it a watch here.