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Baker's Dozen

Taking Out The Thrash: Scott Ian Of Anthrax's Top Albums From 1986
JR Moores , March 8th, 2016 10:22

To mark 30 years since 1986, a pivotal moment for metal, Anthrax main man Scott Ian talks JR Moores through his 13 top albums from that year, moving from thrash classics through to landmark hip-hop and pop releases


Beastie Boys – Licensed To Ill
I can't claim I was into them when they were still playing punk shows. I started going to punk shows in '83-ish and I was way more into hardcore anyway. I had heard of the Beastie Boys but I had never seen them until they changed and became a rap group. I got into them before this album on a couple of their 12" singles like 'She's On It' but Licensed To Ill really brought it home for me. It was the perfect crossover between rap and rock and metal. It was all in there, between the three dudes in the band and Rick Rubin. They put it all on there. Rick sampling all the guitars and the stuff he was doing on this record. It was so right up my alley. It was almost like someone had asked, "What's the perfect record for Scott Ian?" This one had all of it. Perfect for me. I still love it to this day. An amazing record.

[Anthrax's] 'I'm The Man' was written basically as an homage: "Here's the type of rap music we're listening to. We're gonna do our best to basically write a song that represents what we're into." To my mind, as a fan and a critic, it fails miserably because it's so infantile compared to Licensed To Ill or Raising Hell. But at the same time, the spirit and the energy is there. We're not rappers; we just did the best we could. We wrote the most ridiculous inside-joke lyrics we could write about ourselves and totally took the piss out of ourselves and put it to the Jewish folk song 'Hava Nagila'. Completely ridiculous. Literally working on it and saying, "No, those lyrics aren't stupid enough. Make them stupider."

That was the thought process behind that song and originally the Beastie Boys were going to be on it. We had reached out to them and asked those guys, "We're writing this song, it's going to be rap-metal-whatever and would you guys like to be on it?" They were like, "Hell, yeah. Where and when? We'll totally do it." Then we finished recording it and we were just so happy with it. We didn't really know where there would even be room to have them on it. In retrospect, I kinda wish they would've been on it because it would've been amazing to document that. At that time period, we would've had the Beastie Boys right when they broke massive worldwide, we would've had them on our song too, but those aren't the paths we took.