Last month's 10.0 Paul's Boutique reissue made a lot of sense considering it was the album's 20th anniversary and all. But the upcoming tricked-out revamp of Check Your Head isn't quite as traditionally timely-- it's been, er, 17 years since the Beastie Boys' return-to-instruments funk fest hit Tower Records locations across the country.
This seemingly hasty, multi-tiered release-- expanded digital editions out March 30, expanded CD and vinyl editions out April 7, super duper expanded vinyl edition out soon after that-- continues Capitol/EMI's apparent 2009 business strategy, i.e., re-release everything they ever put out in any and all ways possible (see: all those Radiohead repackagings coming your way). They already redid last year's Coldplay album. I'm shocked they haven't gotten around to a Katy Perry reboot-- what are you guys waiting for?
The death of the compact disc (and, you know, the notion of paying for music in general) is sorta depressing, but it brings us this reissue, which should at least satiate those annoying Check Your Head=Best Beasties Album die-hards for a few months. Check Your Head isn't Paul's Boutique, but it still holds up well-- a vintage "Arsenio Hall Show" performance of "So What'cha Want" currently streaming on the trio's site reiterates a fact current high schoolers may not be aware of: these dudes were mean on the microphone. Very mean. Super mean. Especially Ad-Rock.
Some details on the Check Your Head relaunch: The crown jewel of this campaign is a limited edition quadruple 180 gram LP version with a "fabric-wrapped hardcover coffee table book case," according to a press release. They're calling it the "ultra-deluxe" version and it will cost a lot of money. For those of us not profiting from AIG bonuses, there's the standard double vinyl, digital download and double CD versions, each featuring a host of B-sides. A deluxe digital edition offers videos and video commentary, too.
All of these new products put the Beastie Boys in an odd position between reliving the past and trying to stay present, especially since they're due to release their first (real) album in five years this fall. They'll attempt to strike a balance when they hit Bonnaroo June 12 and headline the Hollywood Bowl for the first time September 24.