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Lawrence Lessig & Reviews of Ray Davies and Belle & Sebastian

Greg

“Egg Man”The Beastie Boys,The Beastie Boys

Greg's Desert Island Jukebox selection this week was inspired by his discussion with Professor Lawrence Lessig. Thinking about fair use, free culture and digital copyright law got this rock critic downright nostalgic for the days when great art was made using other people's art. "Egg Man" by The Beastie Boys is a perfect example of this. The song was released on Paul's Boutique, the follow-up to the hip hop trio's successful (albeit frat boy-ish) debut Licensed to Ill. The group linked up with production team The Dust Brothers to create a sonic collage of samples, beats, loops and raps. In "Egg Man" alone, astute listeners can hear parts of the songs "Superfly" and "Bring the Noise", bits of dialogue from Taxi Driver and E.T., as well as the film scores to Jaws and Psycho. Sadly, shortly following the release of Paul's Boutique, a series of lawsuits made sampling on this level too risky and too cost-prohibitive. Listening to "Eggman" is enough to send a music fan into mourning. Thankfully the Desert Island Jukebox will keep it safe for posterity.