We Only Play Rock Music Here: Beastie Boys’ “Licensed to Ill” Turns 30

PRNewsFoto/UMeBeastie Boys' landmark debut album Licensed to Ill was released November 15, 1986 -- 30 years ago today. The album became the first rap record to top the Billboard 200, and has since been certified diamond for 10 million sales.

Prior to recording Licensed to Ill, Beastie Boys were a hardcore punk band. They then met a young Rick Rubin, who encouraged the band to explore hip-hop sounds. The result was a unique blend of punk and rap, helping bring hip-hop to the mainstream and proving that the two genres could exist alongside each other.

Many people's first taste of the Beasties was in 1985, when they opened for none other than Madonna during the pop star's first headlining tour. They then toured in 1986 supporting Run-D.M.C. before launching their first headlining outing in 1987.

Starting off with the opening track "Rhymin & Stealin'," Beastie Boys set the tone for Licensed to Ill with a thumping hip-hop track that sampled Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks," Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf" and The Clash's "I Fought the Law." The album also includes samples of Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean," AC/DC's "Flick of the Switch" and War's "Low Rider."

Licensed to Ill boasts some of the Beasties' biggest hits, including the youth anthem "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)," which peaked in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. The album also features the tracks "Brass Monkey," "No Sleep till Brooklyn" and "Paul Revere."

Following Licensed to Ill, Beastie Boys released seven more albums, the last of which being 2011's Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. After co-founder Adam "MCA" Yauch died from cancer in 2012, surviving members Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz and Michael "Mike D" Diamond announced that they would not continue to make music as the Beastie Boys.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.