Release date: 15th November 1986
Label: Def Jam
Producers: Rick Rubin, The Beastie Boys
Profile (courtesy of Wikipedia):
“Licensed to Ill is the debut studio album by the American hip hop group Beastie Boys. It was released on November 15, 1986 by Def Jam and Columbia Records. It was the first rap LP to top the Billboard album chart. It is also one of Columbia Records’ fastest-selling debut records to date and eventually sold over ten million copies in the United States.
The full album cover, front to back, features a Boeing 727 — with “Beastie Boys” emblazoned on the tail — crashing head-on into the side of a mountain, appearing as an extinguished joint. The tail of the plane has the Def Jam logo and the tail number “3MTA3” which spells “EATME” when viewed in a mirror.The livery of the plane is based on that of American Airlines.
The group originally wanted to title the album Don’t Be a Faggot, but Columbia Records refused to release the album under this title – arguing that it was homophobic – and pressured Russell Simmons, the Beastie Boys’ manager and head of Def Jam Recordings at the time, into forcing them to choose another name.Adam Horovitz has since apologized for the album’s earlier title. The band then settled with Licensed to Ill, which is a pun on James Bond’s Licence to Kill.
Kerry King of Slayer made an appearance on the album playing lead guitar on “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” and appeared in the music video which is a parody of glam metal. The name of the song itself is a spoof on Motörhead’s No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith album. King’s appearance on the track came about because Rick Rubin was producing both bands simultaneously (Slayer’s Reign in Blood was originally released a month earlier on Def Jam).
CBS/Fox Video released a video album of the five Licensed to Ill videos, plus “She’s on It” in 1987 to capitalize on the album’s success. A laserdisc version was also released in Japan. All versions of the CBS/Fox release are currently out of print because the rights to the album passed from Columbia and Sony Music to Universal Music Group, and also because of the acrimonious nature of the band’s departure from Def Jam Records. Until the 2005 release of the CD/DVD Solid Gold Hits, none of the Def Jam-era videos had been included on any subsequent Beastie Boys video compilations. The Solid Gold Hits DVD includes the videos for “Fight for Your Right” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”, as well as a live version of “Brass Monkey” from a 2004 concert.”