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Adam Yauch's Best Musical Moments

Listen to our playlist of the finest Beastie Boys tracks featuring MCA

Adam Yauch performs at the Live Earth concert in London.
Evan Agostini/Getty Images for Virgin Mobile USA
May 4, 2012 3:35 PM ET

For more than 25 years – from the adolescent brilliance of 1986’s Licensed to Ill to last year’s defiantly old-school Hot Sauce Committee Part Two – Adam "MCA" Yauch was the gruff barker in the middle of Beastie Boys' signature give-and-go attack. Yauch, who died this morning at age 47, brought toughness and humanity to every Beasties' album, not to mention killer wit. ("Which came first, the chicken or the egg?/I egged the chicken, and then I ate his leg," he rhymed on 1989's "Egg Man.") Here are 16 of Yauch's finest recorded moments on Spotify.

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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