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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

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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