|B-side "Paul Revere"|
Recorded Spring 1986
|Format 7", 12"|
Genre Rap rock hard rock
|Released 1986 (US, UK, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Philippines New Zealand, Argentina) 1987 (Europe, Japan)|
"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)" (sometimes shortened to "Fight for Your Right") is a song by American group the Beastie Boys, released as the fourth single released from their debut album Licensed to Ill (1986). One of their best-known songs, it reached no. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the week of March 7, 1987, and was later named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The song was also included on their compilation albums The Sounds of Science in 1999 and Solid Gold Hits in 2005.
The song, written by Adam Yauch and band friend Tom "Tommy Triphammer" Cushman (who appears in the video), was intended as an ironic parody of "party" and "attitude"-themed songs, such as "Smokin' in the Boys Room" and "I Wanna Rock". However, the irony was lost on most listeners. Mike D commented that, "The only thing that upsets me is that we might have reinforced certain values of some people in our audience when our own values were actually totally different. There were tons of guys singing along to "Fight for Your Right" who were oblivious to the fact it was a total goof on them."
The music video for "Fight For Your Right" begins as a mother and father tell their two sons to stay out of trouble while they're away. When they leave, the two boys decide to have a party, hoping "no bad people show up"; this prompts the arrival of Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA at the party. The trio start all kinds of trouble within the house, such as chasing and kissing girls, starting fires, bringing more troublesome people into the house, spiking the punch, smashing things, and starting a massive pie fight. As the pie fight reaches its peak, Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA run away, the party having gotten too out of hand even for them. As the video ends, the remaining partygoers shout along to the final chorus of "party!" before hitting the returning mother in the face with a pie.
Directed by Ric Menello and Adam Dubin, there are numerous cameos in this video, including an unknown at the time Tabitha Soren, Def Jam label mate LL Cool J, members of the punk rock band Murphy's Law, as well as the Beastie Boys' producer, Rick Rubin, who was shown wearing an AC/DC & Slayer shirt, the latter of whom were also signed to Def Jam at the time.
Soren, whose hair was dyed blonde for the shoot, got her chance to be in the video because she was a friend of Rubin's and attended nearby New York University. "I worked hard at not getting any pie goo on me", she recalls, because the whipped cream used had been scoured from supermarket trash cans since there was no money in the budget for it. As a result, it was rancid and had a foul odor. "The smell in that room, when everyone was done throwing pies, was like rotten eggs. You wanted to throw up."
Fight for Your Right Revisited
In 2011, Adam Yauch directed and wrote a surreal comedic short film entitled Fight for Your Right Revisited to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original video's release. The short film serves as a video for the single "Make Some Noise" from Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. Most of the non-sequitur dialogue between characters were a result of improvisation by the cast.
'Revisited' acts as a sequel to the events that took place in the original music video and features Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA (played by Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood, and Danny McBride, respectively) as they get into more drunken antics, before being challenged to a dance battle by the future Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA (John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell, and Jack Black, respectively), coming out of a DeLorean.
The short also features a wide number of cameo appearances, including Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon, Steve Buscemi, Alicia Silverstone, Laura Dern, Shannyn Sossamon, Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson, Rashida Jones, Jason Schwartzman, Rainn Wilson, Amy Poehler, Mary Steenburgen, Will Arnett, Adam Scott, Chloë Sevigny, Maya Rudolph, David Cross, Orlando Bloom, Martin Starr, and the actual Mike D, Ad-Rock & MCA. Many of the listed appearances only appear for a few seconds.
Although the song itself is not performed, it can be heard at the beginning of the short.
Singer/songwriter Cara Quici sampled the song and added new lyrics for her 2013 song "Fight" personally approved by Rick Rubin and licensed by Sony ATV and Universal Music Group. The "Fight" video by Cara Quici features a cameo by Dennis Rodman.
(*) indicates the list is unordered.
On August 2, 2009, Coldplay performed an acoustic piano-based version of this song during their concert on the final night of the All Points West concert series as a tribute to the Beastie Boys, who were unable to perform on opening night following Adam Yauch's announcement that he had cancer. The band performed this version again on May 4, 2012, at their concert at the Hollywood Bowl as a tribute to Yauch, who had died earlier that day.