Puneet Varma (Editor)

Rock Hard

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Released  1984
Genre  Rap rock
Label  Def Jam
Recorded  1984
Length  4:55
Writer(s)  Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, Adam Yauch, Rick Rubin

"Rock Hard" is a single by the Beastie Boys, released by Def Jam Records on 12" in 1984. The song, and the accompanying songs on the 12", feature the band's first major label rap effort.

The track contains samples from the AC/DC song "Back in Black", which was used without obtaining legal permission - thereby causing the record to be promptly withdrawn. Later, when the group planned to include the out-of-print song on their 1999 compilation, Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science, AC/DC refused to allow the sample to be used. Mike D spoke to AC/DC's Malcolm Young personally on the phone when their lawyers refused to clear the sample, and later said that "AC/DC could not get with the sample concept. They were just like, 'Nothing against you guys, but we just don't endorse sampling.'" Ad-Rock then added "So we told them that we don't endorse people playing guitars."

The cover design is also famous for now being the official Def Jam records logo for vinyl releases; to this day, vinyl singles released by Def Jam have this design.

Long removed from print, it was considered a rare collector's item until Def Jam reissued the single in Europe in 2007.

Track listing

Sample credits
  • "Rock Hard" contains samples of "Back in Black" by AC/DC
  • "Beastie Groove" contains a sample of "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin
  • References

    Rock Hard Wikipedia


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