Products

Recent posts

See all entries

Search the magazine

Subscribe to our feed

Groove Attack magazine (RSS)
Wednesday, Apr 12 2017 | 06:18
Image: 1609701 Too many people sleep on Tougher Than Leather, Run-DMC’s fourth album. But hear us out as we plead the case for this amazing LP.
By 1988 there was a lot more competition in the rap game – Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, Eric B. & Rakim, Ice-T and many
more had given Hollis, Queens’ prodigal sons lots of competition. But Joe, Darryl and Jay were still at the top of their game, and hip-hop
fans should never let this classic – chiefly produced by their Queens neighbor, DJ and multi-instrumentalist Davy D[MX] – get lost in their
crates.
For starters, the album’s first single, “Run’s House” b/w “Beats To The Rhyme” is arguably the most powerful one-two punch of the trio’s
career, showing contenders to the rap throne that they could still destroy a beat, tag-teaming with power at any speed. Not to be lost in
the shuffle, fans were also reminded on both sides that Jam-Master Jay remained one of the world’s best DJs, flexing the pinnacle of what
would be called “turntablism” a decade later. Both songs show a musical telepathy between all three that has rarely been equaled.
The second single, “Mary, Mary,” driven by an infectious Monkees sample, took a different approach, shrewdly ensuring that pop fans
who jumped on the Raising Hell bandwagon had something to chew on. But, like “Walk This Way,” the song wasn’t just bubblegum –
there was an edge to it, and the lyrical gymnastics were very real. It wasn’t selling out, it was allowing fans to buy in. “Papa Crazy,” driven
in concept and by a sample from the Temptations’ “Papa Was A Rolling Stone,” followed a similar pop-leaning path.
Overall, the lyrical content on the album was a step up from the group’s first three LPs. It’s easy to infer, looking back, that they were
feeling the heat from their younger competitors in the rap game. The genre was changing fast, and they were up to the challenge. On cuts
like “Radio Station” they bring substance to the grooves, by attacking Black Radio for its continual denigration of rap. “Tougher Than
Leather” reminds the world that they were still the Kings of Rock, with hard guitars to drive the point home. And “They Call Us Run-DMC”
and “Soul To Rock And Roll” both bring things back to their early days, with sure-fire park jam rhymes and killer cuts.
Tougher Than Leather, which went platinum up against a lot of competition, perfectly bookends the ‘80s output of one of the decade’s
most important groups. It encompasses the full range of the trio’s capabilities, and reminds us that Run-DMC should never be forgotten
as both pioneers and party-rockers. And so, we say, long live Joe, Darryl and Jay!

A1. Run's House
A2. Mary, Mary
A3. They Call Us Run DMC
A4. Beats To The Rhyme
A5. Radio Station
A6. Papa Crazy
B1. Tougher Than Leather
B2. I'm Not Going Out Like That
B3. How'd Ya Do It Dee
B4. Miss Elaine
B5. Soul To Rock And Roll
B6. Ragtime Available from 05.05.2017
Sitelogo_small
Distribution
B2B
Need assistance?

+49 (0) 221 99075 0 phone
+49 (0) 221 99075 990 fax
Contact form

Office hours
Mon–Thu 10h–18h GMT+1
Fri 10h–17h GMT+1

Copyright © 2017 Groove Attack GmbH, Mathias-Brüggen-Str. 85, D-50829 Cologne, Germany
Imprint / Impressum / Disclaimer · Privacy Policy / Datenschutzerklärung