Upon initial release, Paul's Boutique was alienated commercially for its experimental and dense sampling and lyricism, in contrast to the Beastie Boys' previous album, Licensed to Ill. Music critic David Handelman called the record a "rap opera." While major music publications such as Rolling Stone favored the album's unique name-dropping lyrics and the album peaked at #14 on the Pop Albums chart, Paul's Boutique did not equal its predecessor's commercial success with hip hop fans, as it only peaked at #24 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album received a gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America on September 22 of its release year. Paul's Boutique would go on to sell over 2 million copies by 1999. In retrospect, the album has also gone on to receive much critical acclaim and has been recognized as a landmark album in hip-hop. In a review of the album for Allmusic, contributor Stephen Thomas Erlewine summed the initial reaction to Paul's Boutique and praised the density that the album contains:
Musically, few hip-hop records have ever been so rich; it's not just the recontextulations of familiar music via samples, it's the flow of each song and the album as a whole, culminating in the widescreen suite that closes the record. Lyrically, the Beasties have never been better — not just because their jokes are razor-sharp, but because they construct full-bodied narratives and evocative portraits of characters and places. Few pop records offer this much to savor, and if Paul's Boutique only made a modest impact upon its initial release, over time its influence could be heard through pop and rap, yet no matter how its influence was felt, it stands alone as a record of stunning vision, maturity, and accomplishment.
quote:no, it wasn´t.
Fables was well-received
their best seller to that date
Red Hot Chili Peppers - One Hot Minute (with Dave Navarro)