5 May 2012

Beastie Boys - Licensed To Ill artwork by Steve Byram

Link: Beastie Boys
Link: Steve Byram

Steve Byram's customised 747 illustration for the breakthrough 1986 album by the Beastie Boys seemingly captured a sense of ambition. However the punchline - via the continuation of the image on the album's reverse - humorously typified the kind of chaos and irreverence that was quickly associated with the trio.

As the tributes to Adam 'MCA' Yauch demonstrate, the Beastie Boys clearly outgrew the associations with juvenile acts of destruction while also creating an impressive and varied body of work. Still, this album - and its sleeve - serve as a reminder of a pivotal point in music history.

*** Update ***

From Manuel Sepulveda a.k.a. Optigram:

"Just thought I'd let you know that the idea for the cover was by Rick Rubin and he asked Steve Byram (art director at CBS) to commission it. The artwork is actually by illustrator David Gamboli, aka World B Omes. The Beastie's logo was designed by Stacey Drummond."


  1. Indeed. I forgot just how good this cover art was. They've always had great album art, come to think of it.

  2. This is such a great sleeve!

    We spoke to Steve about publishing it as a print a while ago but haven't been able to get hold of David. If anyone knows him point him our way? David - if you read this please, please get in touch to talk.

    My email is emily [at] hypergallery [dot] com.