Beastie Boys Gain in Sales & Streams After New Documentary, Led By ‘Sabotage’

Beastie Boys
Paul Natkin/WireImage

Beastie Boys photographed on March 13, 1987 in Chicago.

“Sabotage” and “Intergalactic” reach Hot Rock Songs, while “Licensed to Ill” returns to Alternative Albums.

Streams and sales of Beastie Boys’ catalog rise following the April 24 release of new documentary Beastie Boys Story on Apple TV+, allowing multiple songs and albums to reach the Billboard charts dated May 9.

In the streaming and sales tracking week running April 24-30, on-demand U.S. streams of the rap/rock trio’s music numbered 10.6 million streams in all, a jump of 54%, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Additionally, the band moved 10,000 digital song downloads, up 145%, and 6,000 units in album sales, a boost of 161%, for 14,000 equivalent album units in all (up 97%).

Leading the way in streams: “Sabotage,” which pulled 1.1 million on-demand streams in the tracking week ending April 30, jumped 30%. The song re-enters Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart, which measures streams, airplay and sales and allows older songs to chart if in the top half in chart points and with a meaningful reason for their entry, at No. 20, Beastie Boys’ highest-charting title on the list since 2011’s “Make Some Noise” peaked at No. 12 in May 2011.

“Sabotage,” which did not reach the Billboard Hot 100 during its original run but peaked at No. 18 on the Alternative Songs airplay chart in July 1994, also grabbed 1,000 digital downloads, rising 123%.

One other Beastie Boys song reaches Hot Rock Songs: “Intergalactic,” which bows at No. 25. The track racked up 933,000 on-demand streams (up 48%) and 1,000 downloads (up 141%). “Intergalactic” was a No. 28 hit on the Hot 100 in August 1998.

Though it did not reach any of the latest Billboard charts, “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party),” Beastie Boys’ top-charting entry on the Hot 100 and its breakthrough hit (No. 7, March 1987), also found success, with 699,000 on-demand streams (up 33%) and 1,000 downloads (up 89%).

Additionally, Licensed to Ill, Beastie Boys’ debut album and a seven-week No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 1987, re-enters the Alternative Albums chart at No. 24 with 5,000 units earned.

Beastie Boys also make their maiden appearance on the Artist 100, bowing at No. 55.

Beastie Boys Story was written, directed and produced by Spike Jonze, with surviving Beastie Boys members Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) and Mike Diamond (Mike D) also contributing writing credits. Originally planned for a premiere at South By Southwest in March, a limited theatrical release was then planned for early April before both were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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