Rock Hard

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"Rock Hard"
Single by Beastie Boys
GenreRap rock
LabelDef Jam
Songwriter(s)Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, Adam Yauch, Rick Rubin, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Brian Johnson
Producer(s)Rick Rubin
Beastie Boys singles chronology
"Cooky Puss"
"Rock Hard"
"She's on It"
Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideB+[2]

"Rock Hard" is a single by the Beastie Boys, released by Def Jam Records on 12" in 1984. The track contains samples from the AC/DC song "Back in Black", which was used without obtaining legal permission, causing the record to be withdrawn.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."[3]

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.

Def Jam included the song on their 1987 Kick It! The Def Jam Sampler LP, released in Europe (Cat. No. KIKIT1).


John Leland of Spin noted the song's, "parodic extremes. I mean, no one has a beat this big and this wet. While this platter delivers ample boasts for the buck, the Beasties never take themselves or their genre too seriously."[4]

Track listing[edit]

Side A
1."Rock Hard"4:55
2."Party's Gettin' Rough"5:58
Side B
1."Beastie Groove"3:37
2."Beastie Groove" (instrumental)3:37


  1. ^ "Rock Hard - Beastie Boys" at AllMusic. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "B". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-73015-X. Retrieved August 16, 2020 – via
  3. ^ "AC/DC nix Beastie Boys sample" (LexisNexis Academic Search). New Musical Express. November 11, 1999. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
  4. ^ John Leland (June 1985). "Singles". Spin. No. 2. p. 73.