In 1994, the Beastie Boys released their fourth studio album titled III Communication. The first single released from the album was Sabotage, which was a minor hit on the Alt Rock charts, peaking at number 18. However, the music video for Sabotage was extremely popular and was played extensively on MTV. The video is a homage to, and parody of, 1970s crime drama shows such as Hawaii Five-O, The Streets of San Francisco, S.W.A.T., Baretta, and Starsky and Hutch.
At the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards, the music video for Sabotage was nominated for five awards including Video of the Year, but it lost all of them to R.E.M.’s Everybody Hurts video. During R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe’s acceptance speech for the Best Direction award, Beastie Boys member MCA bum-rushed the stage (see video below) in his “Nathaniel Hornblower” disguise, interrupting Stipe to protest the shutout of Sabotage from every category it was nominated in.
Years later at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Sabotage’s video won best video in a new category for Best Video (That Should Have Won a Moonman)!
Enjoy this look back at the Beastie Boys’ creative music video for Sabotage from 1994!