"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)
" (sometimes called "Fight For Your Right") was the first single released from the Beastie Boys
' breakthrough album, Licensed to Ill
). One of their best-known songs, it reached #7 on the Billboard 100
, and was later named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll
. The Beastie Boys also included the track on their hits album, The Sounds of Science
, in 1999
Ironically, the song was intended as a parody of party and attitude songs, such as "Smokin' In the Boys Room
" and "I Wanna Rock
." But the irony was lost on most listeners. Mike D
commented that, "The only thing that upsets me is that we might have reinforced certain values of some people in our audience when our own values were actually totally different. There were tons of guys singing along to 'Fight for Your Right' who were oblivious to the fact it was a total goof on them.
The video seems to have been a parody of Quiet Riot's video for "Party All Night" (another of the party songs which the song mocks). Both videos feature overtly geeky characters whose house is then overrun by a multitude of partying people including the respective band.
Despite probably being the group's most famous song, the Beastie Boys have expressed distaste for it. In The Sounds of Science liner notes, MCA jokingly says the song "sucks," though they didn't feel the album would be complete without it. The group hasn't performed the song live since 1987.
Kerry King of Slayer played the guitar on this track.
Pop culture references
- The popular Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation, which is known for naming each episode after an 80s hit song, named an episode after this song.
- Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine covered this in a lounge music style on his 2000 album Lounge Against the Machine and his 2006 album The Sunny Side of the Moon: The Best of Richard Cheese.
- The song was performed by former Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in his reality TV show, Tommy Lee Goes to College.
- The closing track of Public Enemy's album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back is titled "Party For Your Right To Fight" in reference to this song; Atmosphere later included a track whose titled played on both songs, "Party for the Fight to Write", on their Lucy Ford album.
- French electronic music duo Daft Punk's single "Revolution 909" has the words “Fight for Your Right to Party” at the bottom of the back of its cover.
- This song was the first song played on WCBS-FM after its switch to the Jack format.
- The 1990 film Look Who's Talking Too features John Travolta and Kirstie Alley singing a modified version of the song's chorus to baby Mikey while trying to get him to use the bathroom: "You gotta fight...for your right...to potty!"
- Sammy Hagar now plays this song as a medley to close his shows—singing the first verse of "Summertime Blues", by Eddie Cochran, and then inviting a guest on stage the sing the rest of the song.
- Pennywise has covered the song live in concert.
- The album's producer, and band's DJ, Rick Rubin appears in the video wearing the T-shirt of thrash metal band Slayer t-shirt who were another band on his label. Rubin can also be seen wearing AC/DC and Beastie Boys shirts. A very young LL Cool J appears in the video.
- The song is featured in an episode "Home Away from Homer" of The Simpsons (Season 16).
- On the Family Guy episode "Let's Go to the Hop", Peter comments "I gotta fight for my right to party."
- Green Day performed a medley of the choruses of "Fight for Your Right" and "We're Not Gonna Take It" during a jam at the end of their Woodstock 94 performance.
- Stand Up Comedian Roy Chubby Brown has used the song as his intro music on many occasions.
- German thrash metal band Holy Moses has covered the song.
- Referenced in Peep Show Series 4 when Mark (David Mitchell) says "As you're always saying, The Beastie Boys fought, and possibly died for my right to party."
- Pop/rock band Mcfly covered the song on their 2006 motion in the ocean tour.
- In Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, in the episode "Partying Is Such Sweet Soiree", Bloo states, "Do I have to fight, for my right to party?" to which Mac responds, "How 'bout fighting for your right not to get kicked out of the house!"
- In the viral marketing campaign for Christopher Nolan's second Batman film The Dark Knight, one of the headings in a Gotham City newspaper desecrated by The Joker reads "Mobsters fight for their right to party!
- It was also featured as a "Video That Rocked The World" on Fuse TV.
- The song was covered by Cincinnati, Ohio metalcore band Beneath the Sky.
In an episode of the late-eightie sitcom Who's the Boss?, Alyssa Milano's character, Samantha, attends to a Beastie Boys show with her dad Tony. She shows her excitement by singing (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!).