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Tougher Than Leather

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Run-D.M.C. 9/6/2005

Review

At the end of 1986, Raising Hell was rap's best-selling album up to that point, though it would soon be outsold by the Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill. Profile Records hoped that Run-D.M.C.'s fourth album, Tougher Than Leather, would exceed the Beastie Boys' quintuple-platinum status, but unfortunately, the group's popularity had decreased by 1988. One of Run-D.M.C.'s strong points -- its love of rock & roll -- was also its undoing in hip-hop circles. Any type of crossover success tends to be viewed suspiciously in the hood, and hardcore hip-hoppers weren't overly receptive to "Miss Elaine," "Papa Crazy," "Mary, Mary," and other rap-rock delights found on the album. Thanks largely to rock fans, this album did go platinum for sales exceeding one million copies -- which ironically, Profile considered a disappointment. But the fact is that while Tougher Than Leather isn't quite as strong as Run-D.M.C.'s first three albums, it was one of 1988's best rap releases. [Arista/Legacy reissued Tougher Than Leather as a deluxe edition in 2005, containing four bonus tracks -- an instrumental of "Beats to the Rhyme," a demo called "Crack," their holiday standard "Christmas in Hollis," and a radio ad promoting their April 1987 interview in Penthouse magazine -- and liner notes by Chuck D.] ~ Alex Henderson
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Run's House Run-D.M.C. 3:46
  3. 2 Mary, Mary Run-D.M.C. 3:14
  4. 3 They Call Us Run-DMC Run-D.M.C. 2:56
  5. 4 Beats to the Rhyme Run-D.M.C. 2:41
  6. 5 Radio Station Run-D.M.C. 2:48
  7. 6 Papa Crazy Run-D.M.C. 4:17
  8. 7 Tougher Than Leather Run-D.M.C. 4:22
  9. 8 I'm Not Going Out Like That Run-D.M.C. 4:55
  10. 9 How'd Ya Do It Dee Run-D.M.C. 3:23
  11. 10 Miss Elaine Run-D.M.C. 3:5
  12. 11 Soul to Rock and Roll Run-D.M.C. 2:16
  13. 12 Ragtime Run-D.M.C. 2:41
  14. 13 Beats to the Rhyme [Instrumental] Run-D.M.C. 2:41
  15. 14 Crack [Demo] Run-D.M.C. 1:41
  16. 15 Christmas in Hollis Run-D.M.C. 2:56
  17. 16 Penthouse Ad Run-D.M.C. 0:58

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