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The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

A great deal of the groundwork for the mid- to late-'90s explosion of ska and ska-metal was laid by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who were one of the first bands to cross high-energy ska with hardcore punk and heavy metal and who also helped shift its tone toward testosterone-filled party music. The Bosstones built up a devoted cult following throughout their career, but their level of commercial success never quite matched that of more pop-oriented third wave ska bands, like No Doubt and Sublime, who followed in their wake; however, the band did achieve a long-overdue breakthrough in 1997 with the modern rock radio smash "The Impression That I Get."

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones formed in 1985 in Boston, featuring Tim Bridewell, Dicky Barrett (vocals), Nate Albert (guitar), Joe Gittleman (bass), Josh Dalsimer (drums), and Tim "Johnny Vegas" Burton (saxophone), plus dancer Ben Carr. While all the members shared a love of ska, their tastes also ran elsewhere; Barrett, in particular, was involved in the local straight-edge hardcore scene and played with a band called Impact Unit. Originally calling themselves simply the Bosstones, the group appended "Mighty Mighty" to their name after discovering a Boston-area a cappella group with an identical moniker. The group appeared on a ska compilation, but then disbanded temporarily to allow Albert to finish high school. In 1989, the Bosstones re-formed and recorded their debut album, Devils Night Out, which was released in 1990 on Taang! Records. The follow-up, 1992's More Noise and Other Disturbances, saw several personnel shifts; Bridewell and Dalsimer departed, the latter to attend college, and the two were replaced by drummer Joe Sirois, saxophonist Kevin Lenear, and trombonist Dennis Brockenborough, a lineup that lasted through much of the band's career. 1992 also saw the release of the Where'd You Go EP, which contained several hard rock covers.

In 1993, the Bosstones signed a major-label deal with Mercury and released Don't Know How to Party; in spite of their fondness for plaid, a holdover from their early pajama-clad gigs, the group also landed a television commercial for a jean company. 1994 saw the band paying homage to their hardcore roots with a mini-album of mostly covers, Ska-Core, the Devil and More, as well as the full-length Question the Answers, one of their finest efforts. A year later, the Bosstones appeared in the film Clueless, performing "Where'd You Go" and "Someday I Suppose," two of their most popular numbers; they also landed a main-stage slot on that summer's Lollapalooza tour.

Even if their music often strays far afield from classic 2 Tone ska revival (especially their earlier material), the Bosstones, unlike many of their contemporaries, have retained some of that movement's political consciousness. In 1996, the band helped organize the Safe and Sound benefit album in response to Boston-area family planning clinic slayings, and also perform frequently at benefit shows for battered women's groups; most of their concerts also feature information booths from the Anti-Racist Action Group. In 1997, the breakthrough of ska-pop bands like No Doubt and Sublime paved the way for the accessible, 2 Tone-inspired Let's Face It to become the band's biggest-selling album yet; it was eventually certified platinum, buoyed by the success of the anthemic "The Impression That I Get," which fell just short of topping the modern rock charts that summer. Live from the Middle East followed in 1998 as a stopgap release, and the band experienced its first personnel shifts in some time: saxophonist Lenear was the first to leave, replaced by Roman "The Showman" Fleysher, and guitarist Albert departed again, partly to care for an ailing family member and partly to finish his education at Brown University (Kevin Stevenson of the Shods had already served as his temporary touring substitute in 1997). Albert's replacement, Lawrence Katz, signed on after the band completed the follow-up to Let's Face It; titled Pay Attention, the record was released in the spring of 2000 and produced another modern rock radio hit in "So Sad to Say." A Jackknife to a Swan appeared two years later, as did a split with Madcap.

In 2003, with individual members already involved in other projects and essentially having toured nonstop since 1991, the band announced it was going on indefinite hiatus. During this time, Barrett was featured as the announcer on ABC's late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live. The band returned in 2007 by performing several live shows and recording three new songs for inclusion on the compilation Medium Rare. The new material marked the end of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones' hiatus, and in 2008 the band released its eighth studio album, Pin Points and Gin Joints. In 2011 the band released the studio album The Magic of Youth, featuring the single "Like a Shotgun." ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

This f**king band.

This f**king band.

Ah ha I listen to them all the time they rock.
I remember this song on THE DIGIMON SOUNDTRACK! !
The bass player signed on as a music production professor at my college just a couple years after I graduated... . damn you music gods!
bc12786
I love his raspy sound
Just wanted to let whoever wrote the bio for these guys that you skipped an album: Don't Know How to Party. 1993. Endless loop in my CD player for years.
mikew8442
Sublime is not a SKA band!
I liked them better when they were only the Mighty Bosstones. The extra Mighty was just pretentious. . .
stevepasq
That's correct, his name is Dicky.
The lead singer is a dick!
Who compared Sublime to the Bosstones. Both different. But sublime is just a band that so many wish they could be, and the bosstones were that cool group that we forgot about
Nothing comes from nothing, come on!
the worst of the 90's
The best of the 90s
mhammond27
This is the band that introduced me to mainstream ska. Love these guys. And Nikolai, the Bosstones got started in 1985, even though they didn't put out an album until 1990. Besides, Fishbone didn't garner nearly the same level of attention that the Bosstones did.
*is my bad
i love their songs especially their song the impressin that i get , man ndoes it make turn into a frill little girl would mind to know if their band vis comig near my home town in ATL
Dicky is originally from Providence rhode island, my hometown, i've seen them at least 25 times since high school
Been my favorite band since I was a kid, and they continue to never disappoint!
there not bad haven't heard much from them but will be looking up more of there songs
I feel like the bosstones are plenty better than no Doubt:/ Stupid comparison
krazycalvin
Wait... did they just compare Sublime to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones!? Come on...
if you really want the true sound of the bosstones, start from their beginning-de v i l s night out is the best album-but they are still great even after all these years
ilovejaretre d d i c k
its okay. i'm dont really love it though
tk.ordinary
these guys are pretty good, i've never really listened to this kind of music before
They were in Clueless. Clearly the epitome of 90s success!!
The bio says: A great deal of the groundwork for the mid- to late-'90s explosion of ska and ska-metal was laid by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who were one of the first bands to cross high-energy ska with hardcore punk and heavy metal... THIS IS BULLSHI**!!! FISHBONE was doing this since the 80's but, as is usually the case, they are given no credit or even f***ing mentioned in this entry. The Bosstones owe everything to FISHBONE as does any band that plays Ska-Punk-Har d - R o c k - M e t a l .
tahenson
Stef, there is no were, they are STILL awesome and thanks Pandora for playing their new stuff!
it's a shame they were so underated they were really awesome!!
Ya question the answers is in my opinion their best album... I don't think the Pandora people are very well versed in 3rd wave. There's a lot missing...
Where's Question the Answers? That album rocks.
They were Great on Taang and then came Mercury....
mark.aldstad t
More noise and other Disturbances best album!
MMB....one of the most under appreciated bands of the 1990's and beyond. Great, great band.
,,I could take 'em..
aidanolsen14
No Medium Rare...
jakaitis.dan i e l
Really Pandora! No Question the Answers? Probably the Bosstones best stuff.
vfiver
Cavan....are n ' t you listening to ska to get to this page?
mtcanneries
ska is punks red headed step child.
the person who wrote this is a retard, plus ska blows donkey balls. blows so bad, anyone who plays it gets charged with bestiality charges.
and the digimon movie
The Impression That I Get was the opening song to an episode of Cold Case (Revenge).
I think ska-core just means the bosstones will kick your a**...
"Turning on a distortion pedal and playing whole notes of un-palm-mute d power chords makes you neither metal nor hardcore. I guess it was just the only thing to call them, since you couldn't really call them ska-punk."

Oh, come on. Any one who could possibly accuse the Bosstones of "un-palm-mut e d power chords" has clearly never analyzed their music. Nate Albert, the original Bosstones guitarist, had the craziest guitar style I have ever seen. He didn't rely on simplistic metal/punk patterns;
Hey, lister02002, I wasn't saying those were the best, the guy asked for some other bands, and I told him some I like. Yeah, I guess the Murphy's aren't really ska, but in many way's, they're similar to the Bosstones. And you know why it's the 3RD WAVE?? Because it's supposed to be different from the second wave in ways. I agree with lister on his recommendati o n s though, don't get me wrong...
trayfoe
Bosstones are a great band non the less.
"with hardcore punk and heavy metal"? I've never understood people (including the band themselves) who call the Bosstones "ska-core". Turning on a distortion pedal and playing whole notes of un-palm-mute d power chords makes you neither metal nor hardcore. I guess it was just the only thing to call them, since you couldn't really call them ska-punk.
ska is great but the best two ever are streetlight manifesto and reel big fish. Another that not many people know about but are great is nofx. But i like it all so i dont need any comments about how my taste in music sucks.
lister I'm gonna assume you like the Bosstones because you're on they're section and I'm gonna remind you that the Bosstones basically founded 3rd wave but it seems you hate 3rd wave so let people love the music they love and quit being an obnoxious idiot who posts bad things about music they hate to make themselves feel superior. Personally I love ska in almost all of its incarnations . Madness is one of my favorite bands and I love Desmond Dekker but I also love Reel Big Fish and the Aquabats.
Ebon ... Are You HIGH? Talk about a sting of 3rd wave CRAP! Tell me where in the Hell does Dropkick Murphys fall into "SKA!" Op Ivy/Rancid are alright and Skankin Pickle have some novelty but if you want ska go with The Skatalites, The Aggrolites, Desdnond Dekker, The Specials, English Beat, Bad Manners, Judge Dread, The Slackers, Madness, Toots and the Maytals, The Toasters, NYC Ska-Jazz Ensamble, Bim Skala Bim. REAL Ska does not have Moshing or guitar Solos.
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