Thursday, June 26, 2014

Celebrating Dicky Barretts Birthday – Top 10 Mighty Mighty Bosstones Songs EVER

This week Dicky Barrett turned 50 years old and everyone in Boston must have been proud of the Bosstones singer. I know I read about a lot of different things that were done in celebration, including Jimmy Kimmel flying out to throw him a bash. For those of you that love ska, then you know how much the musical influence has come through each decade to bring noise and quality sounds to stereo systems the world over.

With the celebration of the singer, I have decided to throw down the 10 best Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ songs ever! That’s right, the best songs from the guys out of Boston and one of the best ska artsists of all time! Even though Dicky may never read this, congrats on 50 years! Here we go, 10 of the best from the Bosstones.

“Don’t Worry Desmond Dekker” from “Medium Rare” (2007)

Desmond Dekker is the king of ska, and this song appeared on the 2007 release of B-sides and more from the Boston ska group. This song is classic tones, and it presents a horn heavy song with melody at the height of the track. Desmond Dekker’s influence is felt here with the way the band moves through the reggae section that is truly jazz with the horn sections doing a great deal of the lifting on the track.

“Kinder Words” from “Question The Answers” (1994)

I was only 11 years old when I got my hands on the yellow artwork cassette tape that had the
Bosstones in true skacore form. I was blown away by the mix of punk and ska elements, but more so the raspy and deep vocals of Dicky on the record. This was a hard hitting album for me, and it featured all my favorite styles rolled into one. “Kinder Words” really is a standout track that is on par with the best #1 tracks on any ska record ever. That’s right, I said EVER!

“Simmer Down” from “Ska-Core, The Devil and More” (1993)

Just an EP but still awesome, this cassette tape was worn out within a few months that I received it. I bought this one and was immediately floored by the way the band threw together fast, and slow songs into one collection. It’s not a long album, but the stand out track is definitely the cover of “Simmer Down” doing the Skatalites and all other first wave ska groups proud. It’s an awesome blend of traditional and Bosstone flair.

“Haji” from “Devils Night Out” (2006)

The bass line that runs and walks through this track is one of the finest I’ve ever heard. “Haji” has a mix of fast, slow, and all sorts of core elements that remind you that The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were skacore first and pop later on. This is a much harder track and overall record than you would expect from the band after their major label hit that would make them millions. (Or so I Think) This song is a stand out on the plaid heavy record and one of my favorites, even if it is only a couple of minutes long.

“Pictures To Prove It” from “Question The Answers” (1994)

Classic break up song, and one of my favorites in regards to my personal break ups and beat downs. Since 2011, this is a classic song for me and my divorce, and still makes me feel grand. It’s a break up song that punches through the wall with emotion and ska-reggae fire that is just classic. The guitar, horns, and message all point towards an incredible story. Shed a tear, grab a beer and heal from the loss. Fast, slow, fast, and jazzy moments make this an instant classic from 1994.

“Someday I Suppose” from “Ska-Core, The Devil and More” (1993)

Listen to the podcast from Adam Carolla and you’ll get hit with this iconic intro every time. It’s jazzy, it’s poignant, and leads into one of the most memorable songs from The Bosstones. I love the intro, love the beginning of the song, and the lyrics. The horns stand out here but the bass line really drives the point home, featuring some of the best work from the Tones.

“Disappearing” from “The Magic of Youth” (2011)

I got a divorce, but the reason why I love this song in light of that event in my life was that The Bosstones released an album that year. The reason why I love it, was not necessarily because it was them, but because I was living in Los Angeles when this was released. The previous Bosstones record was released when I was living in Moscow, Idaho and could not for the life of me find it anywhere in the city. I went to ALL of the stores, and it wasn’t to be had. So I was sad, depressed, and hated the city. I still think it’s a hell hole. Los Angeles, however, had it and many copies and I bought mine at Amoeba with a friend. (Natalie, what’s up, I never hear from you) Anyways, this record has this iconic track “Disappearing” and it rocks hard. The lyrics are right on par with what I think at times about church, and life, and well Dicky nails it with an iconic ska mix.

“A Jackknife To A Swan” from “A Jackknife To A Swan” (2002)

By the time people started to walk away from skacore and the Bosstones sound that made them huge hits on MTV, they were signed to Side One Dummy and they put out an independent record. Boy was that record awesome, and it’s this one, with the title track coming in on this countdown. The band really hit a good stride here and through their classic choruses and punk sound they made more of a melodic record than their previous work. It wasn’t radio friendly, or at least KROQ didn’t play it, but it was solid and this song really brings on a great sonic boom of ska fundamentals and Dicky’s signature sound and lyrical message.

“The Impression That I Get” from “Let’s Face It” (1997)

Man I’m old. “Let’s Face It” brought The Mighty Mighty Bosstones to the mainstream with their string
of hits from this record. The whole album is amazing, and one of my personal favorites. However, it was the one song that was repeated often on rock radio, MTV, and more that made this record a million seller and iconic for the band’s career. “The Impression That I Get” is one of the most influential ska songs ever recorded and to this day is a top draw on rock radio. It isn’t my #1 but it’s damn close.

“Where’d You Go” from “Where’d You Go” 7” (1992)

The #1 song from The Mighty Mighty Bosstones rings true every time I hear the iconic story line. The video is awesome, and the song is just a Boston classic if you’ve seen the video. The band really pushed the ska core button here, and the song fills the room with bass, horns, and so much more. I had the 7” single of this record with awesome B-sides, and CLEAR vinyl. I sold it to a record store in Moscow, Idaho as I was getting the hell out of that shitty town. If I ever go back, I want to spit on it. This song is the best though, and even if it was featured on the “Clueless” soundtrack, it’s still one of the best songs ever from any skacore band ever! “Where’d You Go” can’t be topped, and Dicky really showcased greatness here, along with the rest of the Bosstones.

If you're interested in hearing, buying, downloading, or getting any of the music mentioned, check out the hyperlinks in the song titles above, and get yourself familiar with Dicky Barrett and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Ship it up to Boston! Happy 50th dude.

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