Ska music was born, developed, and brought to live in Jamaica in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s. Artists such as Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker, The Maytals, The Wailers, Laurel Aitken, and The Skatalites were just a few of the bands that took Ska to the top of the Jamaican charts. By the end of the ‘60s, Ska had evolved into Rocksteady, Dancehall, and, finally, Reggae. In the late 1970s, there was a Ska revival in the UK that is most commonly attributed to the 2-Tone Records label and included bands such as The Specials, The English Beat, Madness, Bad Manners, and The Selecter. Once that movement faded out in the early 1980s, Ska-influenced bands still existed on the outskirts of the music business, patiently awaiting the next wave of Ska’s popularity. That resurgence happened in the late ‘80s and early 1990s when artists such as The Toasters, No Doubt, Bim Skala Bim, Save Ferris, Less Than Jake, Fishbone, Sublime, and Reel Big Fish merged Ska and Punk sensibilities… and sold a lot of records in the process. While most of those bands have long since broken up or changed musical course, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have remained true to their original sound.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1983. The band’s roots were based in the Hardcore Punk scene, but their Ska influences were a strong part of their musical identity. Although arriving too late the board the second Ska movement, the band nevertheless became a popular live act in their region. By the time of their 1989 debut album DEVIL’S NIGHT OUT, the band had become one of the most popular high-profile Ska-Punk bands in the U.S. In fact, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are acknowledged as creators of the Ska-Core subgenre. With sharp suits, a brass section, and an energetic live show, the band’s ‘iconic’ status is well-deserved. While continuing to wow audiences with their performances, they released a series of albums that were embraced by their legions of fans. Their catalog includes the albums MORE NOISE AND OTHER DISTURBANCES (1992), DON’T KNOW HOW TO PARTY (1993), QUESTION THE ANSWERS (1994), LET’S FACE IT (1997), and A JACKKNIFE TO A SWAN (2002). The band split up in 2004 but reunited three years later and jumped right back into live performances and recording sessions.
2021’s WHEN GOD WAS GREAT is The Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ 11th studio album – their first for Hellcat Records – and was co-produced by Tim Armstrong (Rancid). The album captures all the joy, passion, and honesty of their past albums while also adding a fresh spin to the proceedings. WHEN GOD WAS GREAT is an intelligent, sharp, and infectious invitation to have fun. While it doesn’t avoid addressing the COVID pandemic, the album revels in hope and unification. Mixing Ska rhythms, anthemic hooks, and scraggly Punk-influenced guitar riffs, WHEN GOD WAS GREAT is an aural ray of sunshine in a world blanketed in darkness and fear. Highlights include the album opener “Decide”, “I Don’t Believe in Anything”, “Lonely Boy”, “Certain Things”, “It Went Well”, and “M O V E”. Packed with 15 songs, this is an epic album that should have you on your feet and skanking in no time. It will also make you feel that you are part of something big, something grand, and most certainly something mighty!
THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES
WHEN GOD WAS GREAT