The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Live from the Middle East (Cover Artwork)

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones: Live from the Middle EastLive from the Middle East (1998)
Ska and Reggae

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: SumWonSumWon
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In the spirit of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones' recent live reunion, I felt it appropriate to finally give 1998's Live from the Middle East its due here on Punknews. The Bosstones were for my middle teenage years what G.I. Joes were to my preteen years -- something I held very close to my heart but no.
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In the spirit of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones' recent live reunion, I felt it appropriate to finally give 1998's Live from the Middle East its due here on Punknews. The Bosstones were for my middle teenage years what G.I. Joes were to my preteen years -- something I held very close to my heart but now have very little to show for it. Around the age of 11, I seemingly woke up one day and decided that strapping Beach Head to a humungous firecracker and sending him into orbit was much more logically sound than deploying him on a Secret Ops mission into the brush in the front yard per usual. Similarly, a handful of years later I realized that if I hadn't listened to an album in a couple months, I was "over it" and would never want to listen to it again. I inadvisably sold most of my once beloved Bosstones records to a local record shop for egregiously low prices. Now I am left with a mere few keepsakes of these departed times: Lt. Falcon, Battle Android Trooper, Ska-Core the Devil and More, and Let's Face It.

Needless to say, I have made mistakes in my youth. This became especially obvious when, a half-dozen years later, I found Live from the Middle East, an album I overlooked at its time of release, in a thrift shop bin for 99 cents. I decided to "splurge" and pick it up. After a few listens, which I needed to grow accustomed to as it was a surprisingly low sound quality for such a then-popular act, I fully understood the error of the aforementioned ways -- the songs on this album, most of which I had long since forgotten, fucking rock. "Devil's Night Out," "Cowboy Coffee," "737/Shoe Glue" -- all the early underground hits are included. From start to finish, this is a high-energy five-night collage of the Boston band's annual Hometown Throwdown.

The Bosstones give us 22 songs, many of which bleed into each other with impressive seamlessness, to keep our hearts pumping. Unless you are a die-hard fan, however, 22 frantic songs may be a bit too much. They give the listener a chance to relax with "Royal Oil" and elements of "Hell of a Hat," but I still would gladly trade a couple faster cuts for their excellent Marley cover "Simmer Down" or their dawdling, ambiguous "Another Drinkin' Song." Still, this frenzied pace is what the Bosstones were (mostly) about through 1998, so I can't raise too much of a fuss.

Overall, Live from the Middle East delivers goods a-plenty. Though lacking a bit in sound quality, the electrifying performance of nearly all their classics makes up for lost ground, virtually creating a live greatest hits collection. But excuse me, please, for I must now head outdoors to look skyward -- Beach Head might be on his way back down.


People who liked this also liked:
The Clash - London CallingOperation Ivy - Operation IvyAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyThe Clash - The ClashThe Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Pay AttentionAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityThe Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Don't Know How To Party

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
BarleyPat (February 17, 2008)

I agree with all on here who said it is one of (if not the) best live album they own. Also agree w/ the guy below about "Hope I Never Lose My Wallet" and want to hear Toxic Toast live.

The Bosstones. Perhaps the most unlikelly entry ever into the Org-Core Hall of Fame? Ska? Popular (at least for a moment)? No connections to Chicago OR Richmond? Discuss.

telegraphrocks (February 15, 2008)

If you turn MMB upside-down, you get WWB!


Score's for cancer.

Hey_Asshole (February 13, 2008)

ATTN: 01011010

you are correct. that was a fucking great trade

paulrulzdood (February 13, 2008)

i meant insomniac not nimrod. I didn't get Nimrod until 2001 or so, after my 97-01 "I hate green day" phase. 18-20 year olds are so fucking stupid.

paulrulzdood (February 13, 2008)

hahahaha, great review. I loved GI Joes too and have made some questionable moves at the used CD store i.e. in 1997 I decided Green Day were sellouts and sucked and sold Dookie, Kerplunk, smoothedout/slappy hours AND nimrod. I've since purchased them all again.


ozmanx (February 13, 2008)

Gotta wuv MMB.

i-type-poorly (February 13, 2008)

Ten or die

Oldpunkerforever (February 13, 2008)

medium rare is sweet indeed, well worth the money and its the bosstones!!!, listening to it on the way into work today, which to tooooo long with this freakin ice-oldpunker-

weffjebster (February 13, 2008)

Best live album ever.

Hope I Never Lose My Wallet is so much better live than in the studio.

These guys need to tour again, because I've seen them like 9 times and I've NEVER seen them play Toxic Toast. I need to see that song live.

obiwanspicoli (February 13, 2008)

I actually listened to this for the first time in december. Been a bosstones for a while but i never heard this record.

baseball (February 13, 2008)

I haven't seen a review of "Medium Rare" yet... I'll probably end up buying it anyway, but I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on it.

Medium Rare is great. It's just classic Bosstones, plain and simple. Definitely worth buying if you like the band at all.

I love "Don't Worry Desmond Dekker".

Jimmy_the_Saint (February 13, 2008)

Best live album.

MN_punkmaster-skaman (February 13, 2008)

This is one of the best live albums I own. If anything, this is probably the best Bosstones record for someone to buy first.

telegraphrocks (February 13, 2008)

Wow. Anyone NOT giving this a TEN should fucking shoot themselves in the knee-caps.

bytheslice (February 13, 2008)

I wish I would've seen these cats live. This album rules.

01011010 (February 12, 2008)

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skankin_in_the_pit (February 12, 2008)

I got an edited version of this album in like sixth grade in a trade for some shitty Zebrahead sampler cassette. Seriously one of the highlights of my life. When I finally become GM of an NBA team that will be the first thing listed on my resume. I mean, who has ever pulled off a better trade than that.

Nick_V (February 12, 2008)

I haven't seen a review of "Medium Rare" yet... I'll probably end up buying it anyway, but I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on it.

I'm listening to "Jackknife" right now... It's hard for me to think of a better band to cheer one up after a lousy day.

danperrone (February 12, 2008)

the end of "another drinkin' song" could be the finest bosstones moment of all time

adam (February 12, 2008)

I know two or three used stores that consistently have four or five of these in stock and no other Bosstones releases. It makes me think taht they must have produced a whole ton of these back in the day.


cuffer (February 12, 2008)

Haha I can't believe this is getting reviewed. Best live ska album ever though. Probably best live album ever.

jacknife737 (February 12, 2008)

the best live album i own.

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