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The Medium Rare compilation was released during the Bosstones’ hiatus from public life, from 2003 to 2009. A collection of three new songs, nine unreleased tracks, and a few rare B-sides, the album was a way to satiate the band’s loyal fans while they decided what to do next. The collection comes off like a brand-new recording. Perhaps because the group felt pressure to reassert their aggressiveness with each new album, Medium Rare contains some of the mellower songs that were originally discarded. “To California,” “Katie,” and “Is It?” are gentle by Bosstones standards, but that turns out to be a good thing. These songs show the band’s ability to steer a tight groove even when adopting a more intimate tone. Two Christmas songs—“This Time of Year” and “A Reason to Toast”—avoid the corny clichés of holiday music and instead connect Christmas to the timeless Bosstones themes of brotherhood and communal cheer. It boded well for the group that the three new recordings are the best on the album, especially the “List” and “Don’t Worry Desmond Dekker,” which immediately joined the ranks of the band’s very best songs.

Customer Reviews

Medium Rare is Well Done

For those worrying about whether this album is another work of a 90s band recycling songs and not matching what they were able to obtain a decade ago, Medium Rare is partially true pertaining to a common fear in today's music. Yes, the songs are recycled (only three songs were written after 2002). Truth is, despite being filled with songs the band once considered subpar (songs not even good enough to make Pay Attention), the new CD is just as good as any you could hope for. As a whole, this may be my favorite 'Tones CD (that's not a joke). I only hold a few complaints. Sadly, it appears the b-side selections are a bit restricted due to copyright issues (Wrong Thing Right Then would've been perfect for this CD; instead, it'll continue to be illegally downloaded due to its scarcity). Also, with sadness, I have to say that This List, Dicky's voice has finally started to wear. Though it holds up fine through Desmond Dekker and The One With The Woes, the old skacore songs that made the band an underground hit (Devil's Night Out, Dr. D, Lights Out) may not hold up as well as in the past (don't give up hope though; this was the Bosstones first effort together since their hiatus started four years ago). Though I'd still recommend the Live CD for any starting BossTone fans, any casual or hardcore fan of the band should pick up this CD. It's well worth any penny spent, and, once again, the 'Tones have put together a solid collection of music listeners of all types can enjoy.

The Kings Return!

The Kings of Ska are back and just as good as ever. It has been many long years without the Bosstones but now they are back. All of the material is amazing. New song "Don't Worry Desmond Dekker" will definitely become a top player on your iPod. Enjoy, and WELCOME BACK!

Not the Bosstones I know

I must say this isn't what I expected. Too many slow songs, some of the songs don't even sound like the classic Bosstones sound. Where is the rowdy, beer drinking ska that I am use to? This rates really low in the Bosstones catalog, but there were a few songs I liked.


Formed: 1985 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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,...
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