Synopsis of Pop Music

"Mmm bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du..."

In the summer of 1997, a song called “MMMBop” dominated the pop music airwaves. This soulful slice of bubblegum had a classic sound reminiscent of the Jackson 5 or the Osmonds. In fact, the song was performed by a brother act much like those classic groups: Hanson. This gifted trio took the pop world by storm with their old-fashioned, homespun brand of pop music. They also stood apart from the oncoming crop of boy bands because they were a true band that wrote and performed its own music.

Hanson’s path to pop stardom began in South America. Hanson brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac (listed oldest to youngest) spent part of their childhood there and became addicted to their father’s collection of 50’s and 60’s rock and roll music during this time. By the time they returned home to Oklahoma, they had begun singing a cappella. Their parents encouraged their musical ambitions by buying them instruments, and the brothers were soon performing regularly. They also made independent recordings (including early versions of later favorites like "MMMBop" and "Thinking About You") that were later reissued as Three Car Garage: The Indie Recordings.

The Hanson brothers got their lucky break when their manager sent a CD of their early recordings to an executive at Mercury. After that executive saw the boys perform, he rewarded them with a record contract. In early 1997, Hanson released their first single, “MMMBop.” This classically-styled pop song broke through the usual high-tech sounds on the radio and provided a breath of fresh air with its natural sound and unforced charm. It caught on quick with radio stations and was furthered by a top-notch performance by the boys on The Late Show Starring David Letterman. Within four weeks, it was a #1 hit.

Middle Of Nowhere, the debut album from Hanson, came out in the summer of 1997. Its unpretentious charm made it stand apart from the rest of the pop music pack and it became an instant hit. By the fall, the three boys from Tulsa were pop stars. They performed on The Tonight Show, sang the National Anthem at the World Series, and won the Breakthrough Artist honors at the MTV Video Music Awards (where they appeared with the sarcastic 'fourth Hanson brother,' David Spade). At the end of the year, they released a holiday album entitled Snowed In that became a Top-10 hit. They also went Top-10 with the soulful love song “I Will Come To You.”

In 1998, Hanson toured both the U.S. and Europe. They also made a return appearance on The Tonight Show. That summer, they released Three Car Garage: The Indie Recordings and its success resulted in another Top-10 album. The group kept up their public profile between performances with appearances on shows like Buddy Faro and Melrose Place. At the end of the year, they released a concert album called Live From Albertane. Its success allowed them to close out the year with one more Top-40 album.

All in all, the Hanson boys have achieved quite a bit for such a young band. They are good enough as musicians to be praised in the pages of Rolling Stone and Spin. At the same time, their poster boy mugs (all under 17 when the band hit big) were popular enough to grace the covers of magazines like Tiger Beat. More recently, Hanson released an album entitled This Time Around, which sounded mature and polished enough to make the casual listener forget that none of the members of the band had finished his second decade on this planet. As one of the few 'boy bands' to actually write and perform on their own instruments, it’s a safe bet that Hanson will continue to keep the classic sound of pop alive well into their adult years.

Artist Release History

1997 - Middle of Nowhere
1997 - Snowed In
1998 - Live from Albertane
2000 - This Time Around

Pop Sub Categories

bubble gum

Essential Music Albums

Middle Of Nowhere (Mercury)

Band Members

Isaac Hanson guitar, vocals
Taylor Hanson lead vocals, keyboards
Zac Hanson drums, vocals

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