by Sean Smith
Adam Young, who is the mastermind behind Owl City, was making the media rounds this week to promote the release of Owl City’s new album Mobile Orchestra. The new project is the fifth studio album released under the Owl City name, and the third single “Unbelievable” features none other then the late 1990s pop act Hanson. The two acts got together and made a joint appearance on NBC’s Today to perform the new song and promote the album.
This is the second high profile collaboration by Hanson that has landed them on Today. They had previously worked with Blues Traveler and performed their collabo “Top of the World” with John Popper and company on the morning show back in April. While it is neat to see the Hanson brothers –– made up of Isaac, Taylor and Zac –– return to the musical mainstream in the past few months, the trio will forever be remembered most prominently for their breakthrough single “MMMBop”. So this week we take a moment to remember the song that skyrocketed the brothers to pop stardom.
Hanson released “MMMBop” in 1997, as the lead single to the band’s major label debut album Middle of Nowhere. The song was written by the Isaac, Taylor and Zac, and produced by The Dust Brothers who produced records for Beck and the Beastie Boys, as well as the soundtrack for the movie Fight Club. While “MMMBop” was the lead single for their major label debut, it had previously been recorded by the band for their second independent demo album in 1996, appropriately titled MMMBop. A major difference between the two versions of the song is that the 1996 version of “MMMBop” has a slower tempo than the 1997 version we all came to know so well. The faster tempo on the Dust Brothers reworked version of the song made it sound much more pop friendly and catchy, which certainly paid off.
Shortly after its release “MMMBop” became a huge pop hit, catapulting Hanson into the spotlight. The single would top the charts in 27 countries, including of course here in the U.S. “MMMBop” was played seemingly endlessly on radio and music television, which eventually backfired on the three brothers. The song had ultimately become so overplayed, it eventually became somewhat of a musical pariah. It eventually became the butt of jokes, even landing Hanson in a funny skit about the song on Saturday Night Live with Will Ferrell and Helen Hunt.
So with Hanson appearing on Owl City’s latest single “Unbelievable” off the new record Mobile Orchestra, we take a moment to look back at Hanson’s 1997 breakthrough single “MMMBop”.
From: Middle Of Nowhere”