Sibling trio Hanson are celebrating 25 years in the music business with a greatest hits album. The band is in Toronto, telling Cheryl Hickey how things have changed in the 20 years since they released their hit single “MMMBop”.
Wow, time flies when you have music like this
So, 20 years is a long time. When you think about how much has changed in the world over 20 years it’s crazy to think how we even lived in 1997.
No social media, no answering machines and no ways to stream songs. Such a simpler time.
Well, when it comes to music, we’ve come a long way.
A time when girl pop bands topped the music charts, and film clips were a staple every Saturday morning (I miss this the most), you probably taped these songs and played it on repeat while cruisin’ in your ’97 Corolla.
To celebrate carsales’ 20th birthday, we’re taking a trip down memory lane to remember the classics that made your car playlist 20 years ago:
5. MMMBop, Hanson
The instant classic that no one knows the meaning of, MMMBop swept the charts globally, hitting #1 in 27 countries. The trio of brothers were nominated for two Grammy’s, making youngest brother Zac, 8, the youngest ever songwriter to be nominated.
Hanson — the musical brothers who brought us the the infectious “MMMBop” in 1997 — is back on tour.
And the (former) teen heart-throbs are appearing tonight at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit.
But that’s not the only sign that we’ve somehow traveled back in time to the 1990s.
(See the rest at the source)
Hanson performs Friday, Oct. 6, at Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit (Photo courtesy of 3CG Records)
Twenty-five years of Hanson? And 20 years of “MMMbop?” How crazy is that?
But it’s true. The three brothers from Oklahoma, who set the world on fire with their “Middle Of Nowhere” album’s sales of 10 million copies worldwide two decades ago, are now adults and fathers, and they’ve have survived and even creatively thrived as an independent act with their own label and their own vision, mixing music with philanthropic projects and even their own beer, Mmmhops.
The men don’t mind remembering their time as boys, however, and this year the group is celebrating its anniversaries on the Middle Of Everywhere World Tour, along with the release of a “Middle Of Everywhere — The Greatest Hits” album and, on Oct. 27, its second holiday album, “Finally It’s Christmas”…
• Isaac Hanson, the trio’s guitar-playing oldest brother, says that this year’s anniversaries have crept up on him and his siblings. “To some degree there’s a lot of it that just feels like yesterday,” Hanson, 36, says by phone. “But at the same time we were doing our first a capella gigs back in ‘92, and that does feel like a long time ago. There’s a lot of hours and a lot of years of work, but we’ve been very consistent about the way we do things since then. We have full-on trip-out moments where we’ll be talking about something, some performance we’ve done or something, and I’ll go, ‘Wait a second — that was 10 years ago!’ It all kind of blends after a point.”
• The Hanson of 2017, of course, is different than the group of 20 years ago. “For me, honestly, the biggest takeaway I have right now is it really feels like we’re throwing the gloves off,” Hanson explains. “Once you’ve been doing this for this long, it just really feels like there’s no reason to not just pursue every crazy idea. You’ve crossed a certain threshold where it’s like, ‘OK, I guess there are no rules anymore.’ It’s very freeing in that sense.”
• Hanson never repeated the massive success of “Middle Of Nowhere” or “MMMbop,” but that was never the key to building a career according to Isaac. “When we wrote ‘MMMbop’ we weren’t chasing a hit,” he explains. “We’re trying to just write songs we like and feel good about; If they happen to be hits and hit the world at the right time and right way and can transcend beyond just your immediate fan base, then that’s great. But the first thing you’ve got to do is do music you’re proud of and you care about. So you’ve got to start there. And then the next thing is you’ve got to care for the people who show up and support you and build a robust fan base. Those are the cores and that’s what we focus on.”
• The upcoming “Finally It’s Christmas” celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hanson’s first holiday album, “Snowed In” and answers fan requests for another seasonal record. “Ever since the very beginning of that ‘Snowed In’ record coming out, people are constantly going, ‘Are you guys ever gonna make another (holiday) record?’” Isaac says. “It was one of our favorite records we made, a really fun record to make, so we always felt like maybe one day we’ll make another one when it’s the right time. The 10th anniversary went by; That’s not it. The 15th went by; Definitely not the time. Then a couple years ago we started thinking, ‘Y’know, if we’re going to make a Christmas record again, the 20th anniversary seems about right.’ And it’s funny that back then we had younger brothers and sister who made random voiceover-type cameos at the very end of ‘Snowed In,’ and now we have kids who are about the same age. Things like that made us think this seemed about right.”
• Hanson has plans for 2018 and 2019 that Isaac says, “will remain a secret,” though he acknowledges that “there will definitely be new music in a variety of different forms.” As for the future beyond that, he says, “I still feel like the jury’s out for a lot of things with us. I do know who we are. I do know what we care about and I know we’ll be working our asses off for the next 25 years coming up because we care about it. But how the history books write it all out remains to be seen.”
If You Go:
• Friday, Oct. 6. Doors open at 7 p.m.
• Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.
• Tickets are sold out.
• Call 313-961-8137 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.
In 1997 the world was shook by a pop trio of blonde brothers (who many thought were a pop trio of blonde sisters). The band defined an era with one word — if you can call it that — by delivering the iconic track “MMMBop.” The brothers, whose haircuts have become more reasonable over the years, are back and they’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of the group’s formation. Isaac, Taylor, and Zach Hanson have dusted off their “mmm’s” and “bop’s” and are prepared to take us on an infectious pop journey to the epicenter of nostalgia.
Hanson performs at St. Andrews Hall on Friday, Oct. 6. Doors open at 7 p.m.; 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-961-8961; saintandrewsdetroit.com; Tickets are $87.73.
Hanson’s lengthy set featured “Already Home,” and it was followed by “Waiting For This” and “Where’s The Love.” The crowd was loving them the entire time, and their upbeat show was the ultimate throwback concert with 90’s songs as “Look at You,” “Weird,” “Madeline,” and “I Will Come to You,” among others.
Their live rendition of their single “I Was Born” was optimistic, fun and liberating. They continued with “A Minute Without You” and “Get The Girl Back.”
Most importantly, Hanson was able to take their fans on a musical journey by performing songs from their 25-year career in the industry.
“MMMBop” was the fan-favorite tune, which felt like the national anthem for the Saturday night in Times Square. Equally fun was their radio hit “If Only,” and they concluded their set with such tunes as “Fired Up” and In The City,” where they left their loyal listeners and fans wanting for more. Fortunately for the hardcore fans, Hanson returned for an encore.
Overall, Hanson rocked the PlayStation Theater in Times Square in New York City, as they brought their audience back to simpler times. Their harmonies were spot-on and soulful. The band of brothers (Isaac, Taylor and Zac) interacted well with the New York audience, and made them feel like they were in their living rooms, serenading them to their catchy songs. They are worth seeing live whenever they are in town. Their live show garnered an A rating.
Tulsa-based pop-rock trio Hanson have announced the Oct. 27 release of their long-awaited new holiday album “Finally It’s Christmas” (3CG Records / S-Curve Records). Album cover art provided
On the heels of their 25th anniversary celebration with sold-out concerts in Europe, Australia and Latin America on their “Middle Of Everywhere” world tour and greatest hits compilation release, Tulsa-based pop-rock trio Hanson have announced the Oct. 27 release of their long-awaited new holiday album “Finally It’s Christmas” (3CG Records / S-Curve Records).
The release is timed to mark the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma band’s first yuletide release, “Snowed In.”
The new Christmas album, which features four original tracks, and eight updated classics, reunites the band with S-Curve President Steve Greenberg who originally signed the band to Mercury Records in 1996, as well as co-producer and writing partner Mark Hudson (Aerosmith, Ozzy Osborne, Ringo Starr) who also collaborated on “Snowed In.” Adding to the production pedigree of the release are engineer and mixer CJ Eiriksson (Jacks Mannequin, U2, Phish, Matchbox 20), with the title and select tracks mixed by veteran chart-topper Tom Lord-Alge (U2, Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, The Wallflowers), according to a news release.
In contrast with the sentimentality of many Christmas releases, the Hanson brothers – Isaac, Taylor and Zac – bring an organic rock ‘n’ roll energy to the album, featuring iconic favorites like Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas,” Stevie Wonder’s “Someday At Christmas” and Aretha Franklin’s “Winter Wonderland,” along with a re-imagined arrangement of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time” and lively renditions of modern classics like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas.”
The album’s original songs, like the title track and “’Til New Years Night” are billed as bursting with “celebratory energy, layered vocal arrangements calling to mind the Beach Boys and British invasion-era guitar riffs,” while “Peace On Earth” highlights the band’s earnest lyrics and stalwart melodies. The album is not entirely without holiday sentimentality, closing with a rendition of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” with guitarist Isaac singing lead on the Judy Garland classic, and a soulful gospel medley of two well-known songs from the Christmas hymnal, “Go Tell It On The Mountain” and “Joy To The World.”
Here is the track listing for “Finally It’s Christmas”:
1. Finally, It’s Christmas
2. A Wonderful Christmas Time
3. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
4. Til New Years Night
5. Please Come Home
6. Someday At Christmas
7. Joy To The Mountain
8. Jingle Bells
9. Happy Christmas
10. All I Want For Christmas
11. Winter Wonderland
12. Blue Christmas
13. Peace On Earth
14. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
As previously reported, Hanson has been celebrating the band’s 25th anniversary as well as the 20th anniversary of the its debut release “Middle Of Nowhere” – which includes the iconic single “MMMBop” that introduced the group to the world – in style throughout 2017, with a world tour, several TV appearances, induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and a new music video “I Was Born” featuring 11 of the band member’s 12 children.
“I Was Born” is the first track on Hanson’s celebratory two-disc compilation “Middle of Everywhere – The Greatest Hits,” which was released on Sept. 8.
“Finally It’s Christmas” is available for pre-order as just the album or as part of limited edition packages at hanson.net/store.
It’s hard to believe but boy band Hanson has been around for 20 years. SUPPLIED
Isaac Hanson of MMMBop fame only has to look at the 12 offspring he and younger brothers Taylor, 34, and Zac, 31, have produced since first shooting to fame two decades ago as teen pop trio Hanson to realize there could be – wait for it – Hanson: The Next Generation.
“I look at my kids and go, ‘Wow – I was this age and my parents were like, It’s cool. Go for it,’says Hanson, 36.
“My oldest son is 10 and he’s a very charismatic young person. I was only a year older than him when my brothers and I started singing together. He’s also musically skilled, too. He’s already picked up the guitar and is playing so who knows? If they decide to be a band, I hope they come up with something clever ’cause often the idea is, ‘Oh yeah, Hanson Jr.'”
Isaac talked to 24 Hours from Atlanta before Hanson’s 25th anniversary tour stops at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on Wednesday (Oct. 4) and Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre on Oct. 18.
Hanson also returns for two Christmas shows on Nov. 24-25 at Toronto’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre in support of their new holiday album, Finally It’s Christmas, due Oct. 27.
Do you guys have any trepidation about crossing the border into Canada after calling homegrown boy Justin Bieber’s music “chlamydia of the ear,” during an Australia radio show interview in June?
We did get a little bit [of push back]. Look, I think Justin is a talented guy. I think he’s gotten a lot of PR for a lot of things that have nothing to do with his music and that’s unfortunate. We were kidding around. I was not meaning for it to be taken nearly as seriously as it was. The unfortunate thing about that was before we went on the air, there was a conversation going on about the chlamydia epidemic amongst koalas and then one thing led to another. And then when Zac was like, ‘Oh, well, I don’t really like Justin’s music all that much.’And then I, trying to make a joke, [said that]. It’s not something I want to take to my grave.
How dedicated do your Canadian fans remain?
We’ve had so much continued engagement and enthusiasm from the Canadian fans as a whole. I mean, it really very much feels like home in so many ways. Canadian fans are fantastic. It’s impossible to complain.
It’s been 25 years since Hanson was formed and 20 years since your major label debut, 1997’s Middle Of Nowhere featuring MMMBop, was released. How have you guys changed?
I think we’re the best band we’ve ever been for sure. I mean 20 years into it, we sure as hell better be. I think we have a lot of fun playing these shows. It’s such a great combo of new and old faces coming out to see the shows. We’ve got everything from fans that are younger than our first record to fans that have been with us from the very beginning. It’s really pretty cool.
And what about the passage of time?
When we kind of said, ‘Hey, you know we’re 25 years old [as a group],’I think it set a little bit of shock to the system. I think there were a lot of fans that were just kind of, ‘Wait, a second. It’s been 25 years since the beginning.’It’s a really cool thing. Very few people get to this kind of thing for 25 years. We had to stick a stake in the ground and claim it. There’s something about reaching certain milestones where you look around and go, ‘Wow, okay.'”
Do you feel older?
What I will say is I very much feel like the same person from my 16-year-old self to now. And maybe part of that is unlike most 16-year-olds, I’ve literally been doing the same job since I was 16. So it has a certain level of consistency.
Tom Petty has been a huge inspiration, his musical genius has inspired us over and over to push our own music to new heights. Following his tragic passing we could not take the stage without sharing one of our most beloved Tom Petty songs, Wildflowers. The heavenly choir has never sounded as good as it does today.