MTV once reported that there are 93,000 renditions of Hanson’s “MMMBop” floating around on YouTube. But according to the sibling trio, their signature hit is pretty much uncoverable. “People can’t sing the chorus right,” eldest Isaac told Vulture around the 20th anniversary of the song’s inception, adding, “Most of the time they syncopate it wrong.” Of course, many who’ve tried would no doubt claim they were simply putting their own spin on the syllable-cramming doo-wop hit.
From nu-metallers and swing-jazz collectives to animated blue humanoids, here’s a look at ten of the biggest, best and bonkers acts to have covered the earworm in the quarter century since it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on May 24, 1997.
I did, indeed, listen to all of them. Leo Moracchioli’s “metal cover” of the song just works, somehow. And the Smurfs’ version is weird, but also hilarious and catchy. I really loved The Horne Section’s spoken-word-punctuated-by-frenetic-scatting-adjacent-chorus version—it actually made me laugh out loud. The Vamps’ version perfectly captures the spirit of the original—are The Vamps this generation’s Hanson? Finally, I think my very favorite of the bunch is Vulfpeck’s take. They’re taking it seriously (bringing their musical A-game, for sure) but also having lots of fun with it. Singer Lucy Schwartz nails the vocals, and the funky vibe of the whole thing is brilliant. Enjoy!