3 Songs You Didn’t Know Hanson Wrote For Other Artists

By | August 23, 2023

American Songwriter

Hansonstage note: While the Andrew WK song was written at Fool’s Banquet in 2007 which was hosted by Hanson, we do not believe any Hanson actually was involved in the cowrite as the song credits are to Andrew WK and Pedro Yankowitz.  We also do not believe the songs were written FOR Carole King (who does not appear to have released them) but written WITH her at the song writing retreat in France.

“MMMBop” waltzed into the music scene in April 1997, dominating the charts. Anyone already born in that decade or who grew up listening to music from the late ‘90s might have heard the smash hit written and performed by the rock band Hanson. The band came into the limelight after “MMMBop” received two Grammy nominations and became the band’s most successful single to date. The lead single from their debut album, Middle of Nowhere topped the charts in at least 12 countries, including Germany, Australia, and Canada.

VH1 ranked it at No. 20 on their “100 Greatest Songs of The ’90s” list, as well as ranking it No. 98 on their “100 Greatest Songs of the Past 25 Years” list.

All three brothers that make up Hanson provide the vocals to their discography. Meanwhile, Isaac played guitar, bass, and piano; Taylor played keyboards and percussion, while Zac played drums and piano.

Over time, it became clear that Hanson had songwriting skills as evidenced by their composition of songs like “Finally It’s Christmas” (2017), “Get The Girl Back” (2013), “Give A Little” (2010), “If Only” (2000), “I Will Come To You” (1997), “Penny and Me” (2003), “Thinking ‘Bout Somethin” (2010), “This Time Around” (2000), “Weird” (1997), and “Where’s The Love?” (1997). It’s not surprising then, that this rock band has served as pen maestros for other artists, even if their fans didn’t realize it.

Below are three songs Hanson penned for other artists.

1. “We’re All Women” by Andrew W.K. (2011)

Written by Hanson and Andrew W.K.

Andrew W.K. may be better known for his songs “Party Hard” and “She Is Beautiful,” which were hit singles in the UK. However, the Michigan-raised rock singer has released numerous songs, including some unpopular ones. “We’re All Women,” one of Andrew’s lesser-known songs, emerged from an unusual collaboration of Hanson and Andrew W.K.

Between 2004 and 2015, Hanson occasionally hosted a songwriting retreat known as Fools Banquet, where they invited other musicians to spend a week collaborating, penning, and recording new songs. This sporadic event led to the composition of several songs, including “We’re All Women”, which Andrew W.K. released in 2011. The song revolves around the theme of gender equality and acceptance.

That we’re all women and men
He’s a girl, she’s a boy
The same needs, the same wants
For love, for joy
What are these differences that cloud the way we see?
When I see you, do I see me?”

2. “Let You Go” by Carole King (2001)

Written by Isaac Hanson, Zac Hanson, Carole King, and Jez Ashurst

At Miles Copeland’s songwriting boot camp in Chateau De Marouatte in France, the Hanson brothers co-wrote “Let You Go”, a song by the legendary singer and songwriter, Carole King. They also co-wrote and demoed another track, “One More Time,” with King writing at the Chateau. Zac explained to Rolling Stone how “scary” it felt, having to work and write a song with Carole King, saying it amazed him that he got to call Carole by her first name. Taylor concluded that they wrote the song in one day and that Carole King is a “very talented person.”

“Let You Go” is a song written for people who have let someone go but need them back in their lives. Hanson’s writing delivers the words expertly, managing to say out loud what people in such situations would want to say.

You were amazing in ways I never knew
It’s driving me crazy but I can’t get over you

You were holding on and I was letting go
Looking for a love I thought I could control
All the things we said when we had a fight (whenever we would fight)
Now I realize that I was wrong and you were right”

3. “One More Time” by Carole King (2001)

Written by Taylor Hanson, Carole King, Taylor Hanson, and Steve Jones

This time, Taylor was the only Hanson brother involved in writing a Carole King song. “One More Time” was the second track written and demoed at Copeland’s boot camp in France. It was written as another romantic but sad ballad for the fans of Carole King’s beautiful voice. The lyrics of the song capture a sense of longing, nostalgia, and heartache. The lines express the desire for one more opportunity, one more moment, and one more chance to be with someone who has become deeply important to the hero of the song.

This morning we were moon and sun
There was no doubt you were the one
How did it turn around so suddenly?
We were happy, we were sad
Did we have less than I thought we had
What happened to make you say you’re leaving me

One more time, one more place
One more chance for me to look upon your face
One more dream, one last embrace
Don’t just leave me without a trace

Photo by Jonathan Weiner / Big Hassle Media

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