I remember purchasing Hanson’s single, the oh-so catchy Mmmbop, on cassette, back in 1997. I vividly recall walking up to the ‘H’ section and picking up the cassette thinking ‘wait a minute I thought Hanson were a boy band. These girls have lovely thick blonde hair.’ I seriously went home and listened to the tape thinking, ‘well they have high pitched voices, they could be girls’, but thanks to Top Of The Pops magazine I found out that their names were Isaac, Zak and Taylor, three brothers from Oklahoma. I then immediately felt jealous because they had way nicer hair than I did, whatever their sex.
I used to play Mmmbop over and over again, but I never really could grasp what they were actually saying or what the song meant. What I did know was the track has a darn catchy melody, and most of us will have found our self humming/singing along to it when it came out, whether we would like to admit it or not.
When you think of Hanson you definitely think of them as a one hit wonder kind of band, but they actually had eight top 40 hits in the UK.
The video for Mmmbop really confused my little brain. One minute the denim clad brothers were running about on the beach, the next they were in a house playing instruments and then they would be in a New York city street in black and white. You could tell that they probably had a brotherly squabble on their ideas for the video, so they just decided to combine them all in the same video.
My dad saw the video with me one day and said: ‘Who the bloody hell are these? It’s cruel what their parents are doing to them. It only costs a few pounds for a hair trim.’ Yeah…Hanson was definitely a group for the younger generation.
Hanson completely dropped off the radar for me after Mmmbop, until I saw a video of their single Penny and Me Tonight. I thought ‘ok this song is quite catchy’ and then as the song ended the band name came up… Hanson.
Oh my God! Hanson from 1997 came out with a song in 2004 and the guys had grow up to be quite fit. They got haircuts and everything, which definitely helped. My dad was right. Their image had also changed from denims and surfer shorts to blazers and tight rocker tees. Wow, these boys were a great advert for what a good image revamp can do!
Hanson’s debut album Middle Of Nowhere received three Grammy nominations, and they sold millions of records. After some time out of the spotlight, during which the Jonas Brothers totally nicked their idea (to have a cheesy pop band, made up of three young brothers who play instruments and make teen girls’ hearts flutter), they are back with their own independent record label and are huge human rights activists with campaigns for HIV/AIDS. But we’ll always remember them best for that cute little ditty… Here they are performing it as they are now – not quite the same without the high pitched pre-puberty voice, but we’ll take what we can!
By Natasha Smith