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Official Hanson Bio: Mercury Records

HANSON is proof positive that brilliant records can come from just about anywhere. You never know where you're going to strike oil. So it's fitting that Isaac,Taylor and Zachary HANSON were born and raised in the drilling town of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Since 1992 the brothers have recorded two self-distributed CDs, written more than 100 original songs, and performed in public hundreds of times. But when HANSON played at The Blue Rose Cafe, a hip Tulsa bar, they had to perform outside. They weren't old enough to get in. You wouldn't know it from listening to Middle of Nowhere, their debut for Mercury Records--an album chock full of jubliant pop, modern rock, '70s soul and even a gospel influence that has crossed over from a teen audience to appeal to listeners twice their own age. If there's never been such a thing as "alternative pop" there is now. Without a trace of grunge artifice, HANSON creates a sweetly nostalgic-for-a-simpler-time feel, without resorting to high-gloss. You won't hear any candy choruses or swelling strings. Instead, producers Steve Lironi (Black Grape, Space) and the Dust Brothers (Beck's Odelay) have paired the brothers' natural harmonies with their love for traditional rock and roll.

The group's career may well have started when HANSON's father's job took the family to live in Trinidad, Ecuador and Venezuela, during which time the boys developed an obsessive love for the Time/Life compilation records covering the years 1957-1969. "The first music we started listening to was late '50s, early '60s rock and roll," Isaac says. "Chuck Berry, Bobby Darin and the Beach Boys. We also love '60s soul records like Johnnie Taylor's 'Who's Making Love' and anything by Otis Redding or Aretha--The Queen of Soul." That explains the heavy reliance on classic, well-crafted pop songs and harmony, harmony, harmony. It may be Taylor's voice singing lead on many of the tracks, but as Taylor himself stresses, "Part of what HANSON is, is that there's not just one guy who sings. Having three voices is what makes us HANSON." The proof is in how they lift those voices to meet one another's on the buoyant once-heard, never-purged single "MMMBop."

thank-you to mercury records for this!

Mercury Records