No one can call a band that’s been around for over 25 years one-hit wonders, but equally, no one’s going to deny that whenever Hanson is mentioned, the one song that immediately springs to mind is MMMBop. But MMMBop came out in 1997, and in between then and now, the band has released a ton of great music. If you’re ready to listen to some, check out our pick of the 10 best Hanson songs of all time.
10. I Will Come to You
Kicking off our list of the 10 best Hanson songs of all time is I Will Come to You. The song features on their multi-platinum major-label debut, Middle of Nowhere, which topped the charts in the UK, Australia, Germany, and Taiwan and reached number 2 on the US Billboard 200 in the spring of 1997. Released as the album’s third single, the song broke into the top ten in the US, UK, and Australia, and spent four weeks hanging out at number one in Sweden.
9. This Time Around
Hanson’s second studio album, This Time Around, took Hanson away from the bubblegum pop they’d made their name with and moved them towards a more stadium rock sound. Commercially, it didn’t pan out as well as they’d probably hoped for, and the album failed to meet the same chart success as its predecessor. But the change in direction impressed the critics and, on standout songs like the title track, it impressed the fans too. Released as a single in April 2000, the song reached number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
8. Thinking ‘Bout Somethin’
By the time they came to release their fifth studio album, Shout It Out, in 2010, Hanson had grown from teeny boppers into veterans of the music scene. But while the band may have gotten older, the music was still as fun and infectious as ever. The first song released from the album as a single, Thinking ‘Bout Somethin’, is a joy. By that point, Hanson had fallen off the radar and it did nothing in the charts, but there’s no doubting the shimmery appeal of its retro-pop soul, nor the pleasure of seeing Weird Al pop up with a tambourine in the music video.
7. Thinking of You
1997 was the year Hanson exploded. Obviously, a lot of that had to do with a little song called MMMBop, but the rest of their debut album didn’t leave a lot to be desired either. The lovely Thinking of You is one of its most memorable moments. Released as the final single from the album in May 1998, it peaked in the top 10 in Canada, Australia, and Finland, and in the top 30 in the US.
6. Where’s the Love
Considering MMMBop had already taken Hanson to the top of charts around the world, Where’s the Love, the second single released from Middle of Nowhere, had a lot to live up to. Although it didn’t quite match up to its predecessor’s success, it was still a massive hit, reaching the top ten in Canada, Australia, the UK, Finland, Hungary, and New Zealand. As it wasn’t officially released as a single in the US, it didn’t get a shot at the Billboard Hot 100, but it still managed to make it to number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart and number six on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40.
Another hit from Hanson’s debut album next, this time the super catchy Weird, an impressively mature song with a bluesy, powerful vocal performance and a touchingly sincere lyric. Released as the third single from the album, it reached the top twenty in numerous countries, including the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Finland.
4. Lost Without Each Other
Just three albums into their career, and Hanson were already yesterday’s news. Released in 2004 as the band’s first release on their independent record label, 3CG Records, Underneath became their lowest selling album, shifting just 350,000 copies. But commercial success aside, it’s still a mine of treasures, with Lost Without Each Other standing out as one of its finest moments.
3. Penny & Me
As Billboard notes, even if MMMBop will forever be Hanson’s signature song, Penny & Me is the sound they actually grew into. Released as the third single from their third album, Underneath, it became a moderate hit, reaching number 10 on the UK Singles Chart and number 2 on the US Hot 100 Singles Sales Chart.
Obviously, MMMBop was the song from the band’s debut that got the most airplay, but even if Yearbook went largely unnoticed at the time (it never got released as a single and the band didn’t even begin performing it live until 10 years later), it’s still one of the album’s major highlights, with a dramatic film noir type quality and an earnest sincerity that’s impossible not to be won over by. The fact that the band members were just 11, 14, and 17 years old when they made is mind-blowing.
Obviously, there can only be one song at the top of our list of the 10 best Hanson songs of all time, and, just as obviously, that song has to be MMMBop. Released as the first single from their multi-platinum debut album, it announced the presence of a new teen sensation, with The Daily Record commenting “They’re about half the age of the Spice Girls, but Hanson can sing, play their own instruments and string a sentence together,” and Billboard describing them as what “the Jackson 5 might sound like with the accompaniment of a skittling funk beat and scratchy faux-grunge guitars.” With its insanely catchy chorus, huge hook, and sugar-coated charm, the song became a massive hit, taking the band to number one in multiple countries, including the UK, US, Australia, Canada, and at least half of Europe.