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Isaac Hanson | Taylor Hanson | Zac Hanson

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Hanson came shooting out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1997 blessed with cute young teen looks and a infectious sense of melody. The band had a bright music sense that stood in direct contrast to the depressing grunge music that dominated the '90s.  

The group is certainly suggestive of a past era, specifically the early '70s, when young teens could lead the top of the charts. Isaac, aged 16 at the time of their debut, played guitar; 13 year old Taylor sang lead and played keyboards; drummer Zac was 11 years old. As young teens in Tulsa, they sang around the dinner table, often '50s and '60s rock and R&B standards and gospel songs. 

Eventually, the group began playing around Tulsa, performing at local festivals, at schools, and fairs. The brothers first tried to get into the music industry in 1992, when they approached music attorney Christopher Sabec and sang a cappella for him.

Impressed with their talents, he became their manager and started marketing them to major music labels. Between 1992 and 1995, five labels passed on Hanson. The group decided to release a pair of independent records while waiting. The album "Boomerang", which was filled with smooth pop, appeared in 1995. Following the release of Boomerang, the began playing their own instruments, which strengthened their writing, as shown on the single "MMMBop," which showed that they were moving toward a cleaner, hip-hop and soul influenced direction. The group signed with Mercury Records on the strength of "MMMBop." 

During the 1997 release of their introduction album, "Middle of Nowhere", Mercury put the marketing machine in action, hiring Tamara Davis (Sonic Youth, Luscious Jackson) to direct the video for "MMMBop" and courting the press and radio. The hard work paid off, as "MMMBop" debuted at number 10 on the United States music charts. The boys became young celebrity teen idols, and as the holidays approached they released a Christmas album, "Snowed In"  in 1998, they reissued their earlier independent recordings as "Three Car Garage", and also released a concert album, "Live from Albertane".

Hanson stayed mostly quiet while they produced the follow-up to "Middle of Nowhere",  in the meantime, thanks in part to their smash hit success, young teen pop acts like Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, and NSYNC came to top the young music landscape. 

The band finally emerged in the spring of 2000 with "This Time Around", a more mature record that showed their credibility outside their young teenage audience. They then set up their own "3CG" label and released "Underneath" in April 2004. With young teen pop music behind them, the band shifted their listeners to something more down home and grassroots by completely financing the marketing of "Underneath" in the United States and supporting the release of the album with live concerts and shows at nearby colleges. 

The album made the Billboard Independent Chart at number one and was picked up by Cooking Vinyl in the U.K., JVC in Japan, Univision in Mexico, and Sony in Southeast Asia. The success of the album put the brothers on a World tour; 26 cities across 14 countries in just over five weeks including a sold-out show at London's famed Shepherd's Bush Empire. 

Their 2004 tour was captured on "The Best of Hanson Live" and "Electric", released in both CD and DVD formats in 2005.

Throughout the course of their 2005 tour, Hanson visited various colleges throughout the United States to showcase and market "Strong Enough to Break" (2005), a documentary film about their time with "Island Def Jam". The film's critical take on the label and the music industry took its toll when Island released a compilation, "MMMBop: The Collection", in late 2005; the album was a dud, and Hanson's fans criticized Island for releasing the music. 

The band rounded out the year on tour in Europe and South America, and in the summer of 2006 traveled to South Africa to record a track, "Great Divide," with a high school choir from Soweto. The single was released on /iTunes later that year, and the proceeds were donated to AIDS research. The band released their second full-length on 3CG, "The Walk", in 2007. 

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Isaac Hanson | Taylor Hanson | Zac Hanson

 


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