Hanson 'Middle of Nowhere' turns 20 years old this year

Hanson was a group that came out of nowhere to become of the biggest-selling groups in the latter half of the ‘90s.

Getting their start in their hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Hanson brothers (Isaac, Taylor, and Zac) found instant success with the song “MMMBop,” which, judging from your tolerance level was either one of the greatest pop songs ever made or one of the most annoying.

Whichever camp you fall into, what can’t be denied was the fact that Hanson became an overnight sensation with the single, and that would only fuel their debut album, Middle of Nowhere, to heights that were on the same level as The Backstreet Boys.

Released on May 6, 1997, Middle of Nowhere was one of the surprise hits of the year. It was a year that was dominated by rap, alternative rock, and boy bands. Middle of Nowhere was a refreshing break, and it was more than just “MMMBop.”

Many who bought this LP purchased it for the warmth and down-to-earth nature that this album gave off, and it was evident by the myriad of great tracks that make up Middle of Nowhere. From the soft nature of “Lucy” to the jam-out of “Where’s the Love,” this LP was a treat to the ears for all those who brought the record.

And there were a lot of people who brought Middle of Nowhere.

The LP sold over 10 million copies worldwide, and, to honor their hometown stars, the City of Tulsa declared May 6 “Hanson Day,” which is still observed by many of the band’s fans. A tour in support of the LP was also wildly successful, and it was thought that Hanson would have a long and prosperous career.

That wouldn’t be the case.

Though their next two albums would chart, they would reach the mind-boggling success that Middle of Nowhere achieved, and by 2004, Hanson slid off the charts. The brothers are still active today touring and recording new material, which they hope would put them back on the charts.

But while we await the next great LP from Hanson, it’s worth taking a trip back to celebrate an album that caught everyone by surprise.