10 Best Covers – Billboard
MTV once reported that there were 93,000 renditions of Hanson’s “MMMBop” floating around on YouTube. But according to the trio of siblings, their signature hit is pretty much nowhere to be found. “People can’t sing the chorus well,” said elder Isaac Vulture around the 20and anniversary of the song’s creation, adding, “Most of the time they syncopate it badly.” Of course, many who tried would no doubt claim that they were simply putting their own spin on the syllable-packed doo-wop hit.
From nu-metallers to swing-jazz collectives to animated blue humanoids, here’s a look at ten of the biggest, best, and bonkers acts to cover the earworm in the quarter-century since he reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on May 24. , 1997.
“Someone has to either totally own it in a really unique way or be a band that has a sensibility for old R&B,” Taylor Hanson explained in the aforementioned 2016 interview. A few months later, a group with the credentials to fit the latter answered the call of the middle child. Just as they’ve done before with Radiohead’s “Creep,” Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” and Pitbull’s “Timber,” Postmodern Jukebox has given “MMMBop” the 1950s treatment, this time leaning in more on the doo-wop vibes of the original. Sadly, pop’s first Pagliacci clown, Puddles Pity Party, didn’t come on board, but the elegantly costumed vocal quartet made up for his absence.
The Vamps were in diapers when “MMMBop” reached No. 1, but they were still able to recognize its importance to their careers, recounting Just Jared Jr.“MMMBop is one of the biggest songs by a teenage band in the past 20 years. The song has had such an impact all over the world, and we love the song, so we had to cover it! The UK four-piece’s rendition isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel, but released shortly after their debut single, it helped establish their place alongside 5 Seconds of Summer, Rixton and Lawson in the new wave of boy bands. with guitars, a subgenre Hanson pioneered.
Norwegian YouTube star Leo Moracchioli has given over 400 pop hits a heavy metal makeover. So it was inevitable that he would end up tackling one of the greatest of the 90s. Hanson is no total stranger to the world of shredding, thrash and moshpits. In 2011, a Hanson cover of Slipknot’s “Wait and Bleed” has emerged amidst the news, they were going to record an entire tribute album to Iowa’s best – sadly, it turned out to be an April Fool’s Day joke. But multi-instrumentalist Moracchioli’s aggressive take, complete with an all-new super-chugging middle eight, shouto, makes masked metalheads sound like Kidz Bop.
Speaking of which, “MMMBop” had the honor, or some would say the dishonor, of appearing on Kidz Bop’s very first compilation, the imaginatively titled Kidz Bop Kidz, at the turn of the century. And then alongside Ace of Base’s “The Sign,” MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” and Kriss Kross’ “Jump,” he was introduced to a whole new generation of tweens singing and dancing to 2017 90s Kidz Bop Pop. This time around, the chart-topping single was accompanied by a cheerful and bright music video with choreography, bright pastel colors and a giant inflatable sofa.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is this gonzo cover by electro-industrial band Purr Machine. Alongside Society Burning’s cover of the Cardigans’ “Lovefool”, the Hate Dept. of Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” and Hexedene’s version of Shirley Bassey’s “Diamonds Are Forever”, it was recorded for the oddly titled Nod’s Tacklebox o’Fun, a 1999 compilation released by cult label Re-Constriction Records. The Los Angeles trio, named after Betsy Martin’s love of cats, make the original unrecognizable by shifting from a menacing breakbeat to a slowed-down darkwave. It’s “MMMBop” like you’ve never heard it before.
The sons of heights
Perhaps surprisingly, “MMMBop” was never addressed by the cast of Joy. But he been interpolated by the Barden Bellas in a Perfect location 2 medley, while a year earlier he had helped the ingeniously titled a cappella group The Sons of Pitches to victory on the BBC talent show The naked choir. The all-male six-piece takes Hanson’s classic in all sorts of weird and wonderful directions in just two minutes, from country hoedown and hip-hop to Beastie Boys to ’70s funk and slightly questionable reggae. It’s an extremely smart mix of styles that would undoubtedly put anything New Directions to offer to shame.
Noel Gallagher might not have allowed the Smurfs to make their way through an Oasis classic (“We hated the Smurfs when we were kids, I don’t let a bunch of blue guys in white hats touch our stuff”) for their first album in nearly two decades. But another group of siblings who shot to fame in the mid-1990s were apparently more than happy to let the likes of Papa Smurf and Smurfette unleash their biggest hits. Appearing in Down Under editions of The Smurfs Go Pop!, Belgian cartoon characters’ homage to “MMMBop” is every bit as infectious as you’d expect. But what’s confusing is that it’s named after Madonna’s Motown pastiche “True Blue.”
The Horne Section
If you’ve ever wondered what a William Shatner-style cover of “MMMBop” would sound like, wonder no more. Best known as the sidekick to the UK version of Tyrant, musical comedian Alex Horne tries to make lyrics like “Plant a seed, plant a flower, plant a rose / You can plant any of these / Keep planting to find out which one grows” sound like the height depth with his tongue-in-cheek delivery. But the sudden outburst of brilliantly silly chiptunes and occasional boy band ad-libs from The Horne Section’s Will Collier proves that, unlike the star trek the reveries of the icon, everything is done with the tongue deep in the cheek.
punk rock factory
Punk Rock Factory has made a name for itself largely by making various children’s TV themes and Disney songs sound like the sound of an early 2000s Warped Tour. But in 2019 The Wurst is yet to come, the four musicians took to their Sausage Factory studio to give their turn to an array of pop/rock hits spanning half a century. Alongside The Beach Boys’ “I Get Around,” Men at Work’s “Down Under,” and The Corrs’ “Breathless,” the meat obsessives also gave “MMMBop” the fast and furious treatment you’d expect from their moniker. no frills.
Forget vampish boy bands, post-modern viral sensations and brazenly named talent show winners; the title of the most-watched “MMMBop” rendition on YouTube belongs to a funk collective with the co-founder of Patreon. The brainchild of Pomplamoose’s Jack Conte, Scary Pockets have racked up over five million views with their effortlessly cool take on the 1997 classic. It’s not hard to see why. Singer Lucy Schwartz delivers a cheerful voice while wearing a Hanson t-shirt. And the rest of the group, tightly packed in what appears to be the corner of someone’s living room, seem to be having just as much fun giving “MMMBop” a makeover.