Crazy Covers: Hanson Do Radiohead

Videos by American Songwriter


Hanson may be more than just a bubble gum pop band, but you’d hardly expect to hear them covering one of the gloomiest bands in rock. But in this live clip that’s currently being passed around the Interweb, the all-brothers-band does just that. You can hear a sea of teenage girls explode at the opening notes, as if Radiohead’s 2000 Kid A track “Optimistic” was their favorite song.

The “MmmBop” kids (who are now married with children) give it a shiny sheen, but are respectful of the song’s dark, foreboding vibe.

“Flies are buzzing round my head,
Vultures circling the dead,
Picking up every last crumb.
The big fish eat the little ones,
The big fish eat the little ones,
Not my problem, give me some.”

What do you think, readers? Did the Hanson boys do it justice? This cover’s been around for awhile, but the Internet is just getting around to appreciating it now. The band is hard at work on a new album, and Taylor Hanson is moonlighting with rock supergroup Tinted Windows.

For more unconventional Radiohead covers, check out John Mayer’s “Kid A” and homeless musician Mustard’s “Creep” :

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  1. The cover isn’t just an internet clip… Hanson released it on their 2005 live album “The Best of Hanson: Live and Electric” that was recorded in Melbourne, Australia. But I agree that Hanson does the song the justice it deserves.

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Matthew Ryan