3 Car Garage: The Indie Recordings 1995-1996

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As any dedicated Hanson fan knows, the trio recorded two self-released records before hitting the big time in 1997 with their first major-label album, Middle of Nowhere. Of course, once the group became international sensations, it was impossible to find these records, so Mercury did the smart thing -- they repackaged the highlights as Three Car Garage: Indie Recordings 1995-1996. It's a little disingenuous to call these "indie" recordings, considering that their father is a multi-millionare who financed them himself, but that's beside the point -- all that's important is the fact that these are the early recordings. And they're not bad for early recordings. It's true that the Dust Brothers brought the sparkle to "MMMBop" that made it a hit, but there's a certain boyish enthusiasm to these performances that is quite infectious. Don't expect great things from the songs that didn't make Middle of Nowhere -- they're occasionally fun, but not particularly well-crafted -- but that's really the rule of thumb with early recordings, anyway: if you go in with diminished expectations, you'll be pleased with what you find.

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