This is a group that probably won’t be entering any major pop music hall of fames any time soon, but I did like this one, as it was a bizarre mix of various styles, and it’s another example of a song that came and went quietly and I’d hoped it’d done better, and then it suddenly became much more of a success. Bran Van 3000 were a Canadian group that contained a rather large amount of members, including singers, rappers, and whoever else seemed to be around.
In June 1998 “Drinking In LA” was released and reached no. 34. Well at least this made the Top 40 I suppose, but I realised that I wouldn’t be hearing this on the radio much again, having no more chances to decipher the lyrics. I know that people have varying opinions on such things, but of course if groups do want to get their song noticed, then a good move is to get featured on an advert.
About a year after making the chart, “Drinking In LA” was used on an advert for Rolling Rock lager. And this clearly had an effect. By this point I had access to MTV, and it was great that the video was now being shown much more frequently. I did enjoy this channel at the time, if only I could’ve watched all day, they showed music videos and everything, and it was almost worth the OnDigital subscription money alone.
In August 1999, “Drinking In LA” was rereleased, and this time made no. 3, a huge improvement on last time, being a rather big Top Ten hit that lead to a Top Of The Pops appearance. Well it seems that the plan worked, and I felt the success was deserved. Around the same time their debut album “Glee” just missed the Top 75. BBC Radio 1 also played this a lot, and I remember Mark And Lard complimenting what they called the “Les Dawson piano” near the end (there’s a reference for the teenagers).
I don’t really know much about what happened to Bran Van 3000 after this, although they did have one more minor hit single in 2001, but the formula didn’t work again and nobody really remembers that one by comparison, not even me. They have released four albums, the most recent being in 2010, but none of them were a hit in the UK. I wonder where all of them are now. And I still don’t know who Stereo Mike is.