Having looked back at the careers of just about all of the quirky American indie/rock groups that I have wanted to, I thought that it’s now time to look back at, er, a Canadian one. I know that sometimes these pieces seem to be a little repetitive, because a lot of these groups go through the same cycle of “release a single/manage to get played about 1,000 times a day on the radio/appear on Top Of The Pops/vanish”, but this was just about how it really turned out for this one.
Len had actually been going for a rather long time by the time of their biggest hit. It is rather hard to determine how many members they have had over the years, although they have included such people as The Burger Pimp and The Drunkness Monster, and no, I don’t think that there have been any of them who were actually called Len, how fascinating.
I suppose that Len can be described as an indie/rap group, if it is possible for those genres to collide. And this just happens to be yet another group who were at the upper end of the final singles chart of the 90s, so I do associate them with the millennium feeling that you only get once in a millennium. They probably soundtracked many a party at the time, and had a million miles of fun.
In December 1999 “Steal My Sunshine” was released, and this really did suddenly take off. This was from their third album “You Can’t Stop The Bum Rush”. Part of this song’s success is the simple idea of the sample, which is just about three seconds of Andrea True’s disco hit “More More More” looped (Bananarama did a cover once, you know!). I don’t know what half the lyrics are on about, but did this meet the “entering your head and never leaving” challenge.
“Steal My Sunshine” reached no. 8, and this was their first and only Top Ten hit single in America and Canada, as well as the UK. Now most people think that Len were a one-hit wonder, but this isn’t actually the case. In June 2000 “Cryptik Souls Crew” was released. This was never really going to be as successful as their first hit, but this did reach no. 28, to become their second and final hit single in the UK.
But that really was it for Len. They have released five albums, and I don’t think that they’re currently active, but I’m sure that The Drunkness Monster is proud. All they have to look forward to now is people doing “reaction” videos to their song where it looks like their eyes are going to pop out of their head with shock. They really can’t believe that people used to live like that back then.