How Bizarre (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"How Bizarre"
Single by OMC
from the album How Bizarre
Released15 December 1995 (1995-12-15)
Genre
Length3:43
LabelHuh!, Polydor
Songwriter(s)Alan Jansson, Pauly Fuemana
Producer(s)Alan Jansson, Pauly Fuemana
OMC singles chronology
"We R the OMC"
(1994)
"How Bizarre"
(1995)
"Right On"
(1996)
Music video
"How Bizarre" on YouTube

"How Bizarre" is a song written and performed by New Zealand musical group OMC. It was released in December 1995 as the lead single from their album How Bizarre and went on to top the charts of five countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. Outside New Zealand, OMC is generally considered a one-hit wonder; they had a further few successful singles in New Zealand, including "On the Run" and "Land of Plenty".[2]

Critical reception[edit]

The song won the award for "Single of the Year" at the 1996 New Zealand Music Awards.[3] It was also featured on Nature's Best 2, as the 34th-greatest New Zealand song of all time as voted for by members of the Australasian Performing Right Association in 2001. In 2002, the song was named as the 71st-greatest one-hit wonder of all time on a VH1 countdown hosted by William Shatner.

Ross Jones of The Guardian called the song "supernaturally summery", noting that it "combines a proto-electro beat, a funky Mariachi guitar, Tex-Mex trumpets, girly close harmonies, and a goofy rap".[4] Pan-European magazine Music & Media wrote, "Polynesian pop with a twist. Pauly Fuemana has a gravelly, deep voice and a major rap attitude. The Spanish guitar, trumpet and the sweet female background vocals create a radio friendly mood. This single from the forthcoming album Time Is Money smashed New Zealand and Australian sales figures; OMC's quirky catchiness should kick up some dust in Europe too."[5] British trade paper Music Week rated it four out of five, adding: "A smash in Australia and NZ, this mix of male vocals with Spanish guitar and a samba/dance beat could be a surprise hit if radio latches on."[6]

Chart performance[edit]

"How Bizarre" topped the singles charts in New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Canada and Ireland. The single was number one for one week in Canada,[7] two weeks in Austria,[8] three weeks in Ireland,[9] three weeks in New Zealand[10] and five weeks in Australia.[11] As the track was only released to radio in the United States, with no commercial single made available to buy, the song was not allowed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 under the chart rules in place at the time. However, it topped the Billboard Pop Airplay chart for a week and peaked at number four on the Hot 100 Airplay chart. On 9 February 2010, the song re-entered the New Zealand charts at number 40 after Fuemana's death.[10]

Music video[edit]

A music video was released to help promote the single. The video features lead singer Pauly Fuemana driving a 1968 Chevrolet Impala, dancing, rapping, throwing around money and breathing fire. The video was directed by Lee Baker and released in late 1995, shortly before "How Bizarre" hit number one in New Zealand.[12] Shot on a soundstage in Ponsonby, Auckland and Ellerslie Racecourse with a budget of $7,000 from NZ On Air,[12] it was shown on US networks about 15,000 times in 1997 and 1998. Besides Fuemana, it also features backing vocalist Sina Saipaia,[13] and a Filipino man named Hill who stood in for Brother Pele.[14]

Track listings[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[41] Platinum 70,000^
Germany (BVMI)[59] Gold 250,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[60] Platinum 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[61] Gold 400,000

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
New Zealand 15 December 1995 CD [10]
United Kingdom 1 July 1996
  • 12-inch vinyl
  • CD
[6]
Japan 2 December 1996 CD [62]
United States 20 January 1997 Alternative radio [63]
25 February 1997 Mainstream radio [64]

Covers and parodies[edit]

In 1996, radio personality Dean Young created a parody of the song called "Stole My Car". Dean was working with RNZ-owned Rock 99, formerly based in Rotorua on 99.1 FM.[65]

In 2003, the radio stadion ZM and Iain Stables released a compilation album of some of the parodies that were created in the radio company called Stables Label Volume 3.[66] The album name was a parody itself as there was no Volume 1 or 2. The song "Stole My Car" was the eighth track on the album.[67]

In popular culture[edit]

The song became the anthem of the English 1997 FA Women's Cup Final-winning Millwall Lionesses soccer team.[68] "How Bizarre" was included in the 1998 movies Palmetto and Disney's The Parent Trap and plays at the start of the first episode of the second season of American sitcom Clueless. It is also used in the third-season episode, "Coming Home", of the American alternate history television series For All Mankind. The song was also used in the 2023 Christmas television campaign for UK supermarket chain Tesco.[69]

The music video for New Zealand band Six60's "All She Wrote" (2021) was shot as a tribute to "How Bizarre".[70]

Recent popularity[edit]

In the months leading up to March 2021, there was a resurgence of the song's popularity secondary to its adoption by many users of TikTok. Over 100,000 videos have incorporated the song's lyrics in videos showing awkward conversations and strange coincidences. The #HowBizarre hashtag has generated more than 1.4 billion views.[71]

References[edit]

  1. ^ b.liebman (21 September 2017). "Throwback Thursday: OMC – How Bizarre". The Indy Review. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Top 10 one-hit-wonders". Stuff. Fairfax. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  3. ^ "How Bizarre's Pauly Fuemana dies". ONE News. TVNZ. 31 January 2010. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  4. ^ Jones, Ross (13 July 1996). "Reviews: Singles". The Guardian.
  5. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 13, no. 30. 27 July 1996. p. 9. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Reviews – Records Out on July 1 1996: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 22 June 1996. p. 12. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9791." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  8. ^ a b "OMC – How Bizarre" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – How Bizarre". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d e "OMC – How Bizarre". Top 40 Singles.
  11. ^ a b "OMC – How Bizarre". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  12. ^ a b Gallagher, Robyn (25 November 2011). "OMC "How Bizarre"". 5000 Ways to Love You. WordPress. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  13. ^ "A brief biography..." Alan Jansson. 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  14. ^ "How Bizarre Music Video – 1996". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  15. ^ How Bizarre (Australasian CD single liner notes). OMC. Huh! Records. 1995. Huh 3, 575 206-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  16. ^ How Bizarre (UK CD single liner notes). OMC. Huh! Records, Polydor Records. 1996. 577620-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  17. ^ How Bizarre (Australasian cassette single sleeve). OMC. Huh! Records. 1995. 577 620-4.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  18. ^ How Bizarre (UK 12-inch single vinyl disc). OMC. Huh! Records, Polydor Records. 1995. BIZ 1.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  19. ^ How Bizarre (UK cassette single sleeve). OMC. Huh! Records, Polydor Records. 1996. 575 206-4.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  20. ^ How Bizarre (European CD single liner notes). OMC. Huh! Records, Polydor Records. 1996. 575 206-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  21. ^ How Bizarre (Japanese CD single liner notes). OMC. Huh! Records. 1996. POCP-7192.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
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  59. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (O M C; 'How Bizarre')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
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  61. ^ "British single certifications – OMC – How Bizarre". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  62. ^ "ハウ・ビザー/OMC" [How Bizarre/OMC] (in Japanese). PolyGram. Archived from the original on 1 March 1997. Retrieved 27 August 2023.
  63. ^ "Be on the Lookout". Gavin Report. No. 2138. 10 January 1997. p. 44.
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  67. ^ "Stables Label Volume 3". Discogs. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  68. ^ Slegg, Chris; Phillips, Owen (7 May 2021). "Now you see her". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 May 2021. My main memory is of being in the dressing room afterwards and my first born Jordan, who was two by then, being on one of the girls' shoulders as we all jumped around singing a song that was really popular at the time - How Bizarre by OMC. "That song became our anthem because of just how mad things seemed to be at the club at that time.
  69. ^ "Helping you #BecomeMoreChristmas ⛄🎄 | Tesco", Youtube, Tesco, retrieved 2 December 2023
  70. ^ Welby, Augustus (29 June 2021). "'We're trying to make small rooms feel like stadiums and stadiums feel like small rooms': Are NZ's SIX60 the humblest stadium rock band in the world?". Tone Deaf. Retrieved 7 January 2023.
  71. ^ Smith, Sophie (16 December 2020). "'How Bizarre': How OMC's 90s Classic Became A TikTok Sensation". uDiscover Music. Retrieved 7 March 2021.