In the animated video for They Might Be Giants’ song “One Everything,” a singing globe helps a little boy deal with his overwhelmingly messy room by invoking the unity of the omniverse: “If you go out and count up everything, it all adds up to one.”
The song is from TMBG’s new children’s release “Here Come the 123s,” but it plays with the kind of braininess that has attracted loyal adult fans—many now parents—to the duo of John Flansburgh and John Linnell throughout their 25-year alt-rock career.
The new Disney Sound CD/DVD, released Feb. 5, is a follow-up to 2005’s “Here Come the ABCs,” which has sold 110,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and reached No. 6 on Billboard’s Top Kid Audio chart. That project was backed by Disney after the unexpected success of 2002’s “No!,” TMBG’s first children’s effort and Top Kid Audio No. 1. The U.S. sales for that effort are at 144,000.
“The first kids’ record seemed like such an incidental thing at the time. We were working on all these other projects,” Linnell says, adding that “No!” jumped between labels for several years before Rounder agreed to distribute it on the band’s own imprint, Idlewild. “Then it completely outsold our adult work of that year, and that got everyone’s attention.”
Click here to read the full story including the key promotional element for the release, how the band’s success in the kids’ market has fed their adult music audience and more.