OMC, or Otara Millionaires Club, was a New Zealand music group. They were best known for their 1996 hit "How Bizarre", named one of the greatest New Zealand songs of all time by the Australasian Performing Right Association. The full name of the band is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Otara's status as one of the poorest suburbs of Auckland.
|Also known as||Otara Millionaires Club|
|Origin||Otara, Auckland, New Zealand|
|Past members||Alan Jansson|
The Otara Millionaires Club was originally formed in 1992 by Phil Fuemana, who was previously in the bands Houseparty and Fuemana. Fuemana and his younger brother Pauly Fuemana recorded two tracks as the new band for producer Alan Jansson's Urban Pacifica collection Proud. Jansson had previously achieved cult status as composer/producer for the synthpop group Body Electric during the early 1980s. Pauly suggested that they shorten the band's name to just the initials, and thereafter, he and Jansson were OMC. Pauly became the public face of the band and its primary performer, serving as the frontman and playing several instruments during performances and tours. However, the music was created by both of them, with Jansson co-writing all of the tracks and handling most of the arrangement and production duties in the studio.
"How Bizarre" (1995–1997)
Signed to Simon Grigg's Huh! label, OMC released the single "How Bizarre" in New Zealand in late 1995. It was an immediate smash hit even without an initial video, reaching number one in early 1996 and staying there for three weeks. It sold over 35,000 copies.
That same year, "How Bizarre" went to number one in Australia for five weeks, sold over 150,000 singles, and was certified as a platinum single. Later in the year the single went to number 5 in the UK Singles Chart and number one in countries across Europe and much of the rest of the world.
In the United States, "How Bizarre" spent 32 weeks on Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 chart, peaking at number one in August 1997 due to the high amount of radio play it received. This made OMC the first New Zealand artist to reach the number one spot in a Billboard chart. The song never charted on the regular Billboard Hot 100 as it was not released as a commercially available single there, which was a chart-eligibility requirement at the time. It also became a BMI-certified "million airplay" song two years in a row.
OMC's third single, "On the Run", reached #56 on the UK in 1997.
In 1996, OMC's debut album, also entitled How Bizarre, was released. The album sold in the United States in excess of a million copies, and charted in many other countries. Between 1995 and 2000, world-wide OMC sales are estimated at between three and four million records.
Follow-up success (1997–2010)
"How Bizarre" was followed by the singles "Land of Plenty" which reached the top 5 in the New Zealand charts; "Right On" which achieved platinum-status in New Zealand; and "On The Run" which was a minor international hit in the Netherlands and the UK. By 1998, Fuemana and Jansson had a falling out over royalties, which ended up in court. After a settlement, it was agreed Fuemana could continue to use the duo's name as a solo artist.
Fuemana and Jansson regrouped as OMC in 2005 and released the single "4 All of Us", featuring the actress Lucy Lawless as a guest vocalist, in 2007.
In 2002, their song "How Bizarre" reached #71 on the 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders hosted by William Shatner.
Death of Pauly Fuemana
On 31 January 2010, Pauly Fuemana died at North Shore Hospital in Auckland after suffering for several years from a chronic degenerative disease, progressive demyelinating polyneuropathy, an auto-immune disorder similar to the nerve disease multiple sclerosis. He was 40 years old, and was survived by his wife and five children. His elder brother Phil had died in 2005 of a heart attack. In February 2010, "How Bizarre" briefly reentered the charts in New Zealand following news of Pauly Fuemana's death.
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|1994||"We R the OMC" (as The Otara Millionaires Club)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Proud: An Urban-Pacific Streetsoul Compilation|
|1995||"How Bizarre"||1||1||1||14||32||1||16||2||11||11||4||4||5||4||1||How Bizarre|
|"On the Run"||30||—||—||57||—||—||—||82||98||—||—||—||56||—||—|
|1997||"Land of Plenty"||4||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"I Love L.A."||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007||"4 All of Us"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
- Field, Michael (8 February 2010). "Pauly Fuemana: Otara's star flared but briefly". Dominion Post. Scoop.co.nz. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
- Audioculture - Alan Jansson profile
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 399. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
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- "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1996". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Archived from the original on 2 November 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
- "New Zealand single certifications – OMC – How Bizarre". Recorded Music NZ.
- "New Zealand single certifications – OMC – Right On". Recorded Music NZ.