Crash Test Dummies is a Canadian folk rock band/alternative rock band widely known for their 1993 single "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm".
The band is most identifiable through Brad Roberts and his distinctive bass-baritone voice. During its heyday, the band consisted of Roberts, Ellen Reid , Brad's brother Dan Roberts, Benjamin Darvill and Mitch Dorge. Today, only Brad Roberts and Ellen Reid have appeared on every album with the other members being busy pursuing their own projects. However, the full band (minus Ben Darvill) reunited for a show in October 2010. Brad Roberts, Ellen Reid and Stuart Cameron have continued to tour throughout 2010/2011.
The band first began to achieve commercial success in Canada with the release of The Ghosts that Haunt Me in 1991. The album eventually reached sales of 400,000 in Canada, largely due to the overwhelming popularity of the hit single "Superman's Song", which earned the band the 1991 Juno Award for Group of the Year.
The band did not receive much international recognition until the 1993 release of their second album, God Shuffled His Feet. The first single "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" peaked at #4 in the US Hot 100 and did even better in the United Kingdom, where it was a #2 hit, and Australia where it peaked at #1.
In their native Canada, "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" was a comparative disappointment on the charts, only peaking at #14. Two other songs from the album went top 10 in Canada: "Swimming In Your Ocean" and "Afternoons & Coffeespoons". The album had passed the platinum sales mark in the United States and had earned the band three Grammy nominations and three more Juno nominations.
In January 1995, the band released "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" (a cover of XTC's 1992 track) as a single and on the soundtrack of the Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels comedy Dumb and Dumber. The single, credited to The Crash Test Dummies and Ellen Reid, charted at No. 30 in the UK singles chart and was a #4 hit in Canada.
In 1996, the Dummies' third album, A Worm's Life, was released to mixed critical and moderate commercial success as it went platinum in Canada in less than one month. Give Yourself A Hand, the Dummies' fourth album, was released March 23, 1999. The album showcased a new sound for the Dummies, as it featured Ellen Reid singing lead vocals on three tracks, and Brad Roberts singing in a falsetto on several others.
After feeling much more restricted by their label, the band parted ways and Brad Roberts formed his own independent label "Cha-Ching Records" (later renamed to "Deep Fried Records"). After suffering a near-fatal car accident in the fall of 2000, Brad recorded the bulk of I Don't Care That You Don't Mind, which was to have been Brad's first solo album. Later on, Ellen was brought in to record backing vocals for a few tunes and she and Mitch agreed to tour as well.
Brad, Dan, and Ellen returned as Crash Test Dummies at the end of 2002 with Jingle All the Way, a long-rumoured Christmas album. In 2003, Puss 'n' Boots was released and Songs of the Unforgiven, the eighth studio album, was recorded not long after Puss 'n' Boots.
The Best of Crash Test Dummies was released in 2007 and featured twelve tracks selected from the band's entire catalog, including most of their singles and several album tracks. The compilation would later be re-released in March 2008 as "Best of Crash Test Dummies - Collections" with two previously unreleased tracks: "Laid Back" and "You Said You'd Meet Me (In California),"
Oooh La La was released in May 2010 and was accompanied by the band touring in an "Acoustic Trio" format consisting of Roberts and Ellen Reid, accompanied by either Stuart Cameron or Murray Pulver on guitar. As part of the Canadian leg of the tour, Dan Roberts and Mitch Dorge joined Brad Roberts and Ellen Reid in the band's hometown of Winnipeg for the first performance by the original line-up in a decade.
In April 2011, the band released Demo-litions: Cast-off Recordings 1996–97 featuring previously unreleased demos of songs written during the recording of Give Yourself a Hand.