This song helped break Barenaked Ladies in America. It appeared on their first album, Gordon
, in 1992 and reached #18 in their native Canada. Over the next few years, they built a small following across the border, and finally made an impact on the American charts in 1997 when "The Old Apartment
" hit #88.
By this time, "Brian Wilson" was a concert favorite, with the crowd joining in on certain lines ("record shop!"). In 1997, a live version from their Rock Spectacle
album was released as a single in the US and reached #68 in February 1998. Hearing the adoring crowd on the song clued in American listeners to Barenaked Ladies live appeal, and when their album Stunt
was released in July, they were primed for Stateside success. The group made a huge push to promote the album in America, playing lots of radio station showcase concerts and expanding their following one city at a time. They brought a catchy new single along for the ride: "One Week
," which went to #1 in October (where it stayed for, yep, one week).