Welcome to “Required Reading,” where BTRtoday writers share the best stories they didn’t write.
I’m very serious—this is required reading for any human on this planet. The ice we skate is getting pretty thin and the waters getting warm, so you might as well read this.
This Rolling Stone article takes you back in time and tells you about the history of one of the most well-known songs of a generation “All Star”—including direct quotes from Smash Mouth members and producers. Released in 1999, any millennial understands how important this song is. It’s not only upbeat and a pleasure to sing along to, but it also references climate change before it was a hip cause, has become the inspiration for countless memes and, lest we forget, it’s the theme song for a most beloved green ogre, Shrek.
The band, however, weren’t too excited about its success. They initially were more into the hip-hop/ska infusion that was taking over the west coast at the time. But that was a small pocket of the world and when they released “Walkin’ On The Sun” in 1997, their first alternative rock/pop sounding song, that’s when they really hit it big. Once their popularity exploded, the band decided this was their sound from now on.
But why is it that millennials (myself included) have a burning love for this song? Is it the catchy riffs? Or maybe the basic, yet undeniably relatable lyrics? Either way, the song has become an anthem for anyone who grew up in the ’90s. I fully believe if I’m at a bar and I forgot my ID I can burst out into this song and the bartender would find it sufficient in proving my age. This article shows you just how one-of-a-kind this song is.
Also, re-watch the music video below. I bet you didn’t even remember it’s vaguely in relation to the Ben Stiller movie Mystery Men (1999)—a cult classic.
Smash Mouth, “All Star”