Sun. May 28th, 2023

After the preliminary success of their debut single, “Walkin’ On The Solar,” Smash Mouth returned to the studio to document the follow-up to 1997’s Fush You Mang at their new residence on the most important label Interscope. Inside the band, tensions had been excessive because the worry of being a one-hit marvel loomed above them. “Walkin’ On The Solar” had been a divisive hit, luring in droves of recent followers intrigued by its quirky, Farfisa-driven beach-blanket sound. On the identical time, nonetheless, it alienated most of the band’s longstanding followers, who recognized with the more durable, ska-punk songs that comprised many of the album. However by the point Fush You Mang’s follow-up, Astro Lounge, hit the cabinets, Smash Mouth would have absolutely embraced a poppier sound, epitomized by their juggernaut single “All Star.”

“Smash Mouth was type of in between pop and punk”

Smash Mouth enlisted producer Eric Valentine (Good Charlotte, Queens Of The Stone Age, Third Eye Blind) to provide the tracks for what would ultimately develop into their second album, Astro Lounge. For the classes, the band transformed an outdated home right into a recording studio in Los Gatos, south of the band’s hometown of San Jose.

On the onset, a choice was made to eschew their earlier punk leanings to concentrate on a extra commercially viable pop sound, main drummer Kevin Coleman to half methods with the band after the recording classes. Having written “Walkin’ On The Solar” earlier than even becoming a member of the band, Smash Mouth guitarist Greg Camp was promoted to go songwriter.

Valentine and Camp labored collectively to create a imaginative and prescient for Astro Lounge with some enter from Interscope. Camp introduced a wistful, 60s surf-lounge aesthetic to the music whereas Valentine introduced the pragmatism of business expertise. By the tip of the classes, the band had 13 songs’ price of potential pop-rock gold.

Maintain drilling

Believing the album was within the can, Robert Hayes, the band’s supervisor, delivered it to Interscope. Regardless of Smash Mouth’s concentrate on writing poppier songs, Jimmy Iovine and Tom Whalley, then working within the label’s A&R crew, felt the gathering lacked a robust single. They ordered Hayes and the band to maintain drilling till they hit industrial oil.

After months of back-and-forth, both sides expressing frustration, Hayes sat Camp down with a duplicate of Billboard journal. Collectively they went via the Prime 50 and dissected the songs all the way down to their profitable elements. Camp was then charged with writing some songs together with all these components. A couple of days later, the guitarist returned with the soon-to-be hits “Then the Morning Comes” and “All Star.”

“I got down to write an anthem for them”

“Smash Mouth was type of in between pop and punk at the moment,” Camp advised Rolling Stone in a latest interview.

“These had been children that weren’t actually sporting a uniform in any sure method. They weren’t mods, they weren’t punks, they weren’t jocks, they weren’t sport-os. They had been simply these children that loved music, saying that they received picked on loads. I type of verbally got down to write an anthem for them. That’s the way it began.”

Valentine had introduced in session drummer Michael Urbano, who performed the music twice earlier than nailing it; he rapidly forgot in regards to the session till listening to “All Star” on the radio sooner or later. “I had solely heard it thrice, after which I heard it three million instances inside two weeks,” mentioned Urbano in the identical interview.

“All Star” was first launched as a single on Could 4, 1999, adopted by Astro Lounge on June 8. By August, the one peaked at No.4 on the Billboard Scorching 100. Following the album’s launch, the band set out on a relentless two-year tour.

“You couldn’t activate the TV with out listening to ‘All Star’”

Throughout this time, “All Star” saturated the airwaves. “One of many issues with ‘All Star,’ it was very licensable, I licensed the crap outta that music,” remembers Hayes. “You may not stroll right into a grocery retailer or activate the TV with out listening to ‘All Star.’”

Even to this present day, licensing requests for the music nonetheless come up a number of instances per week, Camp defined to The Ringer in a latest interview. “I imply, even this morning I used to be getting requested by our publishing firm if it was OK to make use of it in two various things. Most requests are accredited, until they need to change the lyrics one thing like, ‘Hey now, you’re a hamburger man.’”

The music additionally featured prominently within the movies Thriller Males (1999), Inspector Gadget (1999) Digimon: The Film (2000), and Rat Race (2001). It obtained a Grammy nomination for Finest Pop Efficiency on the 1999 awards, however ultimately misplaced out to Santana.

Hollywood comes calling

Then, in 2001, director Vicki Jenson was on the helm of an animated household movie for DreamWorks a couple of curmudgeonly inexperienced ogre referred to as Shrek. Jenson was on the lookout for one thing totally different for the film, particularly when it got here to the soundtrack. Once they initially approached Smash Mouth to ask if they may use “All Star,” the band turned the request down. Following a personal screening of the movie, nonetheless, the group acknowledged how profitable it was going to be.

Shrek went on to gross over half a billion {dollars} on the US field workplace, and, for a complete era of kids, “All Star” turned a comforting anthem of braveness and self-acceptance. For Smash Mouth, it was the top of economic success – with all of the spoils they may think about.

If that wasn’t sufficient of a fairy-tale ending, by the late 00s the music discovered an ironic afterlife being memefied, parodied, and mashed-up in a whole lot, if not hundreds of movies on YouTube. Over twenty years since its launch, “All Star” nonetheless glitters like gold.

Take heed to the very best of Smash Mouth on Apple Music and Spotify.

By Admin

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