“All Star” is the most popular hit from American rock band Smash Mouth. Written by main guitarist and the band’s primary songwriter Greg Camp, (who has been nominated for Grammy Awards for his work), the song made it into the top charts around the world and became the band’s signature track. It was released on the band’s second studio album “Astro Lounge” in 1999.
“All Star”, according to a 2017 interview with “Songfacts”, Greg Camp was interested in exploring the several layers of meaning with the track, almost being a social battle cry. Several fans have hypothesized that the track is a critique on the “American Dream” and it’s faults. The track is told in the eyes of a narrator who describes himself as dumb throughout the track: “Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me / I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed”. However, he stays optimistic but critiques the world for being so serious and how it “didn’t make sense not to live for fun / Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb”. The track should also be a critique on how seriously society and people take themselves.
The music video was directed by McG (Joseoh McGinty Nichol), and features cameos by actors: William H. Macy, Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Diane Rehm, Paul Reubens, Kel Mitchell, Janeane Garofalo, Doug Jones, and Dane Cook from the film Mystery Men (1999) where the track was featured. The music video features the actors a group of “nerds” auditioning for s superhero club, and throughout the video Steven Scott Harwell (lead vocalist of Smash Mouth) proceeds to act like a superhero while performing the track, such as saving a dog from a burning house and saving his bandmates. The song ends with the band performing the last of the track in a garage. The music video has over 200 million views on YouTube.
“All Star” also re-rose to fame after the release of the movie franchise “Shrek” 2001, where the track was chosen to be the opening scene for the first film, leading to it being the movie’s associated track. It was also used in the 1999 Film “Mystery Men”.
Release Date: 4th May 1999
Songwriter/s: Greg Camp
Producer/s: Eric Valentine
Music Video Release Date:
Music Video Director: McG (Joseph McGinty Nichol)
Chart Rankings & Certifications: The song went to #1 in the US, but also made it to the top charts in Italy, Belgium, Australia, the UK, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden and the Netherlands. It also went Platinum in both Italy and the UK.