All Star – Smash Mouth | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#4) & Modern Rock (#2); 1999

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

From the retro-sounding Walkin’ On The Sun to the campy All Star, the Smash Mouth gang mixes-and-matches its influences into a unique blend of fun contemporary pop. Smash Mouth – from Mike Ditka’s term “smash mouth football” – came together around vocalist Steve Harwell and drummer Kevin Coleman. Steve’s first idol was Elvis Presley and Kevin’s uncle manned the lights at San Francisco’s famous Fillmore, so the band-to-be was awash in classic rock ‘n’ roll from the git go. Growing up, guitarist Greg Camp riffed on everyone from the Carpenters to Stevie Wonder, while bassist Paul De Lisle took his cue from KISS and Van Halen. First, the quartet’s demo of Nervous In The Alley caught fire at San Jose’s local Modern Rock radio station. Then, national breakout cut Walkin’ On The Sun stayed on the airplay chart for over a year. In 1999 All Star, SM’s fun personal-empowerment song, was the summer song of the year, and snagged them a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Group.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Eric Valentine

Lyrics Written by:

  • Greg Camp