All Star (song)
|Single by Smash Mouth|
|from the album Astro Lounge and Mystery Men: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|B-side||"Then The Morning Comes" (45, USA)|
|Released||May 4, 1999|
|Smash Mouth singles chronology|
"All Star" is a song by American rock band Smash Mouth. It was released on May 4, 1999, as the second single from their album Astro Lounge and it is one of the group's most successful songs, peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"All Star" is set in the key of F♯ major with a tempo of 104 beats per minute. According to a 2017 interview, songwriter Greg Camp was interested in exploring several layers of meaning with the stripped-down song: the social battle cry, the sports anthem, the fanbase affirmation, the poetic lyricism, the sweeping melody, the inclusion, the artistic music videos, and more.
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The music video (directed by McG) features cameos by 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), which prominently featured the song. As of July 2018, the video has received over 170 million views on Smash Mouth's YouTube channel.
The video begins with the group of men at a nerd club audition for unusually nerdish superheroes as each of them states their names and unusual powers. However, they all don't make the cut for the club. When the man dressed as Elvis is about to introduce himself, Harwell steps in and throws him out. The auditioners become very shocked and impressed and immediately accept him into the club. Then, Harwell begins singing the song while walking down a sidewalk path. After that, he stops by two kids, a boy and girl. The boy gives Harwell the big "L", when the lyrics, "In the shape of an L on her forehead" are sung. Harwell then jumps on top of a limousine as the other band members perform in front of a house. However, a fire breaks out at the house on the top floor that the band is performing at as two ladies scream for help. Then, Harwell notices a dog trapped in the burning house. While the other band members perform, he rushes into the house and saves the dog just in time. The ladies become relieved that the dog is safe. Two girls are standing on a two-person motorcycle as Harwell sings and approaches them. He then takes them on a joyride through the neighborhood. We then see the band perform in a parking garage, while intervals of the limousine and a 1950s car race around the garage. Shortly after, the motorcycle catches up. The old car whizzes by through a construction area, where it crashes into a trailer. The nerd club angrily attacks the limousine. Thankfully, Harwell saves his bandmates by picking them up in his motorcycle, leaving the two girls angry. When the band arrives back at the neighborhood, they see an overturned school bus on the ground with someone under it as two cheerleaders cheer and dance in the distance. They pull the bus up back on the road and see that the woman is "Miss All Star", who waves to the band. Afterwards, a group of schoolgirls and their teacher, who are on the school bus, wave to the band as well. The scene then transitions to the band performing the final parts of the song in a garage. At the end of the music video, the nerds from the nerd club applaud the band.
- Steve Harwell – lead vocals
- Greg Camp – guitars, additional keyboards, backing vocals
- Paul De Lisle – bass, backing vocals
- Kevin Coleman – drums, backing vocals
- Jacquire King – remixing, mixing, recording, Pro-Tools
- Eric Valentine – producer, engineer, mixer
- Bruce Dickinson – producer, engineer
- Porter Seals – producer, engineer
Usage in media
In Mystery Men, "All Star" is played during a scene in which the titular superhero team holds auditions to recruit new members. The final scene of Rat Race (2001) revolves around Smash Mouth performing the song at a charity concert.
The song is heavily used in the Shrek franchise to promote the series, especially during the first film's opening credits introducing the title character. Devotion towards the song has been considered a factor in the Internet's obsession towards the series and titular character. In turn, it has since been dubbed a popular internet meme, resurfacing on the internet and becoming prevalent in media in 2017, usually focused on remixes and edits of the song and its music video.
The season five premiere episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver features a performance of "All Star" by the New York City Gay Men's Chorus, intended to demonstrate that the United States is "a beautiful mess of contradictions" in that it is "a terrible, stupid song being sung absolutely beautifully [by the chorus]."
The upcoming musical All Star: The Best Broadway Musical, exclusively features several varieties of the song, with a book by Allison Frasca.
- "All Star"
- "Walkin' On the Star" (Sun E Delight Remix)
- "The Fonz"
- "All Star"
- "Walkin' On the Sun"
- "Can't Get Enough of You Baby"
- "Walkin' on the Sun" (Video)
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