All Star Song: A Piece of Upbeat History

Photo: Thomas B. Shea (Getty Images)

While the 90s were undoubtedly full of great music, like the almighty grunge that overtook the world by storm, this period also gave us some catchy upbeat hits that you hated and loved at the same time. Songs like MMMBop, You Get What You Give, Butterfly, and, of course, All Star seemed to give rise to a whole new annoying genre of optimism and triviality and yet you couldn’t stop humming them. Smash Mouth’s guitarist Greg Camp who composed All Star probably knew it would be a hit, but didn’t realize it would, in a way, mark a whole period of music and be featured in countless films, TV shows, and at house parties. So, here are some things you didn’t know about the All Star song.

Serious Lyrics

Yes, All Star is a joyful, life-celebrating tune that has a catchy and uplifting chorus; but have you actually read the entire lyrics? The song composer Greg Camp wanted to create something of an anthem for all the misfits in the world who get bullied around for their music taste, way they dress, or simply the way they look. The message he was trying to convey is that everyone is a star and shouldn’t be bothered by what people say. However, recently a photo surfaced on the web showing the original, handwritten lyrics that had a slightly different chorus. Instead of singing the uplifting “and only shooting stars will break the mold,” there was a much more disconcerting “wave bye bye to your soul.” They probably made the right choice in the final song, though.

No Connection to Sports

The song is often used as a sports anthem, but curiously enough, it has nothing to do with sports. The composer. Greg Camp isn’t much of a sports enthusiasts and wasn’t referring to NBA All Stars as some may presume. This is also in contrast with the band’s name as Smash Mouth which is a football term signifying a strong offensive play. However, the band came up with the name before Greg joined so he didn’t really take part in the process. That being said, the lyrics can be interpreted in such a way that they actually refer to NBA All Stars, but it depends on the person listening really.

Featured in Movies

The All Star song owes a lot of its popularity to the fact that it was featured in a number of movies and TV shows, as well as sports events. In fact, in 1999, the song opened up the Major League All-Star Baseball game with the band performing it live. That same year, the song was used in the film called Mystery Men that was basically about wannabe superheroes with some doubtful powers. Many people, however, know it from appearing in the animated hit movie Shrek starring Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz.

Video by McG

The famous video that fits the song perfectly was directed by McG (Joseph McGinty Nichol) who was a prominent music video director in the 90s, creating videos for popular bands at the time like Barenaked Ladies, Sugar Ray, Offspring, and the mighty Korn. After that, he made a transition to TV shows and directed the extremely popular O.C., Supernatural, and Chuck. Besides that, he also tried his luck with directing movies like Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, This Means War and, unexpectedly, Terminator Salvation (a movie more famous for Christian Bale’s rant than anything else).

Jon Sudano’s Covers

Besides the original, this song was also famous for its covers by a YouTube sensation Jon Sudano. Namely, he became famous for covering the song by singing its lyrics to different popular melodies, like the Adele’s Hello, John Lennon’s Imagine, and others. You would think that the original composer, Greg Camp would mind, but he actually enjoys these covers and publicly supported Sudano in his efforts to give a new twist to a well-known song.

Do you love the All Star song? Are you going to play it now as a reward for making it through the entire article?