Smash Mouth songwriter didn't want All Star to be used in Shrek
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It’s been announced that the co-founder of Smash Mouth, Steve Harwell, has died at the age of 56.
The musician reportedly ‘passed peacefully and comfortably’ as he died in his Idaho home ‘surrounded by family and friends’.
His death was confirmed by the band’s manager, Robert Hayes, in a statement to Rolling Stone.
Although Harwell retired from Smash Mouth two years ago, Hayes rightly praised the musician as he said: “Steve’s iconic voice is one of the most recognisable voices from his generation. He loved the fans and loved to perform.”
And he’s not wrong - you’re bound to know his voice for at least one particular thing.
Shrek, of course.
Smash Mouth released their hit ‘All Star’ back in 1999, with Harwell on those iconic vocals.
And for a lot of us, it’s the song that instantly makes us think of Shrek - easily one of the most popular animated films of the noughties.
While the single’s music video actually features characters from the superhero movie Mystery Men, it’s become synonymous with the 2001 film where it plays over the opening credits.
It even features again in Shrek the Third in a little instrumental from a marching band.
But it turns out, despite going on to become such an iconic film song, its writer didn’t actually want ‘All Star’ to be used in Shrek.
Band member, Greg Camp, wrote the song but told Songfacts he was hesitant to comply with DreamWorks request to use it.
He said: “Back then, that’s what it was – you don’t put your songs in commercials. Maybe a cool film or something.
“Even Shrek, I was kind of like, ‘Well, this is going to put us into this sort of Disney zone, and we’re going to have to stay there and we’re going to have to be writing for children and families now. I don’t think that we should do that.’”
He was the only one who really felt this way, adding: “There were just a lot of things that we butted heads on. Everyone else was, like, ‘No, we just need to make a ton of money’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, but we need longevity and credibility. We have to keep these things and keep our fans, and our fans are going to turn their backs if we start putting our songs in Pizza Hut commercials’…I was voted out on those things.”
But there’s no denying Shrek boosted the song – it’s certainly an absolute staple bop from our childhoods because of it.