All Star

Album: Astro Lounge (1999)
Charted: 24 4


  • When Smash Mouth released their debut album Fush Yu Mang in 1997, they built a fanbase thanks to the hit "Walkin' on the Sun." They heard from many of these fans when they were writing songs for their second album, Astro Lounge, which inspired "All Star." Like most Smash Mouth originals, it was written by their guitarist, Greg Camp, who told the story in a Songfacts interview.

    "When we were on tour for the first record, it's still when people were writing fan mail, like, in the form of paper and pencils and typewriters and stuff," said Camp. "We would get these big bags of fan mail and we would take them to the Laundromat and do our laundry and read all this mail while we were sitting around waiting for our clothes to get dry. And about 85-90 percent of the mail was from these kids who were being bullied or their brothers or older siblings were giving them s--t for liking Smash Mouth or liking whatever they're doing or the way they dressed and stuff. So we were, like, 'We should write a song for fans.'

    It was sort of like a daily affirmation. It was designed to be an uplifting, self-confidence building song."
  • This song about someone who excels at his or her endeavors was used extensively in movies, TV shows and commercials. Its commercial appeal was not lost on the band - lead singer Steven Harwell said that after recording the song, his first instinct was to sell it to advertisers.

    Some popular uses of this song:

    The 1999 film Mystery Men.
    The opening credits to the film Shrek.
    The movie Rat Race, where Smash Mouth performs the song at the end of the movie.
    Digimon: The Movie, where it is the last song played before the movie ends.
    The 1999 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, where Smash Mouth performed it.
    The movie Inspector Gadget.
  • The voice that says "go for the moon" came from an album of sounds from the Apollo moon mission issued by NASA. Greg Camp cooked up the song in his basement studio where he would use turntables to get beats and scratches.

    These audio clips are public domain, so Camp didn't have to pay to use it. NASA has made many of these audio files available online.
  • The phrase "All Star" often applies to sports, where the best players are chosen for all-star teams. The band name Smash Mouth is a football reference, meaning an aggressive and bellicose style of play. Greg Camp didn't write this song with sports in mind though, as he's not much of a sports guy (the band had their name before he joined). The song can certainly apply to athletes, but it really encompasses anyone trying to do their thing in the face of naysayers.
  • The first prominent use of this song was in the 1999 movie Mystery Men, about a group of superheroes with questionable powers. Scenes from the film were incorporated into the video, and some of the stars of the film, including Janeane Garofalo, Ben Stiller and Dane Cook, appeared.
  • The video was directed by McG, who went on to direct the films Charlie's Angels, Terminator Salvation and The Babysitter. In the '90s, he directed several notable music videos, including "Shoots And Ladders" by Korn, "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies, and "Fly" by Sugar Ray.
  • On July 11, 2006, this was played to wake up the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Donovan Berry - El Dorado, AR, for all above
  • Jon Sudano became a YouTube star with videos of him singing the lyrics to "All Star" over the melodies of various hit songs, including Adele's "Hello," Bastille's "Pompeii" and John Lennon's "Imagine."

    "All Star" writer Greg Camp connected with Sudano on Facebook and gave him the thumbs up. "It works on every single song," Camp told Songfacts. "I just think he's fabulous. He's this big, overweight buy who sits in front of his computer and just kind of does stuff like this all day long. The song was written for people like him, who may be a little bit of an outcast or not accepted socially because of their appearance. And he's just going for it. He gets it, completely. He is the person that that song was written for."
  • The band performs a snippet of this song in a 2020 Progressive commercial where the spot is interrupted by "the Progressive commercial halftime show featuring Smash Mouth." The ad aired during football playoffs, giving the company exposure to football fans without buying a pricey Super Bowl ad.
  • The song's use in Shrek spawned lots of audio remixes and image-based memes related to the green ogre in the late 2000s. One of the earliest parodies, however, was the 2009 YouTube video "Mario, You're A Plumber," which used the song to tell the life story of the Super Mario Bros. character.

Comments: 21

  • Alden Williams from New Jersey Such a rad song. Regardless of anything it always can cheer me up, and of course is the primary song on the soundtrack of one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces of all time- Shrek. The frickin first. Some really clever lyrics too, no surprise for smash mouth. I always thought of it as a guy struggling through his own maturity, discovering the pain that comes with being mediocre or always conforming, and choosing not to be a part of it. Probably just embracing parts of him people would label immature, but he doesn’t care. Because it truly “didn’t make sense not to live for fun”, and we can all use a little change.
  • Siahara Shyne Carter from United StatesI was born on 1999 many people sing this because Its easier than other Smash Mouth songs HAHA yeah I'm right! They can't sing Walkin' in the Sun so they prefer to sing this one and It's been familiar because We always heard this song on SHREK
  • Daniel from Winchester, OhioShrek is Love, Shrek is Life <3
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxRobert: (Wikipedia) 'All that glitters is not gold' is a well-known saying, meaning that not everything that looks precious or true turns out to be so. This can apply to persons, places, or things that promise to be more than they really are. The expression, in various forms, originated in or before the 12th century and may date back to Aesop.

  • Hannah from Gustavus, OhTo Alec from New York: I remember having to hear stuff like that just a couple years ago, from MIDDLE schoolers! For example, the first verse ended with "You were lookin' kinda queer, with a penis in your ear, And the shape of some balls on your chin." It was funny at the time, but now it just seems stupid.
  • Kathryn from Montoursville, PaThis is a song every American growing up in the 90s knows ALL the words too.
  • Todd from Baltimore, Md"the world is going to roll me" Rolling, being rolled, was rolled used to be slang for being mugged.
  • Yomama from Haymarket, VaTo Trina in New York: "the world is gonna roll me" describes a big dog playing with a puppy, if you've ever seen it--the big one pokes his nose under the small one's belly, lifts, and rolls--the little one gets up all disoriented for a a lost person in a big world...

    Take care, and don't let anyone 'roll' you...
  • Alec Thorp from Yorktown Heights, NyWhen my brother was in the 3rd grade, he and all of the kids in his class would sing some annoying and immature alterization of the song in which the lyrics are talking about the world being food. The opening lyric would go "Somebody once told me the world was macoroni so I took a bite out of a tree". My god, it was the most annoying thing on the planet Earth! But thank god, they do not sing that anymore.
  • Trina from New York, NyI like this song a lot, but I don't quite know what "the world is gonna roll me" means. I understand that the general gist of it is that the world's gonna chew you up and spit you out, but what is the exact meaning of "roll me" mean?

    The rest of the song I get, though. It's all about how the world can suck if you don't handle it right, but if you do deal with life well, it can rock.
  • Ryan from Brookfield, Wiactually all that glitters is not gold is from the merchant of venice but before that it was in a Greek myth, the myth is about king midas who can turn anything he touches into gold but he touches his daughter and she turns to gold its supposed to be a lesson also it inspired the auto service store midas thus the jingle trust the midas touch
  • Chris from Newcastle Upon Tyne, United KingdomI'm sure 'Not all the glitters is gold' or whatever is from The Merchant of Venice, it was also used in Lord of the Rings though.
  • Llyle from London, United KingdomI agree with Nikki. The third verse is the best. It's a really uplifing song
  • Marissa from Akron, OhHey people in case you didn't know... all that glitters is (or isn't) gold is a very old phrase. Both Lord of the Rings and "Stairway to Heaven" were quoting a proverb that's been in usage for centuries.
  • Robert from Houston, TxThe phrase "all that glitters is gold" was probably inspired by a poem in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings referring to Strider/Aragorn, whose appearance was rough and decidedly unkingly. The original line is "All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost." The use of it here suggests a much shallower interpretation of life - like the stereotypical rock star.
  • Sigurd from Store Heddinge, DenmarkThe phrase "all that glitters is gold" might be inspired by "Stairway to heaven" ... ?
  • Lindsay from Pittsburgh, PaThe best part is when the guy says...
    "We could all use a little change."
    The rest is monotous to me :D
  • Nikki from Hell, MiThe third verse about the change for gas is the best
  • Chibi from Placentia, CaIt's one of those songs where everyone growing up in the 90's HAS to know. The song is awesome in the sense where it's just makes you feel good and how it's ok if you don't know where or what you want to be when you grow up...just do what you want to do and everything will come to you! It's just fun, and plain awesome!
  • Courtney from Kiel, Withis was my favorite song as a kid, i new all the words and would sing i actually jumped flat on the ground a pretend to be running with my feet in the air for the part "back to the rules hit the ground running"
  • Sara from Traverse City, MiI love this song a lot it always makes me feel very happy.
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