September 27 – New Band Were Hot…Burnin’ Hot Perhaps

Smash Mouth were hot in 1997! Maybe from all that “Walking on the Sun.” The California band’s debut single hit #1 on the alternative rock chart 24 years ago today and would stay there for five weeks.

They’d formed three years earlier with singer Steve Harwell coming from a rap background and joining an existing punk band. The Smash Mouth song was written in response to the 1992 L.A. riots and guitarist Greg Camp says “basically, it’s a social and racial battle cry…sort of ‘Can’t we all get along?’ song.” Harwell says he was walking around L.A. during the riot times saying, “God, what’s going on?” That theme might sound a bit like another hit from a different California band – War’s “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” Fittingly then, Smash Mouth did a cover of that song for their next single.

“Walking on the Sun” was the first of three platinum singles for them at home and a top 10 hit in Canada and Australia. Touring with Blur that year and the single helped push their debut album, Fush Yu Mang to double platinum in the U.S. and doubtless helped them get used on Shrek movies shortly thereafter, with “All Star” and “I’m A Believer” of theirs both getting use in those animated movies.

Smash Mouth are still active, although it’s been some time since they attracted very much attention.

16 thoughts on “September 27 – New Band Were Hot…Burnin’ Hot Perhaps

  1. badfinger20 (Max)

    Totally what Obbverse said…they were/are a singles band. I did like their version of I’m A Believer…they kept it intact and …well Obbverse said it again…updated the sound…that is it. I’m going to owe Obbverse royalties for my comment.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. They had fun songs! Smashmouth started one of their US tours here in 2013, and I took my middle-school-age Little Sis. We had a blast. There were maybe 200 fans in the entire theater, so the band had us abandon our reserved seats and bunch up in the seats down in front of the stage. For Walking on the Sun (I think), they had willing audience members go up on stage and dance. I couldn’t talk my little sis into it (smart girl).:D it was like having a live Smashmouth concert in somebody’s back yard around the pool.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. that would’ve been cool! did you get up on stage , little sister notwithstanding? I saw them in late-’90s opening for Blur, in a small hockey arena (about 2500 people maybe). They were fun, that was a good word for it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. the one thing I do remember that stood out to me was that most of the show they were very live and a bit rough sounding but I swear for “Walking on the Sun” they played the record and lip-synched… not that it was bad, per se, it just stood out as sounding suddenly a lot more polished than the rest of their set. Still, they were good and one of the better opening acts I’ve seen.

        Liked by 1 person

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