Why is Smash Mouth’s Fush Yu Mang on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Put your all-star thoughts about this band aside, and you just might be walkin’ on the sun.
What does Smash Mouth’s Fush Yu Mang mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
Okay, let’s get something squared away up front. On a list of the best 1,000 albums ever – and not simply the best 1,000 albums ever, but my personal take on the best 1,000 albums ever – there are going to be some “controversial” choices. And by controversial, some people are going to think some (many?) of my selections are terrible.
Any maybe I’m not doing my “job” if that’s not the case, anyway? I mean, I have zero interest in trying to determine what “everyone’s” best 1,000 albums are anyway, so by definition this is going to be a highly personal list, and in my case it’s definitely going to be biased as hell, quirky, and maybe even strange from time to time.
And not if but when I include a handful of extraordinary bands, like Perfect Thyroid for example, that very few people have heard of, most won’t have a specific reason for not “liking” that selection, save for perhaps being steamed that you put that ahead of AC/DC, I can’t believe it! Or what have you.
I’m providing all of this preamble, of course, because Smash Mouth doesn’t have the greatest reputation these days in the popular culture. I’m pretty sure I understand why, but I’m not entirely sure it holds up to scrutiny.
The reason, in short, is that they’re written off as a (mostly) novelty act from the late 1990s and 2000s, a band that produces essentially throwaway songs, some of which just happened to be massively popular. And part of this, I’d wager, is that the song “All Star” was massively popular and was playing constantly on the radio, MTV, and by way of being included in the also massively popular first Shrek film. It got overplayed to the extent that I firmly believe that for many people, Smash Mouth = Make It Stop I Beg Of Thee.
But let’s head back to 1997, when Smash Mouth arrived on the scene by way of the Fush Yu Mang album and the genuinely incredible song, “Walkin’ on the Sun.”
This is far and away my favorite song that Smash Mouth produced. It’s smooth and cool as hell and rocking and moving all at the same time. This isn’t a song for the Shrek masses (a film of which I’m a huge fan, by the way); it’s more niche. It’s hipster in the best kind of way. Throw away your thoughts about Smash Mouth and listen to “Walkin’ on the Sun” with a fresh set of ears, and you may find as I do that it’s flat out great.
The rest of Fush Yu Mang doesn’t reach nearly this level, but it offers a strong variety of delights nonetheless.
I’m a sucker for well-produced ska punk, so if you want to consider this one of my quirks, have right at it. “Flo” is a very solid entry in this sub-genre, with fun organ effects, great skanking beat, and nice pop hooks.
“Padrino” is also quite good in this regard, but does get a bit silly in a way that might make you point to my opening paragraphs above and say, “Uh… really?” So fair enough. But check out “Every Word Means No,” which is a strong straight-ahead rocker with a fun bouncing beat and, most importantly, a great rock n’ roll hook.
This album also sounds like
Again, not sure if it’s totally “fair,” but Sugar Ray and Smash Mouth are bands that will be associated with each other in many ways.
Some stats & info about Smash Mouth – Fush Yu Mang
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Alternative Rock, Ska Punk, Third Wave Ska Revival
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
- When was Fush Yu Mang released? 1997
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #882 out of 1,000
Smash Mouth’s Fush Yu Mang on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.