7 best Steve Harwell songs
Steve Harwell, lead singer of the American rock band Smash Mouth, died on Monday, September 4, 2023. The news of his death came a day after the announcement that he was put in hospice due to final-stage liver failure.
Steve Harwell was a founding member of Smash Mouth, a famous American rock band that rose to popularity during the late 90s to early 2000s. The band was formed in 1994 with Steve Harwell on the lead vocals, Kevin Coleman on drums, Greg Camp on lead guitar, and Paul De Lisle on bass.
Harwell left Smash Mouth in 2021, citing health problems. Earlier in 2013, he had been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and Wernicke encephalopathy and had even been hospitalized in 2017. On September 3, 2023, the day before he died, his manager, Robert Hayes, announced his hospice care, letting his fans know he had very little time left on his hands.
Here are seven rocking tracks to celebrate Steve Harwell
1) All Star
All Star is arguably the most iconic and popular song from Steve Harwell. The song was released in 1999 as part of the second album from his band, Astro Lounge. The song was written by their guitarist, Greg Camp, and produced by Eric Valentine.
The song deviated from their early ska punk style and was more aligned with radio songs. All Star ranked among the top songs in the U.S., Canada, and Australia and won a nomination at the 1999 Grammys. The song was even hailed as one of the year's best songs and featured in multiple films. Meme culture rejuvenated the song in the 2010s, making it one of the most streamed rock songs in the U.S. between 2017 and 2021.
2) Walkin' on the Sun
The song Walkin' on the Sun put Steve Harwell and Smash Mouth on the map. The song was released on June 30, 1997, as their debut single and featured on their debut album, Fush Yu Mang, the next month. Written by Greg Camp, the song was written as a call for racial and social justice and changes.
The song had a distinct ska punk sound and a catchy tune, which was an instant hit among the audience. The song went on to top the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Chart and ranked among the top 10 in Canada, Italy, Spain, Iceland, and Australia.
3) Then the Morning Comes
Released in 1999, Then the Morning Comes was another hit song from the band's second album, Astro Lounge. The song was written by Greg Camp and British songwriter Paul Barry, with Steve Harwell in the lead vocals.
The video featured Harwell as the central character having nightmares about a beautiful woman, waking up at the end to find her lying beside her in bed. The song had a very upbeat vibe and was the band's first to enter the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 list.
4) I'm a Believer
I'm a Believer was initially released by the pop rock band The Monkees in 1966. While Neil Diamond wrote the original version with Mickey Dolenz in the lead vocals, the Smash Mouth version was released in 2001 with Steve Harwell in the lead vocals.
Their cover version gained popularity because it was featured in the 2001 DreamWorks animated film Shrek and used in the Broadway adaptation of the movie. The song even went on to get a Platinum certification in 2001 for its unprecedented sales.
5) Can't Get Enough Of You Baby
Can't Get Enough Of You Baby was released in the '60s. The song was first written by Denny Randell and Sandy Lizer for the rock and roll band The Four Seasons for their 1965 album, Working My Way Back to You and More Great New Hits.
The cover version by Steve Harwell and the band added a pop-rock twist compared to the more garage-punk rock style of the original song. The song was featured in their 1999 album, Astro Lounge, as the lead single and became a must-listen from the band.
6) Why Can't We Be Friends
Why Can't We Be Friends is a reggae blues single from the 1975 album of the same name that was initially recorded by the American funk band War. The song was written collectively by all the members of the band. The simple chorus repeating between different verses separated each member's two-line verses.
Smash Mouth covered the song as the third on their debut album, Fush Yu Mang. Steve Harwell's version was faster than the original version, which critics liked for its more festive vibe. The song became another hit from their debut album, showcasing their talent for wrapping old wine in a new bottle.
7) Pacific Coast Party
Although it comes at the end of the list, Pacific Coast Party is an excellent song from Steve Harwell's discography. The track was released as one of the singles on the band's eponymous 2001 album. With Harwell on lead vocals, Greg Camp and Paul De Lisle wrote it.
Pacific Coast Party has an undeniable charm and reminds one of summer vacationing by the sea. The pop-rock style did terrific for the song, making it a famous party anthem in the 2000s.
Remembering Steve for his determination and commitment to his art, Smash Mouth wrote on their Instagram handle:
"Steve Harwell was a true American Original. A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle."
Although Harwell had already retired from performing and left his band in 2001, his fans will feel his death heavily. If you're a fan of 2000s pop rock and would love to relive the good old times, add these songs by Steve Harwell to your playlist.