Arguably the only thing more culturally significant than Shrek is the Shrek soundtrack.
That’s thanks to Smash Mouth. From the 2001 film’s opening (set to the band’s quintessential track, “All Star”) to Smash Mouth’s cover of The Monkees’ iconic “I’m a Believer” at the very end, Shrek’s soundtrack has stood the test of time. It’s nearly impossible to think of any other band that could have propelled a soundtrack into stardom other than Smash Mouth.
Yet here we are. Billy Corgan, a two-time Paws Chicago magazine cover model and lead singer of he Smashing Pumpkins, now claims that his band was offered the Shrek soundtrack first. Corgan was participating in a Q&A session on Instagram when someone asked him if he’d ever seen “the hit movie Shrek.” Corgan responded with a fun little tidbit of information, according to Exclaim Magazine.
“We were offered the end credit song for Shrek 1 but the offer was withdrawn and given to Smashmouth [sic] (who had hit with Monkees song),” Corgan wrote.
Corgan said that if the Smashing Pumpkins had agreed to the deal, the band would have used a song called “Untitled,” heard below.
Smash Mouth, however, has a different story.
“Actually we said no and Michael Austin from Dreamworks kept calling,” the band tweeted this afternoon. “That went on for over a month. We assume multiple bands we’re [sic] asked. If it feeds Billy’s ego to think they we’re [sic] first, let him think that. Def would have been a darker approach. The Eels are on [the soundtrack] & others.”
Clearly, DreamWorks Records official Michael Austin knew just how integral Smash Mouth’s participation in the film was to Shrek’s success. Plus, it’s not like the Smashing Pumpkins weren’t involved in other films. Remember the band’s song used in Batman & Robin in 1997 and repurposed Zack Snyder’s 2009 superhero adaptation, Watchmen?
Look, Smash Mouth and Shrek go together like bread and butter. Polygon spoke to the band about its relationship to the film last year, wherein lead singer Steve Harwell confessed just how strong that connection has become.
“Shrek is a daily occurrence for us,” Harwell told Polygon. “Obviously, the first Shrek is the best because that’s the only one with our songs featured in it. DreamWorks requested one for the second Shrek, and we recorded an awesome song but they decided not to use it.”
We’ve reached out to the band for more information about this new development in Shrek history.
Correction: An original version of this article stated that The Smashing Pumpkins created “The Beginning is the End” for Watchmen. It appeared first in Batman & Robin in 1997, and was repurposed later for Watchmen.