For some reason I didn’t hear this song played around here until 1998 although it was released in July 1997. Top 40 music was still salvageable in the late 90’s, with many great bands around like No Doubt, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cardigans, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Fast Ball, Barenaked Ladies, and this band, Smash Mouth. The song Walkin’ On The Sun is a true retro classic, sampling the Perrey and Kingsley electronic pop song Swan’s Splashdown from 1966.
Of course, most of us awoke in January 2000 to hear a rather bleak choice on Top 40 radio that the disc jockeys conspired to give us: Rap music or teen pop (i.e., Britney Spears or Britney sound-a-likes). At least that was what radio around here was playing. The other bands I mentioned, and many other great ones from the late 1990s … CENSORED. GONE. NOT PLAYED ON PURPOSE. I don’t know why this conspired coup d’état occurred, but that’s the real reason those of us over 50 hate the opening decade of the 2000s … and as a result fell out of the loop. Not because we could not change with the times but because good groups and artists many of us (who did not bail out in the 1980s) had been listening to in the late 90’s virtually got very little air play anymore (one rock song for every ten rap songs) due to the big bucks being laid down on rap and hip hop. Rock n’ roll was a naturally-evolved revolution. So was swing, its predecessor, for that matter. So too was disco and new wave (which shared the limelight with rock, country, pop, jazz, and, yes, rap music .. which had its big start in 1979). But the rap/hip hop/teen pop revolution of 2000 was fabricated by radio stations largely omitting everything else but that kind of music. They tried to do that ten years earlier with rap alone in 1990 … but the attempt failed. This time around it succeeded.
Wikipedia: Walkin’ on the Sun is the debut single by American rock band Smash Mouth, from the album Fush Yu Mang. Released in 1997, it was Smash Mouth’s first major single, reaching #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay singles chart.
The peak period for the song was September 27, 1997 through October 25, 1997.
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