Toad the Wet Sprocket is an American folk rock band consisting of singer Glen Phillips, guitarist Todd Nichols, bassist Dean Dinning, and drummer Randy Guss.
Toad the Wet Sprocket was formed in 1986 at San Marcos High School just outside of Santa Barbara, California, when singer/songwriter Glen Phillips was only 14 and a freshman; the other members were 17 and juniors. The band drew its name from the Eric Idle monologue "Rock Notes" on Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album from 1980, although the name is featured in a parody of The Old Grey Whistle Test on Rutland Weekend Television in 1975. The band's first public appearance was at an open-mic talent contest in September 1986. The band lost the competition.
Toad the Wet Sprocket's first album came out in 1989. Bread & Circus was self-financed through their label, Abe Records. The album spawned the singles "Way Away" and "One Little Girl," which made the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, but did not receive much attention.
The follow-up to Bread & Circus, Pale, was released in 1990 and saw their sound mature. During the recording of the album, Toad signed to Columbia Records while declining the opportunity to re-record Pale, but negotiating to have Columbia Records reissue Bread & Circus. Featuring the singles "Jam" and the Modern Rock Chart hit "Come Back Down," the album was still not a success; but the singles received heavy airplay on college radio stations.
The band finally achieved fame with their third album, fear. The album was released in 1991, and saw the singles, "All I Want" and "Walk on the Ocean" reaching the top twenty of the Billboard Hot 100. The album became the band's first RIAA-certified platinum album.
In 1992, the cult classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured the song "Little Heaven" and was included in the movie soundtrack.
In 1993, the Mike Myers feature film So I Married an Axe Murderer included the song "Brother" on its soundtrack. "Brother" later appeared in the In Light Syrup compilation album, as well as on the 2004 release of the live album Welcome Home: Live at the Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara 1992.
In 1994, after years of heavy touring, the band released their follow-up to fear, Dulcinea. This album spawned the hit singles "Fall Down," which reached #1 on the US Modern Rock charts, as well as #5 on the Mainstream Rock chart, and "Something's Always Wrong," which also charted. Like fear, this album was certified platinum by the RIAA.
A compilation album of b-sides and rarities, In Light Syrup, was released in 1995; it included the singles "Good Intentions," which was featured on the soundtrack for the television show Friends, as well as the aforementioned "Brother." The compilation was certified as a gold album in 2001.
The release of Coil in 1997 acted as the proper follow up to 1994's Dulcinea. Featuring a more electric, rock sound, it featured the Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock hit "Come Down," as well as the singles "Crazy Life" (previously featured on the soundtrack for the film 'Empire Records') and "Whatever I Fear," which did not chart. The album, despite the success of "Come Down" as a single, failed to reach any sales benchmarks. This failure is often attributed to the label doing a poor job of promoting the album.
Toad the Wet Sprocket formally broke up in July 1998, citing creative differences.
Albums in this Torrent
fear is an album by Toad the Wet Sprocket released in 1991.the album was preceded by the single "Is It For Me", which failed to chart well. a second single, "Hold Her Down" was deemed too angry and many stations passed on it.
Its best known single,the third radio release "All I Want", which reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100, helped launch their career. On November 6, 1992, fear was certified gold and on September 1, 1994, it was certified platinum.
1. "Walk on the Ocean" – 3:00
2. "Is It For Me?" – 3:24
3. "Butterflies" – 4:26
4. "Nightingale Song" – 2:03
5. "Hold Her Down" – 3:07
6. "Pray Your Gods" – 5:03
7. "Before You Were Born" – 3:44
8. "Something to Say" – 4:02
9. "In My Ear" – 3:10
10. "All I Want" – 3:17
11. "Stories I Tell" – 5:35
12. "I Will Not Take These Things for Granted" – 5:46
Dulcinea is an album by Toad the Wet Sprocket released in 1994. It is their fourth studio album with Columbia Records and the follow-up to their popular album fear, which was released in 1991. Two songs from Dulcinea reached Top 40 designation on the Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts: "Fall Down" and "Something's Always Wrong". Dulcinea was RIAA Certified Gold on 1994-09-01 and Platinum on 1995-07-31.
The album's name is a reference to the love interest in Miguel de Cervantes' classic Spanish novel, Don Quixote. At least two songs on the album allude to themes found in the novel. "Crowing" is a song about a man who does not know how to keep a hold of his lover. "Windmills" is a metaphorical song about how people spend much of their lives chasing absurd or impossible pursuits (the allusion being to a specific scene in Don Quixote where the title character uselessly attacks a windmill).
Dulcinea also delves into some spiritual themes. "Fly from Heaven" is sung from the perspective of James, who is portrayed as Jesus' literal brother and upset about the manipulation of His word. "Begin" and "Reincarnation Song" each explore questions about death and the afterlife.
From a musical perspective, Dulcinea is a return by Toad to the basics of a four-person band. The band leaves behind the overdubbed and orchestral aspects of Fear for a cleaner acoustic sound ( possibly with the exception of "Fall Down" ).