Search Me, Baby
Follow Us, All the Cool kids Do.
Sports, Movies, Music... wow, that's not generic


The Best of the Worst.

Shape Up, You Slob

Primer Mag.

Say What???

Get Your Gaming On, Old School Style

Like What You See? Get One Yerself.
Powered by Squarespace
Stories Brought to Life!

The Thrill of Competition!

« Yo ESPN! - Setting the Record Straight on the NBA Player Migration | Main | Obvious Observation: Car Alarms are Useless »

Toad the Wet Sprocket

Does anything else even need to be written? Seriously, if you got the balls to make THAT your band's name you are clearly a champion.  But I shall do my due diligence and delve into the vast and unheralded catalogue that is Toad the Wet Sprocket.  

I don't know how Toad became so easily forgotten in the music world.  In my opinion, they're right up there with Counting Crows, (early) Third Eye Blind, and The Gin Blossoms for alt. rock leaders of the '90s.  Couple together a slew of very strong, radio friendly tracks with a name impossible to ever forget and you have a recipe for super stardom.

The Gin Blossoms are actually a great band to compare them to.  Both formed in the '80s, found success in the first half of the 90s and broke up in the late '90s before they could get really HUGE.  They both had a similar sound and didn't really have any stand out personalities.  Yet the Gin Blossoms still get regular radio play and are frequently talked about when '90s rock is discussed.  Most people today have never even heard of Toad.

Not the most visually appealing guys, even by '90s standards.

The only explanation I can come up with is that they hit it big just a smidge too soon.

Toad's breakout album Fear came out in 1991, just before Nirvana's Nevermind.  They got two top 20 Billboard singles out of it but it took almost three years for Fear to go platinum.

Meanwhile, the Gin Blossoms' New Miserable Experience came out in the college radio friendly afterglow of the grunge explosion.  Initially, the album also failed to garner much attention but would eventually go 4x platinum.

Now if that was the end of it, it would make things simple.  But the tricky thing is that Toad had success after Fear.  Their next album, Dulcinea, also went platinum (and spawned a #1 hit).  But Toad broke up in early 1998 without ever really managing to fully catch fire.

There were also other factors that may have played a part.  Toad had a little bit of a softer feel to them than a lot of the other bands at the time (most of their songs are angst free).  They also didn't have any mystique.

The Gin Blossoms had a lot of turmoil in their early days that probably made them a sexy play for radio stations.  Doug Hopkins, the guitarist and main songwriter for the band, was forced out by the record label because of heavy drinking.  Just as Hey Jealousy (a song written by Hopkins) started getting traction, Hopkins committed suicide.

Now, you can't expect every band to have a story like that, but Toad really had nothing.  Counting Crows had dreads, Weezer had glasses, 3eb had the catchiest song ever.  Toad also didn't seem to be able to light up anyone's imagination or cash in on MTV in a meaningful way, back when MTV really mattered in music.

Toad ended up being what Matchbox Twenty probably would have been if Rob Thomas hadn't done Smooth with Santana.

Even so, Toad's tracks have just as much value today as they ever did, and their albums taken as a whole are very strong.  I'd urge you explore the Wet Sprocket further, for they be underrated.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (10)

Perfect explanation of why Toad The Wet Sprocket's career never followed the arc of those other bands mentioned. I especially like the comparison to Matchbox 20; and the examples of strange selling points those other bands had (dreads, etc.) that Toad lacked. Even in the '90s, it seems, when every artist and band was trying to sell themselves as "just like you and me" (witness the department store clothes, SuperCuts hairdos, and complete lack of staging in the embedded Toad video), it was the bands with at least one somewhat over-the-top "gimmick" that most fully captured the public's imagination. (After all, this is still rock 'n' roll, where the "show" matters as much as the music).
Toad The Wet Sprocket is a very underrated band, and Glen Phillips is an extremely underrated songwriter. I really think that with his lyrical and melodic sensibilities, Phillips laid the groundwork for so many of today's "indie" artists, such as Death Cab For Cutie, The Frames, Iron & Wine.
Thanks for the great article.

February 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThoreau's Ghost

More please, this information helped me consider a few more things, keep up the good work.vintage Panerai replicas

March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFORTER58

Shopping is the best place to comparison shop for Coach Handbags. Coach Outlet Stores are selling imported brand new 100% authentic and genuine Coach Handbags.Coach is the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification bags.

July 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCoach Purses Outlet

Juicy Couture Outlet with a classic as one of the fashion style of competition in the market with high potential and welcome by consumers. If you want to get some savings on your Juicy Couture Handbags (around 25% - 30% off) then check out a Juicy Couture outlet store.

July 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJuicy Couture Bags

Our site is a walk-through for the information you Prada 2010 Collection wanted on this and didn’t discover who to you can ask. Look here, replica handbags and you’ll definitely think it's.

October 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterreplica lv 2011

I want to show my admiration of your writing skill and ability to make audience, browse the whole thing to the end. I'd really like to read more of your blogs and to talk about my views with you. I'll be your frequent website visitor, that’s for sure.
Houston Home Security

November 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHouston Home Security

I found this is an informative and interesting post for I think it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing ability has inspired me. Really the article is spreading its wings rapidly.Smart Home

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSmart Home

Hello, I am glad to read the whole content of this blog and am very excited and happy to say that the webmaster has done a very good job here to put all the information content and information at one place.Fort Worth Alarm Monitoring

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFort Worth Alarm Monitoring

I am happy to find this post very useful for me,baseball hats as it contains lot of information Nice,59fifty hats and thanks for sharing this info with us.Good Luck!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertisa hats

Well, I am just new to your blog site and just spent about an hour lurking and reading. I think I will frequent your site from now on after going through some of your posts. I will definitely learn a lot from them. Thanks one more time. Regards, Steve.

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCheap Flights to Bangalore

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>