Toad the Wet Sprocket
Toad the Wet Sprocket is an American alternative-rock band which consists of singer Glen Phillips, guitarist Todd Nichols, bassist Dean Dinning, and drummer Randy Guss. The band enjoyed chart success in the 1990s with singles including “Walk on the Ocean”, “All I Want”, “Something’s Always Wrong”, and “Fall Down”. The band broke up in 1998 to pursue other projects but in 2006 began touring the United States again in small-venue, short-run tours. In December 2010, the band announced their official reunion as a full-time working band.
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 just a 14-year-old freshman, and the other members were 17-year-old juniors. The band drew its name from the Eric Idle monologue “Rock Notes” on Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Album from 1980. Their first public appearance was at an open-microphone talent contest in September 1986 (which they lost).
Toad the Wet Sprocket’s first album came out in 1989. Named Bread and Circus, it was their first effort for Columbia Records, who had signed them out of high school. 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, Pale, was released in 1990 and saw their sound mature. Featuring the singles “Jam” and the Modern Rock Chart hit “Come Back Down,” the album was still not a massive success.
The band finally achieved fame with their third album, Fear (released in 1991), which became the band’s first RIAA certified platinum album. Also, the singles “All I Want” and “Walk on the Ocean” reached the top twenty on the Billboard Hot 100.
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, as well as “Something’s Always Wrong”, which also charted. This album was also certified platinum by the RIAA.
A compilation album of b-sides and rarities, In Light Syrup, was released in 1995; it included the single “Good Intentions”, which was featured on the soundtrack for the television show Friends. Largely due to the strength of the single, this compilation was certified as a gold album in 2001.
The release of Coil in 1997 acted much like a follow up to 1994’s Dulcinea. Featuring a more electric, rock sound, it contained the Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock hit “Come Down”, as well as the radio hit “Crazy Life” (which did not chart). The album, despite the success of “Come Down” as a single, failed to reach any sales benchmarks.
Toad the Wet Sprocket formally broke up in July 1998, citing creative differences. Since breaking up, the band performed together in 2002 at a Rape Crisis Center benefit and opened up for Counting Crows. In 2006 they began touring the United States as a band in small-venue, short-run tours each summer. In December 2010, the band announced their official reunion as a full-time working band and have started writing songs