Toad The Wet Sprocket - Their 13 Best B-Sides

Toad The Wet Sprocket

Alternative/acoustic rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket released "New Constellation," their first studio album in 16 years, this week, so I thought it might be a good time to stroll down '90s memory lane and look at their impressive catalog of work, but instead of focusing on the hits ("All I Want," "Fall Down," "Good Intentions," etc.), I thought it might be more interesting to talk about their lesser known songs. In the early '90s, while everyone else was listening to Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, I was listening to Genesis, Pink Floyd, Styx, and other oldies but goodies from the classic rock genre. There really wasn't a modern band I was a fan of until Toad the Wet Sprocket came along. When I originally heard "Walk on the Ocean," their first big hit, on the radio, I thought, "This doesn't sound like anything else right now" (how I later felt about Blind Melon's "No Rain"). I remember asking my sister at dinner who sang the song so I could go to the record store (remember those?) and buy the album, and when she told me "Toad the Wet Sprocket," I thought she was having a seizure. Either that or it was the most ridiculous band name I'd ever heard before (and probably since), which makes sense for a name that was inspired from a Monty Python sketch. Thankfully, she wasn't having a seizure, but I remember hating the band name so much, I almost didn't buy the album because of it. Thank God I changed my mind. Not only did I grow to love "Walk on the Ocean" more, but it wasn't even the best song on the album, "Fear." I bought their remaining albums afterwards, and the band ultimately became my fifth favorite band of all time€”behind Pink Floyd, Genesis, Radiohead, and The Flaming Lips, in that order. But even though it's only 5 on my list, I'm able to relate to Toad's songs more than any other band. The lyrics are so true to my life, it's uncanny. It's almost as if lead singer/songwriter Glen Phillips followed me around for a few months and literally wrote songs based on my life. And as if the songwriting wasn't enough to turn me onto this band, Glen's singing voice is in the exact same key as mine, and his lost-little-boy delivery echoes my mentality; I often feel like a confused 12 year old not exactly sure where to go next. Here are just a baker's dozen of songs from Toad's catalog that I can eerily relate to (in no order)...
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Michael Perone has written for The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore City Paper, The Island Ear (now titled Long Island Press), and The Long Island Voice, a short-lived spinoff of The Village Voice. He currently works as an Editor in Manhattan. And he still thinks Michael Keaton was the best Batman.