|FORMED: 1986, Santa Monica, CA
DISBANDED: July 27, 1998
So named in honor of a sketch by the Monty Python comedy troupe, Toad the Wet Sprocket's mellow, melodic folk-pop sound made them one of the most successful alternative rock bands of the early 1990s. Singer Glen Phillips, guitarist Todd Nichols, bassist Dean Dinning (the nephew of '50s hitmaker Mark "Teen Angel" Dinning) and drummer Randy Guss formed the group in 1986 in their native Santa Monica, California; after honing their skills in area bars, they entered a nearby studio in 1988 and recorded their debut LP, Bread and Circus, in just eight days at a cost of $650. Originally sold as a homemade cassette in Santa Barbara record stores, the album made its way to the Los Angeles offices of Columbia Records, which signed Toad only after agreeing to the band's request to reissue Bread and Circus in its original form, without any alterations or remixes. The somber Pale, produced by Marvin Etzioni, followed in 1990; after years of persistent touring, Toad the Wet Sprocket's commercial breakthrough followed with 1991's Fear, as the single "All I Want" -- quite nearly left off the album -- became a Top 20 hit.
Another single from the LP, "Walk on the Ocean," was also a success. Three years later, Toad returned with Dulcinea, which generated another Top 40 hit with the single "Fall Down"; In Light Syrup, a collection of unreleased material, appeared in 1995. Coil, Toad the Wet Sprocket's fifth proper LP, followed in 1997. The group split in July 1998; their Greatest Hits collection was promised for later that year, but didn't appear. However, P.S.: A Toad Retrospective, did surface in 1999. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide