Daily Song Study

Toad the Wet Sprocket – Something’s Always Wrong (acoustic)

In songs on July 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I’ll put my cards on the table and say that Toad the Wet Sprocket is a huge influence on me. Glen Phillips, their chief songwriter, has a way of putting melodies and chords together in a way that is entirely unique, which fascinates me. But as much as I like his solo material, there is something that the other Toad boys add that is also completely irreplaceable, thus I am a bigger fan of their collective efforts than the offshoots.

A perfect example is this song. It actually requires all of them in order to make it work. I’ve heard Glen do it solo, and he has to get the crowd to fill in the other parts or it’s all wonky.

I’ve attached the acoustic version rather than the full-on studio one because it’s easier to hear the individual contributions. And also because there’s a good story about it. From the liner notes of the acoustic EP:

“The day before the session our rehearsal space had been broken into and all our gear was stolen. So with borrowed guitars and shakers, we proceeded. The recording was punctuated by the filling out of police reports and dusting for fingerprints, all of which added an ironic element in light of the song’s lyrical content.”

A snapshot in time, which as we’ve discussed here before is what the best collaborations capture.

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  1. […] down a listener’s ears over time if they are ubiquitous enough. And while I am an immense Toad the Wet Sprocket fan, I am not always prone to keep the radio on when their biggest hit comes on. […]

  2. […] I’ve made no secret that Toad the Wet Sprocket is one of my favorite bands. While they have currently reunited, back in 1998 it definitely seemed like splitsville. In 2000 two albums were released, one by the band’s main songwriter Glen Phillips and one by guitarist Todd Nichols & bassist Dean Dinning (with occasional assistance from drummer Randy Guss), in a new outfit called Lapdog. […]

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