#MusicMonday – May 7, 2018

Today’s Music Monday is dedicated to all those times you get this one song stuck in your head. You know it, you know the lyrics, but you never remember to look it up and find out who the heck sings it.

This is one of those many songs that, for me, find their way into the earworm playlist of my brain.

If you ever wanted to know what it was like to live inside my brain (be terrified at the thought!), you’d find that about 85% is music. My brain functions well when music is involved. I love music, and I love singing along to it. I’m good with lyrics, but I have one huge problem…I can’t sing. I’m not tone deaf, I just can’t sing. I find that when I’m at work, I lip sync along to music – it’s much easier to explain why you’re lip syncing to Peter Cetera singing about how you’re a hard habit to break than it is to explain why you’re screaming it at the top of your lungs. Because that’s pretty much what singing sounds like from me – pain and suffering.

Before I get sidetracked…

In 2012, I discovered the joys of iHeart Radio. By the following year, I was creating custom stations (and not just listening to live radio station feeds, free format stations, and stations from Los Angeles all the time). I had this one alternative playlist that played mostly 90s music among my favorites. I can’t remember which band I originally created it around, but it liked to play this one song all the time. It was a song I heard alot in middle school (7th and 8th grades, 1995-1997), despite being a few years older than my middle school years. I’m not sure why it had such a presence then, but it did.

In 2013, after the song had fallen off my radar, I found it again on iHeart Radio, and I reminded myself to look up this freakin’ earworm already. Well, I knew it was Toad the Wet Sprocket (they were a thing when I was in elementary and middle school), and I knew the song title (because iHeart Radio and all), but I had no clue the song was as old as it was. It felt more mid-1990s than anything.

That song, my friends, was my earworm of youth, and is today’s Music Monday choice.

“All I Want” a song from Toad the Wet Sprocket from their 1991 album Fear, released in 1992 as the second song from that album. It was their first successful song, and one of their most well-known songs. It had a place on television shows like Doogie Howser M.D. (I totally remember that), Dawson’s Creek (again, remember that), Reunion, and Homeland. It is also featured on the soundtrack for the Nickelodeon show Zoey 101.

The latter three shows are all more recent (from the 2000s), so this song has never really faded into obscurity the way some early 90s songs have. It doesn’t help that it has “earworm” written all over it either. But that certainly doesn’t hurt it. It is a great song.

The song charted at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100, #22 on their Modern Rock Tracks Chart, #4 on their Top 40 Mainstream Chart, and #14 on their Adult Contemporary Chart. At year end (1992), the song placed #53 on the Hot 100. It was covered in 2006 by post-hardcore (the genre, according to Wikipedia: maintains the aggression and intensity of hardcore punk but emphasizes a greater degree of creative expression initially inspired by post-punk and noise rock) band Emery, but it is this version I won’t soon forget.

And once you click play and listen, you won’t soon forget this song either.

Santa Barbara-formed and based band Toad the Wet Sprocket had been around since 1986 at the time they released this single, and were together until 1998. The group disbanded to pursue their own projects, but reunited to tour in 2006, and have been together since then. Their most recent album was released in 2013, but we’ll always have this song to remind us of 90s youth and how a song can truly stand the test of time and listening sensibilities.

They did have other songs (they’re far from one hit wonders), but this always seems to be the one I gravitate back to. That and “Good Intentions.” I always heard that song on the radio back in the 90s as well.

Fast Fact: “Good Intentions” was recorded during the time “All I Want” was recorded, but they didn’t include it on their 1991 album because it felt like an “obvious hit.” It was later released in 1995 on their album “In Light Syrup” and on the Friends soundtrack, which I had. It was the first place I heard that song.

Their name, if you’re a Monty Python fan, comes from a Python sketch called “Rock News,” in which a journalist delivers a nonsensical music report. “Toad the Wet Sprocket” was the name of the band in the “report.”

And now I know where that name came from.

And now you know what goes on in my brain 85% of the time. You should be totally freaked out by that.

Well, there you have it. That’s about all for today, and even though it is Monday, make the best of it.

Have a great day, and enjoy the music!

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