Taking Sides: Gin Blossoms vs. Toad The Wet Sprocket

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It's the musical equivalent of plain yogurt. If that floats your boat, then bon voyage, Captain Bland!

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:28 (10 years ago) Permalink

Jesse Valenzuela of the Gin Blossoms has very recently put a very, very fine album with Craig Northey of the Odds. It's sweet pop music in the Nick Lowe or Dan Penn tradition. I don't know if it's available outside Canada, but it's really, really nice. It's called Northey/Valenzuela.

Huk-L, Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:31 (10 years ago) Permalink

http://www.craignorthey.com/disco/

Huk-L, Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:32 (10 years ago) Permalink

GIN BLOSSOMS BY A LIGHT YEAR

miccio (miccio), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:35 (10 years ago) Permalink

they were closer to Westerberg, closer to lite alt redemption

miccio (miccio), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:35 (10 years ago) Permalink

No, the correct answer is, of course, blowing one's brains out and splattering one's cerebellum all over the carpet for the sheer audacious idiocy of comparing the Gin Blossoms to the Replacements.
-- Alex in NYC (vassife...), May 26th, 2005.

Heh. Per Miccio above, it's a relative measure. The Blossoms clearly liked and listened to Let It Be more than Toad did.

rogermexico (rogermexico), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:37 (10 years ago) Permalink

Toad's "All I Want" was nice, I guess. At the time it was either this or The Heights "How Do You Talk To An Angel" on the radio.

Gin Blossoms, fer sure. The other "Miserable Experience" singles were no pox on "Hey Jealousy."

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:37 (10 years ago) Permalink

Good one.

It's close. For me Toad had slightly artier ambitions, and fewer rock-solid catchy songs. I would have said TTWS five years ago, but I'll say GBs now (much as I'm leery of the bandwagon).

Next up: Barenaked Ladies v. Counting Crows? Or Goo Goo Dolls vs. Blues Traveler?

The Mad Puffin, Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:37 (10 years ago) Permalink

And that dork lead singer of Toad used to perform barefoot!

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:38 (10 years ago) Permalink

Both bands made firm, rock-solid arguments for throwing one's radio in the toilet.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:39 (10 years ago) Permalink

"Hey Jealousy" is closer to Let It Be than anything on Don't Tell A Soul

miccio (miccio), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:39 (10 years ago) Permalink

haha or at closer to Tim

miccio (miccio), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:40 (10 years ago) Permalink

at least, I mean

miccio (miccio), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:40 (10 years ago) Permalink

No, either way.

A Viking of Some Note (Andrew Thames), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:42 (10 years ago) Permalink

"Til I Hear It From You" was co-written by Marshall Crenshaw. I want to get that hits comp eventually.

miccio (miccio), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:43 (10 years ago) Permalink

When everone found out that Marshall Crenshaw cowrote "Til I Hear It From You," I was almost chased out of school for suggesting that the Gin Blossoms had by that point written more songs I'd want to hear again.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:43 (10 years ago) Permalink

Best. Thread. Ever. In third grade, I made a list of my favorite things; Gin Blossoms was #2 and I'm gona stand by it. (#1 was Tetris)

088b, Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:44 (10 years ago) Permalink

oh Crenshaw had at least four

(x-post)

miccio (miccio), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:45 (10 years ago) Permalink

Who did "Until I Fall Away"? A nice one.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:47 (10 years ago) Permalink

Gin Blossoms. Yeah, its pretty.

miccio (miccio), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:48 (10 years ago) Permalink

Oh, and burning out >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> fading away.

The Mad Puffin, Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:52 (10 years ago) Permalink

New Miserable Experiences one of the best discs of the '90s? huh?

Jockey, Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:55 (10 years ago) Permalink

Goo Goo Dolls > Soul Asylum > Gin Blossoms > Toad The Wet Sprocket

gygax! (gygax!), Thursday, 26 May 2005 16:59 (10 years ago) Permalink

The original Gin Blossoms songwriter had something, no doubt about it. He wrote these terse jangle-pop songs that weren't goopy; there was a hint of desperation about them too.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 26 May 2005 17:01 (10 years ago) Permalink

Goo Goo Dolls were "Don't Tell A Soul"-era Mats, with no "Gary's Got A Boner."

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 26 May 2005 17:02 (10 years ago) Permalink

Goo Goo Dolls > Soul Asylum > Gin Blossoms > Toad The Wet Sprocket

LOUCHE NINETIES WUSSROCK S/D

The Mad Puffin, Thursday, 26 May 2005 17:02 (10 years ago) Permalink

Goo Goo Dolls > Soul Asylum > Gin Blossoms > Toad The Wet Sprocket

Soul Asylum don't belong in there. True, they started to suck in the same way those other bands did, but once upon a time, they were a Twin-Tone band who actually rocked (something those other bands -- Goo Goo Dolls included -- could never do).

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 May 2005 17:03 (10 years ago) Permalink

actually the Goo Goo Dolls were once a Metal Blade act that rocked

miccio (miccio), Thursday, 26 May 2005 17:08 (10 years ago) Permalink

xpost: Alex, what you're saying about Soul Asylum could very well apply to the Goo Goo Dolls as well. Not sure if you're familiar with their Metal Blade records or not.

gygax! (gygax!), Thursday, 26 May 2005 17:08 (10 years ago) Permalink

Bob Mould produced an early Soul Asylum album!

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 26 May 2005 17:10 (10 years ago) Permalink

Goo Goo Dolls > Soul Asylum > Gin Blossoms > Toad The Wet Sprocket
If you factor in Soul Asylum before they became famous, it would be...
Soul Asylum >>>~x1000~>>> Gin Blossoms > Goo Goo Dolls >>>> Toad The Wet Sprocket.
Never cared for the Goo Goo Dolls. Not sure why.

Lord Custos Omicron (Lord Custos Omicron), Thursday, 26 May 2005 17:34 (10 years ago) Permalink

Gin Blossoms. They may not be the hippest band around, but the debut had a ton of great songs and has aged really well.

kornrulez6969 (TCBeing), Thursday, 26 May 2005 18:53 (10 years ago) Permalink

Friends of mine went to see a bill described as "Gin Blossoms, Chevelle and Guster."

They had dinner, arrived in the middle of Chevelle's set, figured that the Gin Blossoms would go on last.

Gin Blossoms had actually gone on first. Like at 5:00 PM.

That is what they've been reduced to: opening for Guster.

The Mad Puffin, Thursday, 26 May 2005 18:56 (10 years ago) Permalink

Goo Goo Dolls > Soul Asylum > Gin Blossoms > Toad The Wet Sprocket

I love you, gygax.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 26 May 2005 19:00 (10 years ago) Permalink

xpost: Alex, what you're saying about Soul Asylum could very well apply to the Goo Goo Dolls as well. Not sure if you're familiar with their Metal Blade records or not.

Yeah, I am. I had the album whereupon they covered both "A Million Miles Away" by the Plimsouls (an amazing song they managed to make shitty) and some Prince tune.

They sucked then. They suck now. They will suck for all time.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 May 2005 19:22 (10 years ago) Permalink

i can't believe this many people are pulling for the gin blossoms. toad all the way. must this really require clarification?

katie, a princess (katie, a princess), Thursday, 26 May 2005 19:30 (10 years ago) Permalink

Apparently it must. Please share.

As The Mad Puffin said, Toad were rated the more serious act at the time (paceAlex in NYC - this is, again, relative), produced their share of inescapable radio hits and had the more durable career. So someone somewhere must be willing to make the case.

Sprocketheads to thread?

rogermexico (rogermexico), Thursday, 26 May 2005 20:04 (10 years ago) Permalink

"Walk On The Ocean" is the only song I've heard by Toad the Wet Sprocket, but I'll take just that one song over the whole Gin Blossoms catalog.

jotai, Thursday, 26 May 2005 20:09 (10 years ago) Permalink

In the immortal words of Roy Batty: "That's the spirit!"

rogermexico (rogermexico), Thursday, 26 May 2005 20:12 (10 years ago) Permalink

Gin Blossoms!

dan. (dan.), Thursday, 26 May 2005 20:36 (10 years ago) Permalink

Gin Blossoms, by a mile

xhuxk, Thursday, 26 May 2005 20:44 (10 years ago) Permalink

I actually have to agree with that on name reasons alone. I remember the first time I heard the phrase Toad the Wet Sprocket was when I heard the Monty Python sketch where it was used as part of a series of rock band reports. Then two or three months later their repackaged debut turned up in my local record store and I'm all, "Hey, wait..."

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 26 May 2005 20:47 (10 years ago) Permalink

For what it's worth, I also like "Walk on the Ocean" more than I like any Gin Blossoms song, even "Hey Jealousy" (which is a great, great song).

But the Toad edge is rapidly lost as soon as you move away from the best song vs. best song rubric.

What it comes down to is this: the GBs have three or four songs that are almost as good as "Hey Jealousy," whereas TTWS has perhaps two or three songs that are almost as good as "Walk on the Ocean."

And the Toad songs I don't like, like "All I Want," are more annoying to me than the GB songs I don't like, which are merely background noise.

Wow. I had no idea, until this morning, that I felt this strongly about either of these bands.

The Mad Puffin, Thursday, 26 May 2005 20:54 (10 years ago) Permalink

the Toad edge

Such a wrong phrase.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 26 May 2005 20:55 (10 years ago) Permalink

y'all are forgetting Poi Dog Pondering

The Sensational Sulk (sexyDancer), Thursday, 26 May 2005 20:59 (10 years ago) Permalink

y'all are forgetting Poi Dog Pondering

Not an accident.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 May 2005 21:03 (10 years ago) Permalink

virtually the entire world of music > Gin Blossoms > Goo Goo Dolls > Toad the Wet Sprocket > Soul Asylum

gabbneb (gabbneb), Thursday, 26 May 2005 21:08 (10 years ago) Permalink

Good Dr. Bill to thread.

woah, sorry this took me so long.

Anyway, yeah, it's no contest. Toad the Wet Sprocket were almost unquestionably the most poorly-named band in history (and the biggest potential slam dunk for critics ready to pan 'em), and that can't help influence my opinion on them. Still, they are clearly the inferior band--they had what, one great song? I mean yeah, I'd put "Walk on the Ocean" up against most of NME's album tracks, but aside from that this comparison is fucking ridiculous--in fact I'm a little surprised at you, Raj. The Blossoms never made a single nearly as flaccid as "All I Want" or "Fall Down". The better thread would be Gins vs. Goo Goos, Gins vs. Soul Asylum, hell, even Gins vs. Westerberg solo.

virtually the entire world of music > Gin Blossoms > Goo Goo Dolls > Toad the Wet Sprocket > Soul Asylum

This is just silliness.

The Good Dr. Bill (The Good Dr. Bill), Thursday, 26 May 2005 21:18 (10 years ago) Permalink

"the Gins"

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 May 2005 21:24 (10 years ago) Permalink

Toad loses. It's no contest. "Fear" had some interesting songs aside from "Walk On The Water," in a Big Star/REM derivative fashion, but nothing I'd care to revisit.

Gin Blossoms wrote some great songs. That first ep prior to New Miserable Experience was Byrdsian and rather fetching.

And the Googs! I'm surprised there's so much hostility. Hold Me Up, Superstar Carwash and A Boy Named Goo all have kiler songs, in that 2nd rate Westerberg fashion. But by that point, there 2nd rate Westerberg was better than Westerberg himself.

After "Name" everything went to hell.

Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Thursday, 26 May 2005 21:27 (10 years ago) Permalink

found out about you is a tune

GBs for sure

thereminimum chips (electricsound), Wednesday, 10 December 2008 05:26 (6 years ago) Permalink

Gin Blossoms resurfaces memories in my head of the type of music you'd hear in the mid-90s for a "Party of Five" promo (or any generic Fox drama that appealed to teens). Waiting for the Simpsons' to come on and seeing promos for Fox shows accounts for a sadly significant part of what I remember about mid-90s music and television.

Cunga, Wednesday, 17 December 2008 08:08 (6 years ago) Permalink

yup Found Out About You is one of the prettiest Byrds rips ever.

insufferably annoying (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 17 December 2008 18:32 (6 years ago) Permalink

Goo Goo Dolls > Soul Asylum > Gin Blossoms > Toad The Wet Sprocket

you've gotta be kidding me

billstevejim, Wednesday, 17 December 2008 18:39 (6 years ago) Permalink

5 years pass...

My loud neighbor played Hey Jealousy tonight. It ruled.

Allen (etaeoe), Monday, 4 August 2014 05:52 (10 months ago) Permalink

gin blossoms are criminally overlooked. not kidding. maybe in a couple decades after everyone is able to jump over the mental hurdle of having lump them in with terrible shit like goo goo dolls and toad the wet sprocket, everyone will realize it. start with their first album, Dusted.

Poliopolice, Monday, 4 August 2014 12:16 (10 months ago) Permalink

Poliopolice OTM. Poor Doug Hopkins.

Your Favorite Album in the Cutout Bin, Monday, 4 August 2014 18:16 (10 months ago) Permalink

i think in a lot of respects they channeled the spirit of Big Star way better than Teenage Fanclub or any of the other ersatz 'power-pop' rip-off artists who worshiped Big Star. There's actually a palpable sense of defeat, melancholy, loneliness, and failure embedded in most of GB's songs, which, mixed with jangle, is basically the Big Star template.

Poliopolice, Monday, 4 August 2014 21:26 (10 months ago) Permalink

^^ good call imo

resulting post (rogermexico.), Monday, 4 August 2014 23:21 (10 months ago) Permalink

terrible shit like goo goo dolls and toad the wet sprocket

I prefer either one of these bands to Gin Blossoms. THE WEAKEST SHIT IN THE NINETIES.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 4 August 2014 23:27 (10 months ago) Permalink

Throw Matchbox 20 in that equation as well. STILL more listenable than Gin Blossoms.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 4 August 2014 23:29 (10 months ago) Permalink

so RONG (and I even like that one mb20 song)

resulting post (rogermexico.), Monday, 4 August 2014 23:30 (10 months ago) Permalink

Better Than Ezra is probably less enjoyable than Gin Blossoms, but then again...I like the way the singer makes a totally unnatural noise ("wanh hanh") in "Good".

Johnny Fever, Monday, 4 August 2014 23:32 (10 months ago) Permalink

Alison Road is a nice tune

sinister porpoise (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 4 August 2014 23:36 (10 months ago) Permalink

that's all I'm sayin'

resulting post (rogermexico.), Tuesday, 5 August 2014 00:29 (10 months ago) Permalink

There's a lot of venom to go along with the "defeat, melancholy, loneliness, and failure" in Big Star's songs. Humor, too. Neither exist in GB's music.

rip van wanko, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 01:06 (10 months ago) Permalink

the toad the wet sprocket song reminds me of ELP's "lucky man"

brimstead, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 01:10 (10 months ago) Permalink

you don't hear venom in "Found Out About You"?

Now you're messing with a (President Keyes), Tuesday, 5 August 2014 01:30 (10 months ago) Permalink

no humor in gbv???????? ok....

brimstead, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 01:31 (10 months ago) Permalink

jesus christ, the humor is at least half the point of the early 90s gbv stuff that is so well loved!

brimstead, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 01:32 (10 months ago) Permalink

oh god. GB. nevermind, SB away

brimstead, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 01:33 (10 months ago) Permalink

gb > gbv

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Tuesday, 5 August 2014 01:43 (10 months ago) Permalink

otm

iatee, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 01:45 (10 months ago) Permalink

like i said, SB away

brimstead, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 01:51 (10 months ago) Permalink

sorry, i'm still experiencing hallucinations after having read accounts of people listening to toad the wet sprocket songs OTHER THAN the one that sounds like "lucky man".

brimstead, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 01:58 (10 months ago) Permalink

toad the wet sprocket were from my hometown so I may have a skewed perspective but they had like 4-5 radio songs

iatee, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 02:15 (10 months ago) Permalink

dishwalla also from my hometown, historians will look back at this as some cultural renaissance

iatee, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 02:16 (10 months ago) Permalink

yeah they had several big hits though looking over a list i could only remember two of them - 'walk on the ocean' (which i guess is the one that sounds like 'lucky man') and 'all i want'.

balls, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 02:18 (10 months ago) Permalink

Heard "Fall Down" more than "Walk on the Ocean."

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 August 2014 02:20 (10 months ago) Permalink

Gin Blossoms wrote good pop hooks... I only wonder why Geir never expressed love for them.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Tuesday, 5 August 2014 02:28 (10 months ago) Permalink

10 months pass...

Just heard "Alison Road" in the grocery store and I thought of this thread. The querulousness of the vocal - a little bit fuzzy, a little anxious - is of its times in a way that I cannot adequately describe but I know it when I see it.

And holy chimichangas it is almost ten years old. I have children who are younger than this thread.

Why oh why did I neglect Counting Crows in the group including Gin Blossoms, Toad TWS, Goo Goo Dolls?

The category "90s louche rock" is far far larger than these. Hootie, Marcy Playground, Smashmouth, Rembrandts.

If it's 1992 and your age begins with a 2, and more than 20% of your band is currently wearing a trenchcoat, and your lead singer hasn't shaved in approximately three days, you are Louche Rock.

A while ago I happened to be at a show given by a 90s tribute band (Bayside Tigers). Every song sounded like it could have been the theme to "Friends." And, in a way, they all were.

Ye Mad Puffin, Monday, 8 June 2015 20:34 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

the thing with the Gin Blossoms is that they were almost sorta cool at the beginning of their career and have unfairly been lumped in with the likes of Tonic and Marcy Playground

they were a bunch of alcoholic-lowlifes from Arizona singing the praises of Westerberg and writing jangly, perfectly good pop rock. the difference between them and Teenage Fanclub or something is that they were careerists who wanted to make money

any interview i've listened to with the lead singer he just gives off a really terrible vibe

hackshaw, Monday, 8 June 2015 20:41 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

including Counting Crows would have obfuscated things, somehow. They were something different.

rip van wanko, Monday, 8 June 2015 20:41 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

and of course they ripped that poor dude off who wrote all their hits. that's another way to make your career go downhill fast

i'd love to see an article that reaffirms their legitimacy

hackshaw, Monday, 8 June 2015 20:44 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Maybe some CC is different. Maybe "Mr. Jones" is something different.

But "Round Here," "Omaha," "Cannonball," "Raining in Baltimore," elicit a particularly 90s anxiety, one that I also hear in "Sex and Candy," "Found Out About You," "Let Her Cry," "Iris," and "Alison Road."

There's a wobble in the vocal that I hear as a fuzzy wired fear - someone who's just barely holding his shit together.

I mostly hated this music at the time, but in retrospect I feel it was appropriate, because that's exactly how I felt.

Ye Mad Puffin, Monday, 8 June 2015 20:54 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Dulcinea is a pretty good album, really won me over to Toad The Wet Sprocket after disliking their first couple hits.

fetty wap, kombucha, where to trap queen (some dude), Monday, 8 June 2015 20:55 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

smoking on stage = pretty louche

hackshaw, Monday, 8 June 2015 21:12 (3 weeks ago) Permalink


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