Song of the Day #241: ‘Fly From Heaven’ – Toad the Wet Sprocket

I last featured Toad the Wet Sprocket way back at Song of the Day #18 during a theme week dedicated to my courtship with Alex (such an old-fashioned word, courtship, but it’s a good one).

‘Fly From Heaven’ is the lead-off track on Dulcinea, Toad’s follow-up to Fear. Those two albums are wonderful pieces of work, with Dulcinea getting the edge by a bit because it’s a more focused and mature record. This song is one of my favorites from that CD.

It’s funny how some artists grow up with you while others get frozen in time. Elvis Costello, say, has been with me from college through my professional life, from single through married with kids. And I’ve seen him go from indie rock to baroque pop to chamber music to country blues and on and on. We’ve evolved together.

But Toad the Wet Sprocket is forever associated in my mind with the early 90s, those years after I met Alex and before we got married. The band broke up shortly thereafter and I never listened to them obsessively after the mid-90s, so they’ve turned into an aural time machine.

And that’s a pretty wonderful thing — the ability to slip a CD into your stereo and essentially slip back in time. It’s one of the greatest gifts a song has to offer.

8 thoughts on “Song of the Day #241: ‘Fly From Heaven’ – Toad the Wet Sprocket

  1. Amy says:

    I completely agree with you that one of the gifts of the one-hit wonders, or those artists, such as Toad the Wet Sprocket for you, is how they simply remain forever associated with one era of your life. I’m not all that familiar with this band, other than a song or two that may have found their way on to a mix tape, but I like this song very much. For me, Steve Winwood’s Arc of a Diver would be a perfect time machine album, instantly sending me back to Broward dorm. I associate other music with those years (Indigo Girls, R.E.M., Paul Simon, John Mellencamp), but I continued to listen to those same albums – and other offerings from those artists – over the years. Others, such as Elvis Costello and Lyle Lovett , have evolved with me over the years.

    Then there are those artists/albums that don’t belong to our time at all, yet we have a strong association with them because of our parents (Frank Sinatra, Carly Simon, Carole King, to name a few). I find the whole ability music has to connect us to be endlessly fascinating. I was playing my iPod while my students were working on a project the other day, and Frank Sinatra came on. A couple of my students immediately knew who he was, and one started singing along with the song. He later talked about how his grandfather comes home, sits on the balcony and listens to Sinatra at the end of every day.

    I know I’ve taken this comment – and thread – in another direction with that last anecdote, but I was rocked by the fact that this 15 year old kid knows Sinatra so well – and his grandfather even better. Music is tremendously powerful when it forges such a bond.

  2. Dana says:

    I never heard much from Toad, other than Under the Bridge and today’s song, but I could see the talent even from a distance. Too bad they broke up, because I could have seen them evolving and being relevent in the 2000’s as well.

  3. Clay says:

    I think you mean ‘Walk on the Ocean’… ‘Under the Bridge’ was by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I agree, this group could have had a nice long career. Glenn Philips, the lead singer, put out a well-received solo album a few years ago but that’s about all they’ve done since the early 90s.

  4. Dana says:

    No, I meant Under the Bridge…No wonder why I was impressed by the change-up in sound::) Oh well, Toad, Chili Peppers…..what’s the difference really? Two 90’s bands critically well received and non-existent in this decade.

    But yes, I do know Walk on the Ocean, and like it, but it is more similar in sound to today’s song:)

  5. Clay says:

    The Chili Peppers actually had a big hit in 2006 with Stadium Arcadium, though I’ve never really liked their sound.

  6. Amy says:

    For what it’s worth, Red Hot Chili Peppers hold some sort of sacred spot as BEST BAND EVER for a bunch of my students. Not sure if it’s a drug culture thing or if they really love their music, but they hold some crazy iconic status, and the majority of my 15 and 16 year olds would rofl 😉 if they hear them dismissed as a 90’s band that wasn’t relevant today.

  7. pegclifton says:

    How sweet that you have a student who thinks of his grandfather when he hears Sinatra. Thanks for sharing that bit of info Amy.

  8. Donny says:

    I think the Toad guys are extremely relevant in this time, they’re all amazing songwriters and continue to make wonderful music, lead singer Glen is involved in several bands, WPA, Plover, Mutual Admiration Society,as well as doing solo albums under his own name and under the moniker Remote Tree Children. the other guys have gone on to score films and produce other bands, and together they still tour as Toad, they just don’t record records together any longer (they felt they couldn’t make a better record than their most recent, 1997’s Columbia release “Coil”)

    Glen’s new single “Blood Pressure Rise” tops anything being played on modern pop/rock radio these days.

    myspace.com/glenphillips
    myspace.com/remotetreechildren
    myspace.com/plovermusic
    myspace.com/

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