The late '80s were a difficult time for mainstream rock music. Between the nascent ascent of grunge and the rise of hip-hop, there wasn't much room for effortless, engaging melodies and musical hooks that could be cool as well as catchy.
For that reason alone, a group bearing an odd name like Toad the Wet Sprocket seemed an unlikely choice to rekindle a pop presence on album oriented radio. Borrowing their handle from a Monty Python sketch about an ill-fated rock band, which showed a certain nerdy, humorous hipness. More than that, Toad had what it took to capture the devotion of both the pop and rock faithful. A string of early albums, kicking off in 1990 with Bread & Circus, made them the darlings of the college crowd, and once they released their third album Fear just a year later, they could tout hit singles "All I Want" and "Walk on the Ocean."