05 December 2013

[The 60's-70's Vault] Toad

The hard rock movement in Europe, during the 70s, was very popular and was played mostly in the U.K. and Germany, where there were the most known bands. But Europe covers a huge area and Switzerland hosted one of the best bands of that era. Toad were formed during 1970 by ex members of psych rock heroes Brainticket, Werner Fröhlich and Cosimo Lampis, on bass and drums respectively. The line up was completed with Benjamin Jaeger on vocals and Vic Vergeat on the guitar.


Toad's first eponymous album was recorded in 1970, released in 1971, and it is an excellent example of solid hard rock. The good production (the famous engineer Martin Birch guarantees the good result) provides a more pleasant listening. The songs are all equally good but most notable are the opening Cottonwood Hill (also the name of Brainticket's first album), the fast paced proto-metal A Life That Ain't Worth Living, the heavy instrumental Tank and the great acoustic The One I Mean. 
After the recordings Benjamin Jaeger left the band and guitarist Vic Vergeat took over the vocal duties along with Werner Fröhlich. 

As a three-membered band they released their second album Tomorrow Blue, in 1972. Also, Helmut Lipsky played the violin in three tracks. The guitar work on this one is more notable and a slight blues sound is more evident. The album starts with a powerful track named Thoughts and continues with the bluesy Tomorrow Blue that is followed by a beautiful acoustic song with violin, Blind Chapmans Tale. My personal favourite is the 12 minutes masterpiece Change in Time with the thunderous rhythm changes and the brilliant guitars. The whole album captures the feeling of the first one and is equal in quality. Martin Birch engineered it as well and the overall sound supports the band's efforts. 



After some performances where Toad have proven their ability to perform live, the band released their third and final album in the 70s named Dreams, in 1974.  Unfortunately, the album lacks the power and rawness of the first two, but it is a good album with some good tracks on it, including the Jimi Hendrix's cover of Purple Haze. 





After this album the band dissapeared, playing ocassionaly live shows with no success, during the late 70s and the 80s with various line-ups. In the 90s the band released two more albums and another one in 2003.

Toad have never met with success but their legacy is printed on those 3 albums, especially the first two brilliant ones. Switzerland's rock freaks are surely proud of them!

by Pijo


You can check all three albums in the playlist below:

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