Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Toad - s/t 1970, "Tomorrow Blue" 1972

In 1970, European psychedelic band Brainticket, out of Basel, Switzerland, was about to release their first album, featuring Werner Frohlich on bass and Cosimo Lampis on drums. They departed the group and formed Toad, with Vittorio 'Vic' Vergeat who was briefly in the space rock band Hawkwind, on guitar. They began writing and recording material for their first album in 1970, and in 1971, Toad released their self titled album and the single "Stay" which did fairly well and made some headway on the Swiss charts, a feat no other hard rock band had ever accomplished in that country.
The album was mixed by legendary British producer Martin Birch (who also produced for Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, and Black Sabbath). The album also features Benjamin 'Beni" Jaeger on vocals, who would leave once the album was recorded.
As their first album was being released in 1971, Toad preformed at the Montreux Jazz Festival that was recorded live by Swiss television, but the footage was lost and to date no other copy has been found.

In 1972 the band released Tomorrow Blue which was more in a blues direction and without a lead vocalist (with Vergeat and Frohlich taking over vocal duties). Like their first album it was produced by Martin Birch. The album also featured Helmut Lipski on violin, who played prominently on the tracks "Blind Chapmans Tales", "Change In Time" and the single "Green Ham." Later that same year the band recorded Open Fire: Live In Basel 1972, which included covers of Hendrix's "Red House" and Band of Gypsies' "Who Knows."

They waited until 1974 to release their third album, Dreams, which featured the popular hit "Purple Haze." After that, their history is largely undocumented except for a live album recorded in Geneva in 1978 and a studio album released in the 90's with different versions of the band. The rest of the 70's & 80's were spent appearing on a few compilations, releasing live albums and fading into relative obscurity. In about 1995, Toad broke up and have not reformed.

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