All I Want

Album: Fear (1991)
Charted: 15
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Songfacts®:

  • The lyrics in this song describe a range of emotions, which some very zen lines like "all we need is to free the soul" and "the air speaks of all we'll never be."

    In our interview with Toad the Wet Sprocket frontman Glen Phillips, who wrote the lyrics, he explained: "If you look at the verse, it's very much about how fleeting any kind of epiphany is. It's all about the moment passing very, very quickly and how there's a desire to hold onto it. That would be a constant, but it comes and it goes and it goes very quickly."
  • This song marks a step on the journey through Glen Phillips' battle with depression. Many of his song titles and lyrics are things he writes on Post-It notes as affirmations and reminders. In this song, it's clear that he understands the power of desire and how it can affect your mental health. Glen's state-of-mind is something that he monitors constantly - he has to in order to keep his marriage and career intact.

    "I talk about happiness in that way that it's not the destination," he told us. "People who haven't experienced long bouts of depression think that it's about the things that happen to you, where I really think it's more of an internal process, kind of machines in the head that feed on sad stories. I can lay up at night and if anxiety hits, or depression hits, it doesn't matter what's happened or not happened. I'll find something to worry about, something to stress out about, something to ruminate about."
  • Fear was the third album for Toad the Wet Sprocket, which was formed in Santa Barbara, California in 1987 by four guys who all attended the same high school. "All I Want," with a luxurious sound that appealed to many radio station programmers, was their breakout hit, peaking in the Hot 100 in September 1992, over a year after the album was released. The hits "Walk on the Ocean" and "Fall Down" followed, as the band enjoyed consistent airplay in the mid-'90s. Their mark on the pop culture archives of the decade was secured when their song "Good Intentions" was included on the soundtrack to the TV show Friends.

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