I Will Not Take These Things For Granted

Album: Fear (1991)
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Songfacts®:

  • By the time Toad The Wet Sprocket released their breakthrough third album, Fear, the California alt-rock band was becoming accustomed to the lonely life on the road, which inspired the album's closing track. The tune finds lead singer Glen Phillips on the phone with a loved one, seeking connection and reassurance as he longs for the life at home he's missing out on. He makes a promise to himself to cherish the little things and not take them for granted.

    In the ensuing years, fans in varying circumstances have latched on to the sentiment, determining to make the most out of everyday moments, which makes Phillips appreciate the song more.

    "'I Will Not Take These Things For Granted' I appreciate just because of the impact it's had with people. What it means to people," he told Songfacts in 2022. "That song shows up at weddings and on the walls of cabins at cancer camps. It's been a song that makes that simple statement of, 'I will not take these things for granted.' I haven't written a lot of universal anthems like that one, even though the particulars are all about personal memories and of being on tour and trying to connect over the phone."

    But it took Phillips, who's also the band's lyricist, a while to accept others people's interpretations of his work. "I used to be a lot more selfish about my songs, and now I feel like I'm much more tuned in to the function that they serve for other people," he continued. "So, I'm really happy with the place that that song holds for people. That's the purpose of music, to touch people and have some meaning in their lives."
  • The band members were classmates at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, California. When they decided to make music together in 1986, they adopted the name Toad The Wet Sprocket from a Monty Python sketch and started playing gigs. They self-financed their debut cassette, Bread & Circus, in 1988 and were working on the follow-up, Pale, when they signed with Columbia Records. After reissuing their debut to little acclaim, they broke through with Fear, which yielded the hits "All I Want" and "Walk On The Ocean."
  • They recorded the album with producer Gavin Mackillop (Hunters & Collectors) at Granny's Place in Reno, Nevada. Mackillop chose the studio because it was outfitted with the gear he preferred, including an SSL mixing board and a Neve sidecar console. Working in Reno also meant everyone could spend their off hours hitting up the local casinos. Almost everyone.

    "The only bummer for me was that I wasn't 21 yet," Phillips told Pop Dose. "We recorded it in Reno and so the rest of the band got to run off and go to the casinos and I just had to sit back and wait."

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