"Toad" is an instrumental by Britishrock band Cream and was released on their 1966 debut album, Fresh Cream. Composed by drummer Ginger Baker, the song is a five minute drum solo (with a brief guitar and bass introduction), and is notable because it features one of the earliest recorded drum solos in rock history. It can also be seen as an early example of hard rock.
Baker began developing "Toad" while he was still a member of the Graham Bond Organisation, but it was not until he joined Cream that it was first recorded on their first album, Fresh Cream. The solo comprises a sequence of drum patterns that are built up, varied, and then dropped, giving way to a new pattern. On the piece, Baker often produced complementary rhythms on the hi-hat, ride cymbal, double-bass drums and tom-toms simultaneously.
The Cream website, Those Were the Days described "Toad" as "a coherent drums solo that remains unequalled in Rock Music. It influenced many contemporaries and innumerable budding drummers." "Toad" has been "widely imitated", and "paved the way for a decade of heavy-metal drum solos".Spin magazine gave it the "dubious distinction of introducing the drum solo to the rock LP", and The Drummer: 100 Years of Rhythmic Power and Invention called Baker's drumming on "Toad" as "a milestone in drum soloing". In a review of Cream, Life magazine said that "Toad" "features sustained, imaginative drumming that would knock out a Carnegie jazz audience".
The song was used on Boston Bruins telecasts on WSBK once every week for a Bruins highlight reel, which featured spectacular goals, saves, and the like. It is also featured in the 1995 film Casino directed by Martin Scorsese, during the infamous "head in a vise" scene.
^SPIN Media LLC (August 1990). "35 Most Memorable Moments In Rock'n'Roll Drumming". [[Spin (magazine)|SPIN]]. SPIN Media LLC. p. 61. ISSN0886-3032. Retrieved 11 August 2011.Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)