"If you are a Toad fan, your collection is incomplete without this album. Toad's first venture, recorded for only several hundred dollars and released initially only on a few cassettes, is the solid foundation upon which twelve years of phenomenal music were built. Non toad fans should probably buy Fear and Dulcinea before picking up Bread and Circus, simply because the more refined tracks on their later albums are more apt to capture the interests of first-time listeners, but overall, Bread and Circus is one of the best entries in Toad's musical library."
This is their first CD?
Nate (email@example.com) | Cheyenne, WY USA | 08/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I started listening to Toad with their Fear album, then when I decided to broaden my collection I was afraid to buy the early albums thinking they would not be as good as the later albums. But when I heard Pale and found out how good that was, I had to get Bread and Circus too. Needless to say I was not disappointed...I'd actually say this is one of their best albums. This is a must-have for any Toad fan."
Jeans Yoder | Yoder, KS | 10/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I will admit as w/ a few others here, Bread and Circus was my last addition to my Toad collection. It's hard to really compare this album to any other Toad ablum though. Simply b/c they were in the early stages of their music.1989 wasn't really a year full of great music, it was a year full of experimenting music. You see alice in chains working on their debut, nirvana working on songs, but not yet clicking until a couple years later. R.E.M. doing their own little thing drastically altering their sound (see Out of Time) which they release in 91, a full 3 years after "green". U2, Soul Asylum, Soundgarden, Metallica, etc, etc. all these top bands are really actually starting to change their sound. So when Toad steps in, they fell right smack in the the middle of the crowd.Bread and Circus, is a classic nonetheless, if you are a devoted fan. It seems like every song has this dark, eerie, kinda sleepy tone to it, maybe w/ the exception of "One Little Girl" and "Unquiet" which shows some signs of pep, but even then, the haunting guitars and vocals overlook that. I think that the music scene at the time, really set toad on a direct path of songwriting. They sorta wanted to make it big, but also have a quality of sound that was unique and could compete with the soon ever so popular genre of "mainstream."The album, although really no singles i believe, provides some great songs. My favorites would be "Know Me" and "One Wind Blows". These may have found themselves easily on the "Pale" album, b/c they do bring the same quality of sound, but mainly b/c they are probably the most developed songs on the album. "Know Me", the longest song at 5:13, sorta starts off w/ some kind of storytelling which almost foreshadows the rest of the song which really actually picks up almost at the 45sec point. It's sort of a testiment of a young man trying to make a name for himself in the world, and wants everyone to really start to realize who he is."One Wind Blows" which picks up immediately, is a nice little "pale"ish sort of upbeat guitar rythym ditty. There's really nothing too special about the words, but it shows signs that the band will be something for years to come.My other top picks include "Way Away", which in my opinion, sets the stage for the rest of the album. It's easy to listen from beginning to end, and is very free flowing. "When We Recover" is a short 3min depressing song in a sense that tells of hardships and unfortunate circumstances and hopes for a better life after the "recovery". It's a song of hope. "Always Changing" seems like a predesessor to other songs such as "Little Heaven", "Something's Always Wrong" and "Crazy Life". It's Bread and Circus' idea of the good slow song single. The rest of the album is fantastic of course, for me being a huge toad the wet sprocket fan. However, opinions often may vary. Check it out, it's a great album, then and now. Even in that turmultous time in music. The dreaded year of 1989."
More Than One Wind Blows
a music junkie | Austin, TX | 03/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After reading the past reviews it seems that most have come to this debut album late in their Toad fan stages. This was my first album purchase of the band and it was because I heard "One Little Girl" on SF's "Live 105" radio station back in 1989. The album lived up to the promise of that single and beyond. It was raw, emotional and over the top with passion. It became my go-to album when I was moody, lonely or just wanted a walk by myself.
I'm glad I came to know them from this album. The later albums were more produced and polished and in some cases, as others have mentioned, produced some better songs, but this was their benchmark as far as pure raw talent is concerned in my opinion. I still play it and it never disappoints from start to finish and there isn't a throw-away or unnecessary song on it."
The earlier Toad was darker and more consistent:
master10 | 10/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Again with Bread and Circus the theory proves correct. How can an album with thin production have such a full sound. Easy, these guys graduated from the school of REM with an A+. Their music is original however. Bread and Circus may be their most consistent effort despite not having anything excellent on here. There are some great songs like Know Me, One wind blows, and One Little Girl being the best songs of their early days. There is not a bad song here, not even close. Later on their music would get less consistent but come up with better songs. So, which period, their consistent early period and eerie or the period where songs like Good intensions, Fall Down, I will not take these things for granted with a bad song here and here. You pick."