Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1976)
"Frogs" Toscano (RIP 2009) --
vocals, guitar, keyboards
- The BMTs (Freddy Toscano)
- City Lights (Freddy Toscano)
- Four On the
Floor (Freddy Toscano)
- The Ribtones (Freddy Toscano)
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Frogs for Everybody
Company: Lily Pad Records
Country/State: Valley Stream, New York
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: includes lyric insert
Catalog ID: 4900
Singer/guitarist Freddy Toscano's was a member of the Long Island based trio The Forth Dimension. The group recorded a pair of obscure pop 45s for Columbia before morphing into the six piece psych band Mr. Flood's Party. Signed by Atlantic's newly formed Cotillion subsidiary the group released an enjoyable 1969 collection entitled "Mr. Flood's Party" (Cotillion catalog number SD-9003). Unfortunately the lack of commercial success, personality conflicts including disagreements over musical direction between Toscano and fellow band members Mike Corbett and Jay Hirsh quickly spelled the end of Mr. Flood's Party. Corbett and Hirsh quickly reappeared with a strong album "Mike Corbett & Jay Hirsh with Hugh McCrackin" (ATCO catalog number SD-33-361), while Toscano retreated to backwoods New York and eventually reappeared with a rare and high priced vanity project.
By the early-'70s Toscano was living in Valley Stream, New York. He began auditioning local talent for a band, eventually settling on singer/guitarist Tom Prezioso (who had actually worked with Mr. Flood's Party), bassist Conway McMahon and percussionist John Paruolo. The quartet began writing material and rehearsing in Toscano's sister and brother-in-law's basement, eventually hitting the local club circuit. Their debut came with a 45 released on his own Lily Pad label:
- 1972's 'Alias Maggie (Girl of the Street)' b/w 'Haunted House ' (Lily Pad catalog number SP-121)
Comfortable with their repetoire, in 1976 the group decided to record a self-finance album at Master Sound in Franklin Square. Self-produced and released on their own Lily Pad imprint, "Frogs for Everybody" was a rather low-keyed and surprisingly charming set. To be perfectly honest anyone expecting to hear Mr. Flood, Part 2 was probably disappointed by the collection. On the other hand, almost all of the dozen songs were tuneful and commercial, though widely diverse in musical styles. With Toscano responsible for most of the material, the opener 'For Everybody' offered up a nifty slice of folk-rock. 'Drivin' On' mixed a rock base with some great jazzy leads from Prezioso. 'Floatin'' and 'Crashin'' were pretty if unoriginal pop ballads that would not have been out of place on a Mark Lindsey and the Raiders album. Personal favorites included the goofy rapid-fire delivery on 'Been So Long' and the bar rocker 'Shakey Dave McCoy'. My only real complaints were the fact the earlier single wasn't included and the absence of one true killer track and the fact that my copy of the album has a somewhat flat, thin and tinny sound.
Everybody" track listing:
1.) For Everybody (Freddy Toscano) - 3:25 rating: *** stars
'For Everybody' opened the album with a pretty and radio-friendly pop ballad. Toscano had a very melodic voice, though I'm not sure the un-credited female singer was. To my ears it sounded like one of those late-'60s tracks Mark Lindsey and the Raiders might have recorded.
2.) Drivin' On (Freddy Toscano) - 3:55 rating: *** stars
The discordant opening sound effects didn't do a lot for me, but once you got through them 'Drivin' On' revealed itself as a decent slice of '70s Yacht Rock. Complete with John Paruolo's Latin percussion, this one would not have sounded out of place on a Pablo Cruise album. Not sure if that's a good, or bad thing. My only real complaint was Tom Prezioso's lead guitar sounded like it had been recorded in a meat locker.
3.) Floatin' (Freddy Toscano) - 2:35 rating: *** stars
Pretty acoustic ballad showcasing nice harmony vocals, but ultimately 'Floatin'' was a bit too anonymous.
4.) Dreamin' (Freddy Toscano) - 2:25 rating: *** stars
'Dreamin' was an old fashioned pop tune that recalled early Lovin' Spoonful. Always loved the cheesy synthesizer solos.
5.) Crashin' (Freddy Toscano) - 3:45 rating: *** stars
Another commercial ballad, 'Crashin' has one of the album's better melodies and gave Prezioso an opportunity to briefly stretch out.
6.) Been So Long (Freddy Toscano - Conway McMahon) - 3:45 rating: **** stars
Toscano's mile-a-minute delivery was fun, as was the rocking melody.
Opening side two, 'Shakey Dave McCoy' was the album's hardest rocker. Shae they didn't pursue this musical genre with a little more energy. One of the album's best performances.
2.) Do You Ride (Freddy Toscano) - 3:00 rating: *** stars
'Do You Ride' was a great pop song with a strong melody and nice lead vocals,. The extended sax solo and silly sound effects cost it a star.
3.) Haunted House (Freddy Toscano) - 4:10 rating: *** stars
Latin jazz? Breezy and funny, 'Haunted House' was a nice showcase for the band's harmony vocals.
4.) The Real Me (Freddy Toscano - G. Roberto) - 2:43 rating: *** stars
From lightweight and fun, 'The Real Me' found Toscano and company putting a dark and gloomy blanket on their futures. Not exactly bluesy, but Prezioso's solo came close.
5.) Melody Man (Freddy Toscano) - 3:50 rating: **** stars
I'm a knock-over for cheesy '70s synthesizers and 'Melody Man' had it in aces. Coupled with a sweet and breezy melody and Prezioso's best solo, this one has always reminded me a little of prime Steve Miller Band.
6.) Let the Music Begin (Freddy Toscano) - 3:37 rating: **** stars
The album's hidden gem, 'Let the Music Begin' found a nice balance between Toscano's pop tendencies and a tougher rock feel.
The band continued to perform for several years, but never recorded a follow-up and their lack of success eventually led to a break-up. According to Tom Prezioso's website Toscano is still an active musician (as is Prezioso). McMahon is a fireman but still dabbles in music, while Paruolo is completely out of the music business.
I've never heard them, but there are a couple of other Toscano albums:
Credited to Freddy Frogs Four On the Floor: 2000's "Days On Earth" (The Orchid catalog number 0669910430521)
Credited to Frog 'n Way: 2004's "Confrederation" (The Orchid catalog number B004GNEIN2)
Toscano passed away from a fatal heart attack in March, 2009. There's a small FaceBook page devoted to him at: (5) Freddy Frogs | Facebook
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