Big Head Todd & The Monsters Biography

Formed at high school in Boulder, Colorado, USA, in 1986, this curiously monikered band put together two albums and several single releases to little outside interest. Gradually, however, songwriter Todd Park Mohr (19 October 1965; vocals, guitar), Rob Squires (b. 27 April 1965; bass) and Brian Nevin (b. 23 October 1966; drums) earned a groundswell of support after financing the band from their own pockets. Midnight Radio, with cover artwork by Chris Mars of the Replacements, one of their most vociferous fans, began to take that ‘buzz’ to a national level, but despite the breakthrough the band remained with their own label for its release.

Finally signing to Giant Records through the auspices of Irving Azoff in 1993, they made their major label debut with Sister Sweetly, produced with David Z at Paisley Park studios, where strong musical frameworks emboldened songs such as ‘Broken Hearted Savior’ and ‘Groove Thing’. Guitarist Leo Kottke contributed to ‘Soul For Every Cowboy’, while the band, on the back of an 18-month US tour, had three singles in the Billboard AOR Top 10, performed enthusiastically on the David Letterman and Today shows, and supported Robert Plant. Strategem [sic] was disappointing, despite unveiling further gritty displays of rural blues rock on tracks such as ‘Neckbreaker’ (inspired by fourteenth-century mystic St. John Of The Cross) and ‘Angel Leads Me On’. Beautiful World was a more satisfying collection, although it failed to achieve the crossover success many expected. Following the closure of Giant the band returned to independent status for their next studio release, 2002’s Riviera.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.