When I featured Jeffrey Foskett on this countdown, the Swede wondered if Wondermints would also make this series. I'm sure even he couldn't have imagined it would be nearly 80 places before that prediction would come to fruition. I, of course, knew, and it was a smile when I read his comment way back in March. Wondermints are usually described as "Brian Wilson's backing band." On the one hand, I'll be forever grateful Wilson showed up unexpectedly at a Brian Wilson charity tribute show in L.A. (the bill was Wondermints, Alex Chilton and Apples in Stereo... what a night!) and was blown away by Wondermints' rendition of "This Whole World." That eventful night eventually led to 16 years (and counting) worth of touring and recording together, not the least of which was Darian Sahanaja's vital role making 'Smile' a reality in 2004.
Having said all that, for those of us who think of Wondermints first and foremost as one of the all-time great power-pop outfits, we have paid a price, albeit small, for being witnesses to Wilson's return from the abyss. Wondermints haven't had an album of new material since 2002, but I won't complain too much. Every song they have given us since the early '90s has been gold, and I certainly can't be angry about the Wilson connection and then choose "Tracy Hide," a tune that sounds more like "Wonderful" or some other long lost song from the 'Smile' era than any other in the band's discography. You can find this one on the self-titled debut from 1995. There were five songs from the album that made my long list of candidates for this countdown. It's that good.
In 1996, the band released an inspired album of obscure covers called 'Wonderful World of Wondermints.' In an unusual turn, Wondermints covered Wondermints as the album closer. Here is an ever-so-slightly different take of "Tracy Hide."
"Tracy Hide (Cover Version)"
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