Classic Album Review: Spin Doctors – Pocket Full Of Kryptonite

Pocket Full of Kryptonite is the multi-platinum debut studio album by the American rock band, Spin Doctors. Released in August 1991, the album was a huge global success, received multiple international gold and platinum certifications and produced a succession of international hit singles.

Spin Doctors – Pocket Full Of Kryptonite (Full Album)

Originally calling themselves Trucking Company, the band was formed in the late 1980s in New York City. The initial line-up included Canadian guitarist Eric Schenkman, harmonicist John Popper, and vocalist Chris Barron. Popper soon left to focus on other projects and the band recruited Aaron Comess on drums and Mark White on bass, changed their name to Spin Doctors (note the lack of a definite article – the erroneous inclusion of which would plague much of their early media coverage) to complete the classic line-up that would eventually record their hugely successful debut album.

With a stable line-up in place the band began a punishing run of live performances, racking up over 250 gigs in a twelve month period as they honed their blend of funk, rock and blues, developed original material and built a formidable reputation as a top-notch live act. Their live performances, often lengthy, would typically include extended jams and lengthy periods of improvisation, garnering numerous (somewhat lazy) media comparisons to bands such as Phish and The Grateful Dead – though in truth their musical output bore little resemblance to either of these established acts.

Spin Doctors – What Time Is It?

However, on the strength of their burgeoning live reputation, Spin Doctors were signed to Epic Records/Sony Music in 1990. Perhaps unsurprisingly given their live reputation, the band’s debut release was a Live EP. The tracks for the EP, titled “Up For Grabs Live”, were recorded at a selection of gigs in New York. The EP was released in January 1991, was critically well received, sold moderately well, and gave the band some breathing space to record their debut album.

The initial sessions for the album were recorded live in the studio, with the band playing together rather than building up songs a track at a time. There are of course plenty of overdubs on the finished work – it is a studio album after all – but the band’s decision to capture their live sound in a studio environment was a good one, giving the album a ‘tight but loose’ feel that has become the hallmark of so many classic rock albums over the years.

Spin Doctors – Two Princes

The album was released in 1991 and sold a respectable 60,000 copies. It showed no initial signs of becoming a major hit, but by early 1992 several U.S. radio stations were giving substantial air-time to the single “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong”. The band continued to play a punishing schedule of live shows, gaining more grass roots fans and generating additional radio exposure, until eventually MTV began playing the band’s promotional videos on heavy rotation. Driven by this level attention the album began to sell well and was quickly certified Gold in the U.S. Additional successful singles followed including “Two Princes”, “What Time Is It” and “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues”, and by June 1993 the album had become a huge international success, eventually being awarded five U.S. Platinum Albums with another five million units being sold outside of the U.S.

Spin Doctors – Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong

Sadly, this proved to be the commercial high water mark for the band. Their second studio album, Turn It Upside Down, was a modest success but failed to maintain the group’s momentum. Personnel changes followed and although the band continued to tour and release new material on a regular basis, they never managed to recapture their huge initial success. However, despite their declining international profile, Spin Doctors have always been a tremendous live act and have retained a fiercely loyal grass roots following in the U.S. And so, finally, here they are in their natural habitat: on stage in front of a receptive crowd. This live footage was recorded at the 1994 Glastonbury Festival and proved to be one of the final performances of this band’s hugely successful original line-up.

Spin Doctors – Glastonbury ’94

Album Track Listing

  • Jimmy Olsen’s Blues
  • What Time Is It?
  • Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong
  • Forty or Fifty
  • Refrigerator Car
  • More Than She Knows
  • Two Princes
  • Off My Line
  • How Could You Want Him
  • Shinbone Alley/Hard to Exist


  • Chris Barron – lead vocals
  • Eric Schenkman – guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Off My Line”, piano on “Forty or Fifty”
  • Mark White – bass
  • Aaron Comess – drums, organ, backing vocals on “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong”, congas on “Forty or Fifty”

Additional musicians

  • John Popper – harmonica on “More Than She Knows” and “Off My Line”, backing vocals on “Two Princes”
  • John Bush – tambourine on “Off My Line”, congas on “How Could You Want Him (When You Know You Could Have Me)?”


Featured image: Jonathunder, GFDL 1.2, via Wikimedia Commons

© Ivory Cutlery 2023