Great Rock Albums of 1979: Toto

 

 

Although I was a big fan of Wayne’s World, there was one thing in their book “Extreme Close Up” I didn’t agree with. That was some of the songs they listed in the category of “Top Ten Party Killing Tunes.” There were at least two other songs that I felt shouldn’t have been on the list, “Hotel California” by the Eagles and “Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. However, down at number two was “Anything by Toto.” I don’t agree that every song by Toto is a party killer. Maybe in the case of “Georgy Porgy” but not their most noted song, “Hold the Line.” That was the song that made me aware of them and I still enjoy listening to it when I play any of the compilation CDs it appears on. Saying that, I do agree with Wayne’s number one choice, “Any disco tune.”

Sticklers for music history will point out that this album was released in 1978, but it didn’t come to my attention until March of 1979. How it did is an amusing story. An Air Force recruitment band came to my high school and played a gig. They introduced “Hold the Line” by saying that Toto had left Dorothy and the rest of the Wizard of Oz group and formed his own band. No, I didn’t find that funny either, but they did make the song sound good. Therefore, I was totally impressed when I heard the actual version by Toto.

If someone bought this album today after hearing “Hold the Line,” they may be disappointed in the fact that Toto aren’t a true hard rock band. They are more of a prog rock band with elements of hard and soft rock. I will go out on a ledge here and say they sound like 10cc with a bit of Kansas thrown in. While the album definitely isn’t party killing, it’s not a party enhancer either. This album is what I call a good wind down album. It’s great for playing when travelling home from a metal concert and you want something to bring you down. It’s also good for chilling in your big chair.

One thing I can say from this and other offerings by Toto is that they’re all talented musicians. The opening track, “Child’s Anthem” is a brilliant instrumental  intro to the album and while some of the song “I’ll Supply the Love” has that generic commercial 70s sound in some places, there is some good guitar licks and a keyboard solo to bring it up. A critic, which I’m not, might say that the musicianship makes up for any other flaws in the music.

Track Listing:

1. Child’s Anthem

2. I’ll Supply the Love

3. Georgy Porgy

4. Manuela Run

5. You Are the Flower

6. Girl Goodbye

7. Takin’ It Back

8. Rockmaker

9. Hold the Line

10. Angela

Toto

Bobby Kimball- lead and backing vocals

Steve Lukather- guitars, lead and backing vocals

David Paich- keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Steve Porcaro- keyboards, lead vocals

David Hungate- bass

Jeff Porcaro- drums

Toto are a good prog rock outfit, maybe not as good as Kansas in my opinion, but still good as their first album shows. And don’t pay attention to Wayne’s “Top Ten Party Killing Tunes” list.

Next post: Queen- Jazz

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

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