Sony Music Entertainment / Legacy / Columbia, Release 9. 2. 2018
It was the year 1982 and at the “Schlagerrallye”, a regional radioshow where the ranks were chosen by the audience, I heard for the first time from this Californian band called Toto. They had first placed a song called “Rosanna” in the top ten for several weeks and later they hit the number 1 with the successor “Africa”.
The tender planting of my musical knowledge had hitherto been nurtured on the hard soil of AC/DC, Kiss and the NWOBHM, but Toto caught me from the first moment.
So I finally went to a shop and purchased the album “Toto IV” on tape (in case you no longer know what kind of music format a “tape” is, please google it) and today it is one of the must-haves of every record collection.
2018 Toto is celebrating its 40th anniversary and in addition to the biggest tour of the last few years (see dates below), the Americans are celebrating it with the brand new best-of album “40 Trips Around the Sun“, completed by three previously unreleased songs.
For the younger readers, Toto used to be one of the big guns back in the ’80s, collecting six Grammys in 1983, including Best Album (Toto IV) and Best Single (Rosanna), and no fewer than four of the then band members were involved into the production of the best-selling album involved in history (“Thriller” by Michael Jackson). The song “Human Nature” was written by the Toto-keyboarder Steve Porcaro and his brother Jeff, Steve Lukather and David Paich all three joined the recording of this song.
Just to classify the performances outside of the band, according to the record company, the band members are on 5000 (!) Albums to hear, that were sold a total of half a billion copies and they received about 200 Grammy nominations!
Toto songs have been streamed over 400 million times on Spotify and have been viewed on Youtube well over 500 million times. Sensational numbers that you first have to create
“40 Trips Around the Sun” contains 14 remastered hits, among others. “Africa”, “Rosanna”, “Georgy Porgy” and “Hold the Line” and three unreleased songs that did not make it to an album before. Three original members Steve Lukather (g, v), David Paich (k, v) and Steve Porcaro (k, v) at least play on the new songs that were completed by Joseph Williams (v, k), Lenny Castro (per), Vinnie Colaiuta (d) and thanks to modern studio technology on “Spanish Sea” (the single release) the already deceased Porcaro-brothers Mike (bass) and Jeff (drums) can be heard.
The song evolved during the sessions to “Isolation”; it takes you back to the eighties and the rhythm of the slightly greasy ballad can not deny that “Africa” is closer to kinship.
“Alone”, the second new track is a bit heavier, of course in the same flowery Eighties’ dress with intelligently arranged rhythms and guitar runs and a rousing guitar solo; in my opinion it is the song with the bigger hit potential.
“Struck the Lightning” lies somewhere in between, pounding rock, but also with demanding sequences, only with a choir near the end, that is strange for today’s standards.
All in all a good opportunity to acquire all hits of the Californians with three encores on one album. The older ones will love it, the younger ones will have the opportunity to take journey into music history and to listen in awe to the highlights of the past.
For me it is 9 out of 10 points, the new songs fit very well with the old ones, it just does not quite fit into the Zeitgeist as much as in 1982.
Toto 40 Trips Around The Sun Tour 2018
19.02.2018: Hamburg Mehr Theater, Germany
21.02.2018 Dusseldorf Mitsubishi-Electric Hall, Germany
22.02.2018 Munich Olympiahalle, Germany
24.02.2018 Berlin C-Halle, Germany
25.02.2018 Leipzig Haus Auensee, Germany
28.02.2018 Krakow Tauron Arena, Poland
02.03.2018 Vienna Gasometer, Austria
10.03.2018 Milan Mediolanum Forum, Italy
13.03.2018 Stuttgart Porsche Arena, Germany
15.03.2018 Lille Zenith, France 17.03.2018 17.03.2018 Amsterdam Ziggo Dome, Netherlands
18.03.2018 Brussels Forest National, Belgium
20.03.2018 Offenbach Stadthalle, Germany
23.03.2018 Bologna Unipol Arena, Italy
25.03.2018 Marseille Dome, France
26.03.2018 Toulouse Zenith, France
27.03.2018 Lyon Halle Tony Garnier, France
30.03.2018 Paris La Seine Musicale, France
01.04.2018 London Royal Albert Hall, UK
02.04.2018 Manchester Bridgewater Hall, UK
04.04.2018 Dublin Vicar Street, Ireland
07.04.2018 Belfast Waterfront Auditorium, UK
08.04.2018 Glasgow SEC Armadillo, UK