Toto, All In 1978 – 2018, 2019

toto - all in 1978 - 2018Despite already owning all regular Toto albums, I still thought this would make me a nice present from the kids for father’s day. So they did 🙂

And while listening to all these albums I know so well, I did find that the remasters of especially the first 7 albums breathe new life into them. Because in all honesty I have always loved the music, but the production always seemed very smooth. And if my ears and memory do not fool me,  these new versions have more punch, especially in the drums and the guitars. And as a bonus, some discs contain tracks I did not yet have too!

But the main reason for wanting to have this 13 CD collection was of course the inclusion of the Live In Tokyo 1980 EP and the Old Is New CD. The Live EP has 5 songs, 3 from one of my favourite Toto albums Hydra, and Tale Of A Man, whose studio version would not surface until the XX release. It ends with Runaway, a new David Paich song (for me at least). Great rocker that went down a storm.
Some tracks from Old Is New already have been released as singles. On these tracks the band revisit old recordings they for some reason never finished (that include many past members like the Porcaro brothers), rewrote parts or added them, fresh lyrics and vocal melodies by Joseph Williams and voilà. An album that sounds like Toto, past or present… (pun intended). Turned out great I feel!

Well, then on to some remarks; sadly the CD box does not include the liner notes from Andrew McNeice that where present in the full on version (including vinyl). And 1 album is missing from this collection; the Dune soundtrack, so it is in fact “(almost) All In”. ( I do not reckon the various live albums and their covers album Through The Looking Glass are candidates for this box). Also, Hydra comes as a mini vinyl replica, all others are wallet versions (some with such small print my old eyes sadly can hardly read the song titles).

But this is minor, the music is and will stay timeless!

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Toto, XIV, 2015

toto - xivThe last decade or so has been quite challenging for Toto I think. The band of brothers took some severe blows. But out of the bad came something good as it was the reason the band reunited with the original members still available and were able to add Joseph Williams, who sang amongst others on the fabulous Toto 7 record.

And from the moment the disc starts playing, you feel at home. Lukather is of course still one of the best guitar players on the planet and the boys have lost nothing of their ability to write accessible songs that are still enhanced with fantastic musicality. And those songs often harbour important messages as well. So Running Out Of Home proves to be an energetic opener to the album. Burn has so much feel that the far more heavy chorus not only lifts the energy but also balances the song well. But hey, every song on this album counts and a track like Orphan should become as big for them as Africa or Pamela once did.

And even if those days of hits are gone for them, this band have managed to create one of the best albums in their lengthy career, with one highlight after another. An amalgam of all they have done so far, and hopefully enough reason to keep going on delivering to their fans. I know I am one of them!

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