TOTO – IV [Rock Candy remaster] (2015)
Rock Candy specialists have ‘Remastered & Reloaded‘ TOTO’s most celebrated ’80s albums few weeks ago. Let’s go now with their triple platinum-certified “TOTO IV“.
There comes tipping point in every artist’s career; a moment where decisions have to be made and a course of action needs to be taken. By the time Toto had reached this, their fourth album, matters were building to a head.
Their previous two albums had commercially under-achieved and the label was getting itchy feet about their future prospects. So, it was with the greatest deliberation that the band embarked on the road to “Toto IV”, vowing to throw everything and the kitchen sink into its creation.
History shows that this album was a triumphant success, but the road to redemption was not without sacrifice, hard work and dedication.
It is clear that a huge amount of creativity and talent formed the backbone of “Toto IV”, songs crafted to utter perfection and all wrapped up in pin-point production.
The recording took many months and the band was allowed a much larger than average recording budget. At a time when most bands were using a single 24-track recorder Toto used as many as 3 separate 24-track recorders at the same time.
The 24-track recorders were linked with a computerized SMPTE timecode system that allowed for up to 69 individual tracks of sound simultaneously.
The result was HUGE.
Musicianship is also impeccable showcasing talent beyond belief, of an apparently altogether otherworldly nature. Achieving sales in excess of triple platinum (only in the USA) and notching up an eye-popping six Grammy awards, it also spawned three huge global hit singles, namely ‘Africa’, ‘Rosanna’ and ‘I Won’t Hold You Back’, songs that epitomise the band’s first rate AOR pedigree.
‘I Won’t Hold You Back’ is one of my favorite Toto songs ever. Written and sung by Steve Lukather, this tune shot up the charts in 1983 after Toto won the Grammys including best record, album and producer of the year. Timothy B. Schmit, the sweet-voiced member of Poco and The Eagles, is featured on its soaring chorus.
Perhaps eclipsed by the major hits, ‘Good For You’ deserves mention as one of this project’s drum-tight, lesser-known gems. It’s a terrific example of how Toto, at the height of its powers, mixed and matched so many styles with class.
Co-written by Lukather and erstwhile frontman Bobby Kimball, the song finds Kimball in all of his full-throated glory — matching the lyric’s unvarnished, carnal desire.
He performed, then as now, with a reckless, edgy abandon, something that probably contributed to the reedy texture of his voice sometimes these days. The arrangements and instrumentation behind him did the rest.
Also ‘Make Believe’ is a little diamond. This David Paich-written, Bobby Kimball-sung rocker wasn’t a huge hit, but it illustrated something — with every tough Steve Lukather riff — that’s often lost in the ballad-driven public persona of Toto; they could (and can) Rock.
Other favorites are the highly underrated ‘It’s A Feeling’ and ‘Lovers In The Night’ all of which are a display of a band at the absolute height of its musical creativity.
“TOTO IV” was a triumph of incredible proportions for a group that had been written off by so many and, with bitchy cruelty, labelled as a faceless bunch of skilled session musicians. It is without doubt one of the most important AOR albums of all time.
Great, crystal clear remaster by Rock Candy Records.
A MUST HAVE.
01 – Rosanna
02 – Make Believe
03 – I Won’t Hold You Back
04 – Good For You
05 – It’s A Feeling
06 – Afraid Of Love
07 – Lovers In The Night
08 – We Made It
09 – Waiting For Your Love
10 – Africa
Bobby Kimball – lead and backing vocals
David Paich – keyboards, lead and backing vocals
Steve Lukather – guitar, lead and backing vocals, piano
Jeff Porcaro – drums, percussion, xylophone, tympani
Steve Porcaro – keyboards, lead vocals on “It’s a Feeling”
David Hungate – bass guitar
James Newton Howard – strings, orchestral arrangements
Lenny Castro, Joe Porcaro – percussion
Ralph Dyck – synthesizer
Martyn Ford – strings
Tom Scott, Gary Grant, Jerry Hey, James Pankow – horns
Tom Kelly – backing vocals
Mike Porcaro – cello on “Good For You”
Timothy B. Schmit – harmony, backing vocals
BUY IT !