TOTO – Kingdom Of Desire [Japan Cardboard Sleeve miniLP remastered +2] Out Of Print
The excellent TOTO new greatest hits CD triggered some requests, such as this out of print, Japanese Cardboard Sleeve miniLP replica, remastered version of “Kingdom Of Desire“, the last album recorded by master drummer Jeff Porcaro before his surprising death.
After burning through three lead vocalists (culminating with Jean-Michael Byron) for “Kingdom Of Desire” it was decided that Steve Lukather would take the full lead vocal slot.
First of all, I must say that for me, Toto is the greatest Rock band on Earth. Secondly, Steve Lukather is among the 3 best Rock&pop (and beyond) guitarists of all time.
That being said, from me, “Kingdom Of Desire” is one of the best Toto albums ever.
For sure, their most rocking, guitar-driven, almost melodic hard rock CD.
This is a very ‘early ’90s’ US recording, with sonic treatment very close to Schon’s Hardline debut, even Bad English second album, etc.
From the start with “Gypsy Train”… wow, that’s a really guitar driven tune, with Lukater’s unique mammoth tone and his killer lead vocals. Listen to the tremolo tricks and tapping technique all over the song. Lukather friendship with Eddie Van Halen was at its peak around the era, and it paid its dividends along the album.
There’s a balls-out rocking crunch in “Don’t Chain My Heart”, “How Many Times,” or bowel-shaking title track “Kingdom Of Desire”. “Never Enough” is a terrific bass-pumped midtempo where Lukather guitars shine again, and his vocals fit like a glove.
If you want a lesson-free on how to play ‘Rock rhythm guitar’, just listen to “She Knows The Devil”. This is an awesome heavy-funk tune plenty of punch and energy to die for. Seriously, it kills.
“Wings Of Time” is simply outstanding to me: it’s classic ’80s Toto but with that early ’90s production, atmospheric, lush, crystal clear.
Of course there’s terrific ballads here; I absolutely love “Only You” with its clean guitars and Steve’s crooning vocals, while “The Other Side” is pure Toto (seems taken from IV but with an updated sound).
Then you have “2 Hearts”, which is almost a power ballad. Listening to it closely it brings to my mind Black Sabbath / Tony Martin first album, and even Phenomena. Awesome song.
For those missing the great Jeff Porcaro, you will be delighted by his work on the instrumental jazz-fusion monster “Jake To The Bone” plenty of terrific beats and fills.
There are several versions of “Kingdom Of Desire”.
One with 12 songs including as bonus a live version of Hendrix’s “Little Wing” from the 1990 Planet Earth tour. There’s other with the song “Kick Down The Walls” and no “Little Wing”, and the original Japanese pressing including both.
Strangely, this Japanese Cardboard Sleeve miniLP replica does not include “Kick Down The Walls”, but we have added it as ‘extra bonus’.
Regarding “Kick Down The Walls”, there’s a story behind the track. It was provided by Danny Kortchmar (co-writer of some songs on the album) and the version recorded is a pre-production demo. It never was properly finished. However, Toto decided to release it as it is anyway because it was the very, very last recording of Jeff Porcaro.
That’s why it sounds different from the rest of the album.
“Kingdom Of Desire”, as happens with all Toto albums, it’s a different record, a rare beast in their discography. It’s a rocking, guitar-driven album, and where Steve Lukather proves a fine vocalist (and extremely underappreciated).
There’s classic Toto songs – especially the ballads – and others in the aforementioned ‘hard rocking’ approach, which I love.
I know many of you never heard “Kingdom Of Desire”. If you are reading this blog it’s because you like anything hard rock-related. Do yourself a favor and get this album.
Yeah, big Toto fan here, of all times, and “Kingdom Of Desire” is among my Top-3 favorites from them.
Sony Music Japan ～ 【SICP-3117】
Ｔ Ｏ Ｔ Ｏ 『 キングダム・オヴ・デザイア～欲望の王国 』
01 – Gypsy Train
02 – Don’t Chain My Heart
03 – Never Enough
04 – How Many Times
05 – 2 Hearts
06 – Wings Of Time
07 – She Knows The Devil
08 – The Other Side
09 – Only You
10 – Kingdom Of Desire
11 – Jake To The Bone
12 – Little Wing [Japan Bonus Track]
13 – Kick Down The Walls (extra track)
Steve Lukather – guitar, lead & backing vocals
David Paich – piano, organ, synthesizer, backing vocals
Mike Porcaro – bass guitar
Jeff Porcaro – drums, percussion
Steve Porcaro – synthesizers
John Jessel, C.J. Vanston – additional synthesizer
Lenny Castro, Joe Porcaro, Jim Keltner, Chris Trujillo – percussion
Don Menza, Gary Herbig – saxophone
and many more
Out Of Print