10/17/2013

Never Had Anything to do with Kansas


TOTO
self-titled
[Columbia-1978]

This week was the 35th anniversary of the release of Toto's self-titled debut, which has always come across as the one piece of anti-schlock in the band's catalog, particularly during their commercial heyday. Well, nothing like revisiting an album decades later and having hindsight crush any possible positive re-encounter you may have had in mind. Weak prog flourishes, under-cooked yacht rock, and stylistically all over the place, the album is redeemed by one bonafide classic: "Hold the Line", which was inexplicably buried deep into Side 2 as Toto's penultimate track. Huh?

Toto hasn't aged badly production-wise, but its scattershot, lowest common denominator approach to songwriting--which, with one exception is all the work of keyboardist David Paich--is exactly what one would expect from a bunch of '70s session musicians accustomed to playing on a plethora of commercially successful records. Then it got bigger and worse. But that's a story for an other day.

2 comments:

Leo Susana said...

I'm listening just to see. Well, truth be told, I've gone straight to "Hold the Line" which has always been a staple of classic rock compilations. That great drum shuffle... I'll try to listen to the rest of the album but judging by your critique, maybe I shouldn't.

Kiko Jones said...

You should give it at least a cursory listen, you might enjoy it. I, on the other hand, owned it back then and was hoping I'd be pleasantly surprised revisiting it. Obviously, I wasn't.