Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 

Toto

40 Tours Around The Sun

Review by Gary Hill

This live album was recorded at a concert to celebrate forty years of Toto music. It seems even more poignant now that it's been announced that they are hanging it up as a band. I often include these guys under progressive rock, as I have here. I can see people arguing with that classification, but honestly there is so much jazz and fusion here, along with AOR prog, that I just can't imagine putting them anywhere else. However you label this, though, it's a powerful live performance captured as a potent live album. I saw them a few years ago and was disappointed. All I could think listening to this was that I wish I'd seen this show.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
CD One
      
Intro Tape

This bit of dramatic music is precisely what it says it is.

Alone
The band fires out from there into a killer jam that is quite prog rock and jazz based. The vocals come in over the top and we're out into some classy music. I dig the cool, albeit short, keyboard showcase on the track. Of course there are some other keyboard fills that are all cool, too.
Hold The Line
Toto's first big hit, it might have been all over the radio, but there is a lot of meat on the bones of this thing. This live rendition really rocks. I love the meaty guitar riff that drives this, and the whole cut has a bit of an AOR prog edge to it. Steve Lukather's guitar solo is a powerhouse.
Lovers In The Night
A cool rocking number, this has some fusion in the mix. It's energetic and strong. The hooks are great, and there are some meaty instrumental elements driving this. There is a killer full on prog break later.
Spanish Sea
A mellower cut, this has a bit more of an adult contemporary vibe. I dig the vocal arrangement a lot. The number has a great jazzy groove to it. A killer instrumental section brings the progressive rock to bear as keyboards really drive it.
I Will Remember
Percussion brings this into being. Melodic instrumentation and non-lyrical vocals come over the top. The lead vocal line comes in as those non-lyrical ones drop away. This has a real balladic approach to it. It's evocative and very pretty. This gets more powerful as it continues. It is a great melodic cut that has a powered up ballad vibe along the entirety of its run. There is a killer guitar solo on the number.
English Eyes
A more energized rocker, this is guitar-led and all class. It's a powerhouse piece that just plain rocks. While this is one of the most straight-ahead pieces here, it still has plenty of compositional meat on its bones. It also has a powerful vocal arrangement. The instrumental section later in the cut is a real screamer and has some definite proggy elements. Lukather puts in some smoking hot guitar work.
Jake To The Bone
A percussion workout begins this. The cut drives in from there with the most decidedly fusion like jam of the whole show. In fact, this thing has so much pure fusion in it that it is downright scary. This instrumental has some killer musical passages with different instruments in control at different points. At over eight minutes of music, this is extensive, wide ranging and powerful. It works into some serious rocking zones at times.
Lea
This mellower tune is built very much on jazz. The horn lends a lot of that atmosphere, but the whole structure of the piece is set in mellow fusion styled texture.
Rosanna
Another of the band's biggest hits, there is really a lot of jazz built into this thing. I dig the piano solo movement later in the track in this live telling. They really bring this into a powerhouse jam from there. It adds some new fire and life to this cut. The guitar solo is purely incendiary.
Miss Sun
Funk and jazz really drive this thing. The cut has a great vocal arrangement. The whole thing is built on some serious class and style. An acoustic guitar and organ jam is a cool touch.
Georgy Porgy
There is plenty of jazz on this short cut. 
Human Nature
Another jazzy jam, this is so classy.
Holyanna
This cool and classy cut has a lot of that jazz side to it.
No Love
Here we get some smoking hot bluesy rock, complete with harmonica.
CD Two
           
Mushanga

This is a powerhouse number that combines a classy rocking vibe with jazz and more. It's a great number that is particularly effective in this live performance.

Stop Loving You
There is a real adult contemporary vibe, but they manage to bring the jazz and rock to bear with style, too.
Girl Goodbye
Keyboard textures bring this into being. Then it fires out into a smoking hot rocking jam from there. Lukather's guitar solo on this is particularly expressive and fiery.
Angela
A mellower piece as it starts, piano and voice create a real passion here. It gets a powerful proggy jam later in the track, but makes its way back to the mellower zones after that, but with a bit more intensity when it does. Another hard rocking jam ensues further down the musical road.
Lion
The guitar brings this in with a real rocking edge. This thing is a powerhouse with plenty of AOR prog in the mix. The cut has some killer jamming and really just plain rocks. The extensive guitar solo further down the musical road is absolutely on fire, and the band rise up to really meet the challenge it sets.
Dune (Desert Theme)
There is a bit of a spoken sound clip at the start of this. The band launch into a melodic and far reaching jam that's full on prog rock. There is a real dramatic and rather cinematic vibe to it. This instrumental is another potent piece of music on a disc that's full of them.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Here they turn their attention to The Beatles. Lukather dedicates the song to George Harrison. This is a cool rendition that reflects both the original material and the identity that is Toto the band. Lukather puts in some powerhouse guitar soloing here, but you'd expect that. The soloing at the end is particularly incendiary.
Stranger In Town
There are some proggy sections on this thing. It has an AOR mode overall. It's another strong piece. It rocks like crazy. It gets a bit of a parental advisory.
Make Believe
This is another AOR cut that works well. It has plenty of rock and jazz built into it.
Africa
After asking the crowd if they want to hear "that song," the percussion brings this into being. This is a solid live rendition. It is very faithful to the studio take. That said, they extend this quite a bit. A big part of that is a percussion workout that comes in after the four-minute mark and really takes control. Then, after the seven-minute mark there is an audience sing-along brought into the mix. They move back into the song proper zone after the eight-and-a-half minute mark, but the audience sing-along takes over again.
The Road Goes On
Acoustic guitar brings this into being. The vocals come in with this in a rock ballad style. The cut gets more layers of sound added to the mix gradually. The cut remains a ballad, but gets quite powerful before it's over.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
Return
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2019 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com