TOTO ANNOUNCE ITINERARY FOR "AN EVENING WITH" SUMMER TOUR OF THE U.S.
First Set Of U.S. Summer Dates For 2017 Announced
Tickets On Sale This Week
Tickets & VIP Available Via: www.totoofficial.com
Los Angeles, CA --- Multi-Grammy Award winning band TOTO has announced the first set of dates for their Summer U.S. tour, which will begin on June 2nd in Lake Charles, LA. The shows are billed as "An Evening With Toto” and their performances will feature repertoire for their latest studio album XIV, classic hits, and both band and fan favorites from their vast catalog in performances that will stage two hours of music. Last summer, Toto embarked their first U.S. headline run in over a decade.
The core Toto members, Steve Lukather, David Paich, Steve Porcaro, Joseph Williams will be joined by Lenny Castro (percussion), Shannon Forest (drums), Shem von Schroeck (bass), Warren Ham (saxophone, vocals). Guitarist Steve Lukather shares, “We had such a great time last summer that we wanted to regroup and hit some cities we didn’t get to last time. Always a thrill to bring our full show around the country.”
Few ensembles in the history of recorded music have individually or collectively had a larger imprint on pop culture than the members of Toto. As individuals, the band members can be heard on an astonishing 5000 albums that together amass a sales history of a half a billion albums. Amongst these recordings, NARAS applauded the performances with more than 200 Grammy nominations and were inducted in to the Musicians Hall Of Fame in 2009.
With close to 40 years together and literally thousands of credits, including the biggest selling album of all time: Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and accolades to their names, TOTO remains one of the top selling touring and recording acts in the world. They are the benchmark by which many artists base their sound and production, and they continue to transcend the standards set by the entire music community, being simply synonymous with musical credibility. Their repertoire continues to be current via high profile usage on broadcast television. They are pop culture, and are one of the few 70’s bands that have endured the changing trends and styles to a career enjoy a multi-generational fan base.
In 2015, Toto released their first new studio album in ten years – TOTO XIV. The album exhibited world-class musicianship, masterful arrangements, topical lyrical commentary, and melodies that the collective talents of Lukather, Paich, Porcaro, Williams and their assembled band-mates brought to life. It debuted Top 10 in nine countries around the world and became their most successful album since 1988 in the U.S. and UK.
In 2016 they released the Blu-Ray/DVD title Live At Montreux which quickly charted Top Five or better around the globe as well. With the band’s 40th Anniversary coming up in 2018, TOTO has major plans in the works to celebrate their enduring career.
TOTO 2017 SUMMER TOUR
6/2/17 Lake Charles, LA -
Golden Nugget Lake Charles-Grand Event Center
6/3/17 Biloxi, MS - Hard Rock Hotel and Casino-Hard Rock Live
6/4/17 Chattanooga, TN - Tivoli Theatre
6/6/17 Durham, NC - The Carolina Theatre
6/7/17 Charlotte, NC - Knight Theater
6/10/17 Rama, ON - Casino Rama-Entertainment Centre
6/13/17 Greensburg, PA - Palace Theatre
6/14/17 Annapolis, MD - Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts
6/16/17 Easton, PA - State Theatre Center for the Arts
6/17/17 Lincoln, RI - Twin River Casino
6/18/17 Wilkes-Barre, PA -
F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
6/20/17 Torrington, CT - Warner Theatre
6/21/17 Morristown, NJ - Mayo Performing Arts Center
6/23/17 Peekskill, NY - Paramount Hudson Valley
6/24/17 Waterloo, NY - Del Lago Resort and Casino-The Vine
6/25/17 Derry, NH - Tupelo Music Hall
6/28/17 Saint Charles, IL - The Arcada Theatre
7/1/17 Salina, KS - Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts
More Dates To Be Announced
All members of TOTO have been busy over the last few months working with SONY on new remasters of their entire catalogue – along with a promised box set to celebrate the band’s upcoming 40th Anniversary in 2018.
Newly unearth tracks, rarities and even new material is all inbound, with Steve Lukather stating that working on the old material has inspired the guys to get working on new material, hitting the studio in January!
Here’s what Luke had to say on the remasters: “It is all 192 Resolution sonically from raw un EQ'd tapes w/ NO compression and the EQ is just right and CLEAR and huge. Like never before. Not even close! Truly remarkable difference on the old stuff.” And “Mind Blowing-This is your life week Re-Mastering 11 Toto albums+… HUGE thanks to Elliot, Gavin and Rueben! 1st 3 like never before!”
On his Facebook page, Luke goes further in depth:
“It is all from the ORIGINAL album mixes but reshaped EQ wise but NO compression added at all!! We are hearing subtle parts that were buried in the old mixes on the early albums. Remember we had to mix for Vinyl back then and there were sonic rules we HAD to deal with that were a drag. Elliot Schiener, Gavin Lurrsen and his co -mastering engineer Rueben did some amazing things. It’s like a blanket was taken off the speakers on our 1-3 records and just a tweak here and there from Toto IV on.
We found a 5.1 mix of IV Elliot did yrs ago that was never released... SO many treats/ surprises will be in there as well, some great liner notes on all 11 SONY albums and photos and personal stuff... and it is like we re-mixed the early stuff, the first 3 albums, but we didn't! It's SO clear and hi fi! This was an amazing experience.
It has inspired us to write the NEW music we start on Jan 9th - March. Many surprises and ' treats' will be included. Out 2018 but we will tour 2017 as well. Some festivals in Europe and then the USA. A surprise is coming there as well. It is all working us up to the 40th Anniversary in 2018. 2 year world tour to follow. That’s all for now. Happy Holidays to you all…”
The Legendary Voice Of Hard Rock JOE LYNN TURNER Shines On This New Collection Of Session Tracks!
Los Angeles, CA - Vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, best known for fronting Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow during that band’s creative peak in the 1980s and later as the frontman for Yngwie Malmsteen, has been called The Man With The Golden Voice, and it’s easy to understand why; nearly everything Turner records sounds blessed by the gods of hard rock. His commanding presence, powerhouse range, and emotional resonance has made him the go-to vocalist for a number of artists.
Now some of this session work is collected on a brand new collection of studio recordings called simply The Sessions and released on Deadline Music October 7. The CD release contains superb, supercharged versions of rock classics from “Lunatic Fringe” to AC/DC’s “Back In Black,” The Doors’ “Riders On The Storm” to Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls.” The album also features guest appearances by Michael Schenker (UFO), Steve Lukather (Toto), Steve Morse, Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Brad Gillis (Night Ranger), and more!
1. Stone Cold with Vivian Campbell
2. Lunatic Fringe
3. Let the Music Do the Talking with Al Pitrelli, Carmine Rojas & Pat Torpey
4. Mirror Mirror with Icarus Witch
5. Hellraiser with Steve Lukather, Billy Sherwood, Jay Schellen & Paul Taylor
6. 14 Years
7. Dance The Night Away with Reb Beach
8. Back in Black with Phil Collen
9. All Shook Up with Michael Schenker
10. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You with Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Tony Franklin & Doane Perry
11. All Day and All of the Night with Brad Gillis, Rudy Sarzo & Simon Wright
12. Bloody Well Right with Dave Kerzner
13. The Seeker with Leslie West
14. Jungle Love with Steve Morse
15. Two Minutes To Midnight with Richie Kotzen
16. Fat Bottomed Girls with Reb Beach
17. Riders On The Storm with Tony Kaye & Steve Cropper
STEVE LUKATHER and TOTO are both recipients of Japanese exclusive compilations due out March 2.
For Steve Lukather, the album is Session Works - "This compilation includes tracks carefully selected from ones featuring Steve Lukather. Supervised by Steve Lukather himself. Includes his comments on tracks. Cover artwork uses photo(s) shot at rehearsal in their first tour in Japan in 1980."
Track Listing: 1 Back On The Road / Earth Wind & Fire
2 Breakdown Dead Ahead / Boz Scaggs
3 You Need Some Lovin' / Eric Carmen
4 Ai No Corrida / Quincy Jones
5 I Want You / The Brothers Johnson
6 Hero With A 1.000 Eyes / Steve Lukather
7 Hold Me 'Til The Mornin' Comes / Paul Anka
8 Forever (Album Version) / Kenny Loggins
9 Paradise / Sarah Dash
10 A Clue / Boz Scaggs
11 Lady In The Dark (Album Version) / Valerie Carter
12 Lovin' And Losin' You
13 Alone / I-Ten
14 Twist The Knife / Steve Lukather
15 Take Me To Your Heaven / Wilson Brothers
16 Whatever Happened / Dane Donohue
17 Please Stay Tuned (Album Version) / Chet Atkins
For Toto, the compilation In The Blink Of An Eye is out February 24 and features a familiar track list. It basically supersedes previous compilations.
ALL STARR'S INCLUDE TODD RUNDGREN, GREGG ROLIE and STEVE LUKATHER,
RICHARD PAGE, WARREN HAM and GREGG BISSONETTE
January 25, 2016 - Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band – featuring Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolie, Steve Lukather, Richard Page, Warren Ham and Gregg Bissonette - announce another string of North American shows. The tour kicks off on June 3 in Syracuse, New York and ending with two dates in California, the first July 1 at Humphreys in San Diego and concluding the tour July 2 at The Greek in Los Angeles. This current All Starr line up is the 12th and longest running, and as Ringo recently told The Boston Globe, 'I love this band – we have a lot of funn together on and offstage, so here we come again.'
That love is evident in their performances, exemplified by this review in the Sarasota Tribune-Herald: 'This latest incarnation of Starr's travelling show has been together now going on three years and watching them interact as an actual band, rather than a supergroup taking turns out front, is almost as fun, almost, as watching and screaming 'I love you' at the front man who will forever be part of the biggest rock 'n' roll band of all time.'
Here's where you can catch Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band on Tour, with more dates to be announced soon:
June 3 Lakeview Ampitheater, Syracuse, NY
June 4 Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino, Salamanca, NY
June 5 Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY
June 7 Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood, NJ
June 8 Cross Insurance Center, Bangor, ME
June 10 Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, Gilford, NH
June 11 DCU Center, Worcester, MA
June 12 Santander Arena, Reading, PA
June 15 St. George Theatre, Staten Island, NY
June 17 Warner Theatre, Washington DC
June 18 Koka Booth Ampitheatre, Cary, NC
June 19 Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
June 21 Foellinger Theatre, Fort Wayne, IN
June 22 Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH
June 23 Fox Theatre, Detroit, MI
June 25 Pinewood Bowl Theater, Lincoln, NE
June 26 Hartman Arena, Wichita, KS
June 28 Paramount Theatre, Denver, CO
July 1 Humphreys Concerts, San Diego, CA
July 2 The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
The following four new Rock Candy titles are available now from www.rockcandyrecords.com for a discounted price including postage to anywhere in the world for the next two weeks ending on November 15.
TOTO 'IV' CANDY274
THERE COMES A 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 this album, songs crafted to utter perfection and all wrapped up in pin-point production. The musicianship was also impeccable, showcasing talent beyond belief, of an apparently altogether otherworldly nature. Achieving sales in excess of triple platinum and notching up a 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 precise and concise style. It was a triumph of incredible proportions for a group that had been written off by so many and, with bitchy cruelty, labelled a faceless bunch of session musicians. It is without doubt the most important AOR album of all time. SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR'S EDITION, FULLY REMASTERED SOUND, 12 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET, 3,500 WORD ESSAY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM AND ENHANCED ARTWORK. TRACK LISTING: 1. ROSANNA 2. MAKE BELIEVE 3. I WON'T HOLD YOU BACK 4. GOOD FOR YOU 5. IT'S A FEELING 6. AFRAID OF LOVE 7. LOVERS IN THE NIGHT 8. WE MADE IT 9. WAITING FOR YOUR LOVE10. AFRICA
TOTO 'ISOLATION' CANDY275
WHEN TOTO RELEASED their game changing fourth album 'Toto IV' nobody, least of all the band, expected it to resonate so loudly with the public. Sure, they were known as a fine group, a little on the highbrow tip perhaps, yet the impact of hits such as 'Africa' and 'Rosanna' placed the band on a new 'popular' plateau' one that, it has to be said, was always going to be a millstone around their necks. When you've climbed Everest is there really anything else left to ascend? It was a situation compounded by a huge upheaval, one that was, on the face of it, perhaps a bridge too far. Reconvening to write and record this, their follow-up album, the band made the drastic decision to fire vocalist Bobby Kimball, a move that seriously endangered their momentum. Recruiting new member Fergie Frederikson (previously of pomp purists Trillion and Le Roux) 'Isolation' was recorded with cool purpose, yet harboured a certain degree of apprehension. Despite the fact that the songs and performances were very much simpatico with the Toto ethos, the end result that the record fell short of commercial expectations was no surprise. Released in late 1984, the album is actually a fine slice of adult contemporary rock, with all the moves and grooves that you would expect from such a stellar unit, a band that was musically at the top of their game and firing on all six. Stunning tracks such as 'Stranger In Town', 'Carmen' and 'Angel Don't Cry' delivered the goods in timely fashion, very much keeping the flame alive. SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR'S EDITION, FULLY REMASTERED SOUND, 12 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET, 3,500 WORD ESSAY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM AND ENHANCED ARTWORK.
TRACK LISTING: 1. CARMEN 2. ANGEL DON'T CRY 3. ISOLATION 4. STRANGER IN TOWN 5. HOLYANNA 6. LION 7. HOW DOES IT FEEL 8. MR. FRIENDLY 9. ENDLESS 10. CHANGE OF HEART
TOTO 'FAHRENHEIT' CANDY276
FOR TOTO THERE has never been a dull moment. Having experienced huge success with their debut album, followed immediately by two great but lesser performing records, the band hit the motherload with 'Toto IV', a work that propelled them into the upper echelons of superstardom, selling over three million copies and winning an unprecedented six Grammy awards. Life looked sweet, but it all came crashing down with the departure of original lead vocalist Bobby Kimball.
The band's attempt to piece things back together resulted in a commercially underperforming follow up album, 'Isolation', featuring new singer Fergie Frederiksen. So, it was back to the drawing board for album #6, a record that saw the appointment of yet another replacement vocalist, Joseph Williams. One thing however did not change; Toto's sound was very much cut from the same fine cloth, the members keen to protect their signature sound at all costs.
'Fahrenheit', originally released in 1986, is a strong, some might say jubilant, return to form, harnessing much of the style and sophistication that won them such a committed following in the first instance. Tracks such as 'We Can Make It Tonight', 'Can't Stand It Any Longer' and the hit single 'I'll Be Over You' demonstrate that the band had no intention of letting standards slip. Look out too for some remarkable guest performances from Miles Davis, Michael McDonald and Glen Frey. SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR'S EDITION, FULLY REMASTERED SOUND, 16 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET, 3,500 WORD ESSAY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM AND ENHANCED ARTWORK.
TRACK LISTING: 1. TILL THE END 2 .WE CAN MAKE IT TONIGHT 3. WITHOUT YOUR LOVE 4. CAN'T STAND IT ANY LONGER 5. I'LL BE OVER YOU 6. FAHRENHEIT 7. SOMEWHERE TONIGHT 8. COULD THIS BE LOVE 9. LEA 10. DON'T STOP ME NOW
TOTO 'THE SEVENTH ONE' CANDY277
UP TO THIS point Toto's career trajectory had been subjected to a number of highs and lows. Their debut album, and 'Toto IV', contained a number of smash hit singles, helping to propel the band into the media spotlight. Yet the band would hit dry spells with commercially underperforming records that, whilst maintaining a high standard creatively, failed to connect with the public. And it didn't help that they had hired and fired two lead vocalists.
By the time the band recorded this, their seventh album, it was time to pull another rabbit out of the hat. With new vocalist Joseph Williams firmly settled into the line up they did exactly that. For the first time they also looked outside for production guidance, recruiting two members of Little Feat (George Massenburg and Billy Payne) to oversee the recording sessions, resulting in one of the strongest albums of their long and productive career.
'The Seventh One', originally issued in 1988, set a new standard for the band, with critics and fans heaping praise on its contents. Forceful and dynamic, the tracks benefitted from a sharper and more defined sound, aided and abetted by a brace of stellar songs. Tracks such as 'Pamela' (the natural successor to 'Rosanna'), 'Only The Children' and 'Home Of The Brave' hit the spot dead centre. And look out for 'Stay Away', an incredible duet featuring Linda Ronstadt, containing Steve Lukather's heaviest ever guitar riff. SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR'S EDITION, FULLY REMASTERED SOUND, 16 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET, 3,500 WORD ESSAY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE ALBUM AND ENHANCED ARTWORK.
TRACK LISTING: 1. PAMELA 2. YOU GOT ME 3. ANNA 4. STOP LOVING YOU 5. MUSHANGA 6. STAY AWAY 7. STRAIGHT FOR THE HEART 8. ONLY THE CHILDREN 9. A THOUSAND YEARS 10. THESE CHAINS 11. HOME OF THE BRAVE
Before you read this - Toto's STEVE LUKATHER wants fans to know that even though TOTO will open for YES, both bands will be playing full 90 minute sets.
And Luke adds this: "Yep a 90 min 'full show' well close.. we will change up set lists night by night as well I think. NOT that same set as last year. NO ballads or any pop stuff...and just the big 3 hits...the rest is new and or deep cuts."
Furthermore, Lenny Castro is set to join the fun and in Luke's words "will kick butt..."
26 Date Tour Gets Underway On August 7th
World-renowned recording artists, YES and Toto, today announced they will join forces this summer for a co-headlining North American tour. Among the world’s most influential, ground-breaking, and respected progressive rock bands, Grammy Award winning YES has sold nearly 40 million albums in a career that has so far spanned more than four decades. YES continues with its tradition of symphonic progressive rock that remains timelessly fresh and innovative.
Since its founding in 1968, YES has created much of rock history’s most important music, including iconic pieces like ‘Roundabout,’ 'Close to the Edge,’ ‘I’ve Seen All Good People,’ “Owner of a Lonely Heart,’ ‘Starship Trooper,’ and countless others. Its albums, including ‘Fragile,’ ‘Close to the Edge,’ ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans,’ and ‘90125,’ have been certified multi-platinum, double-platinum, platinum, and more by the RIAA. YES continues to inspire millions of musicians, fans, and music lovers around the world.
“We’re thrilled to be hitting the road with Toto. Yes have always been big fans of Toto’s music, and we think the fans are going to really enjoy seeing both of us together,” says YES co-founder and bassist, Chris Squire.
YES will be releasing a new live CD/DVD (recorded at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona) entitled Like It Is on July 7th.
Few ensembles in the history of recorded music have individually or collectively had a larger imprint on pop culture than the members of Toto. As individuals, the band members can be heard on an astonishing 5000 albums that together amass a sales history of a half a billion albums. Amongst these recordings, NARAS applauded the performances with more than 200 Grammy nominations.
With over 35 years together and thousands of credits and accolades to their names, Toto remains one of the top selling touring and recording acts in the world. They recently released their first new studio album in ten years – TOTO XIV which debuted last week Top 10 in nine countries around the world. Prior to the tour with YES, Toto are embarking on a European headline arena tour with appearances at key festivals.
"We are so honored to be touring with our musical hero's YES,” remarked founder/guitarist Steve Lukather. “Life changing music for me and the guys and we even have a song on our new record totally inspired by them so it is a lifelong love of their music that has kept us fans to this day. We all stood and waited in line for tix to see Close to the Edge and Topographic.. many many shows as young upcoming musicians/fans in the 70's and were blown away and inspired to be better musicians and composers by Yes' amazing music, musicianship and insanely cool live shows. This is a crazy dream come true for us and we can’t wait to do this tour and to make new friends and solidify old friendships.”
Tickets for most shows go on sale this week. VIP ticketing information to come this afternoon.
TOTO & YES 2015 SUMMER TOUR
8/7 Mashantucket CT Grand Theater at Foxwoods
8/8 Newark NJ New Jersey PAC
8/9 Atlantic City NJ Borgata Hotel Casino
8/11 Brooklyn NY Barclays Center
8/12 Baltimore MD Pier Six Pavilion
8/14 Huber Heights OH Music Center at The Heights
8/15 Sterling Heights MI Freedom Hill Amphitheatre
8/16 Chicago IL FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly
If Falling In Between and Hydra got it on with The Seventh One and Fahrenheit at a club called Tambu, then the kid would called Toto XIV.
In a word: brilliant.
In several: Toto XIV is a complete change of pace from Falling In Between, but is far more representative of the Toto legacy.
In fact, if someone asked me what Toto sounded like, previously I'd be hard pressed to think of which album best represented who they are as a band. It always depends on my mood. Not anymore.
Toto XIV is a virtual greatest hits record, covering every facet of the band's classic sound, with a fresh contemporary production that's bigger than Ben Hur's big bits.
Toto XIV is a different beast compared to the band’s last album, Falling In Between, released some 9 years back now. There’s been a fair list of events to document in that space though. There has been the break up with vocalist Bobby Kimball; a live reunion to support Mike Porcaro (sadly suffering with ALS); the return of Steve Porcaro and David Paich to touring; the return of famed vocalist Joseph Williams (of Fahrenheit and The Seventh One fame); the departure of drummer Simon Phillips -with Steely Dan drummer Keith Carlock joining for the recording of this album (but now replaced by Shannon Forrest for the tour); a lengthy (now settled) lawsuit and not least of all, the return of original bassist David Hungate for the tour and also several tracks on this album.
I wasn't sold on XIV straight away like I was Falling In Between. But that goes to my previous point about the complexities revealing themselves over time and also the fact that while FiB was a true rock record, XIV is more laid back and inclusive of the band’s true historic sound.
This is a Westcoast/AOR record with moments of rock angst, much like the two Joseph Williams fronted albums.
It appears simpler on the surface, but the truth is it has a ton of layers, subtle and sublime arrangements and an underlying intensity.
Produced by CJ Vanston and the band, this record is the sonic equivalent of Gone With The Wind.
The word “subtle” gets used a lot in describing the songs here. The songs work far better as an entire listening experience. This flows beautifully as an album start to finish. So with that in mind, let’s go track by track:
Running Out Of Time is the lead track and our first taste of Joseph Williams back fronting the band. It’s a pulsating track that leads off with a definitive Luke riff similar to that of the opening to Falling In Between. But it’s a lot smoother and considered than FiB.
The bass of Tim Lefevbre (his only appearance on the album) thumps, but its Joseph that’s well in control. He sounds a million dollars and just sounds so comfortable alongside the unmistakable Toto sound in play.
The verse rolls along in quick time before a sonic blast of a chorus tears the song up.
Joe hits some notes not heard on a Toto record since The Seventh One while Luke’s guitar solo is measured and blended with some fine Paich keyboards, bookended by the song’s bombastic chorus.
Drumming legend Keith Carlock gives the sound an added complexity that continues throughout the album.
Burn is really quite extraordinary. It’s a song with two distinct aspects. A haunting verse and one of the biggest, most bombastic choruses Toto has ever composed.
Opening with an instantly memorable Paich piano hook and building slowly with a subtle drum fill and added keyboards, Joseph’s lead vocal is electrifying and simply devours the song once the chorus literally explodes. The bass line (courtesy of Lee Sklar) and Keith’s drumming delivers a rhythm section music aficionados will be in raptures over.
Just when the song couldn’t get any better, in comes some massive layered vocals only Toto can deliver. It reminds me of the mood of I Will Remember from Tambu.
The last minute of the song offers so much intense musical interplay that I found myself still discovering new parts a dozen listens in. Paich and Steve Porcaro’s piano layering in particular.
Lenny Castro as always adds percussion that simple cannot be described.
Holy War is, if anything, a defining Toto song. It just sums up this band and for me, sums up everything that I love in music. What appears to be a fairly simple melodic rock song is so much more once you dig beneath the ridiculously catchy chorus (where Joe shares lead with Luke) and the smooth melodic verse. Joseph’s vocals appear so simple, but listen to the execution of the softer vocal lines - such finesse cannot be taught.
The lyrics bite deeper than usual for Toto, talking religious hypocrisy and pleading for peace.
Luke’s guitar solo is classic Toto, classic Luke.
21st Century Blues is the first of several left turns in the album, with a distinctly Luke solo flavored track here, a bluesy mid-tempo swaggering song that could easily have fitting amongst his last couple of solo albums. David Hungate is playing bass on this track, the song is further Toto-ized with Carlock’s drumming mirroring that of the great Jeff Porcaro and Joseph Williams adds some fine harmony vocals.
The 6 minute track reaches its peak at the 5 minute mark, after which comes a flurry of piano and guitar dueling, which really makes the song.
Orphan is Joseph at his very best. Another extraordinary track, this song is a feel good rocker from the start. You just know something special is coming and the song deliverers, bursting to life with an energetic, melodic verse and a pomp-tastic blast for the chorus.
Once again, the song appears simplistic, but once you get further involved, you can see just how complex it is and the drumming is really exceptional. Luke again attends to bass duties.
My only wish is that the concluding part of the song featuring Luke’s lead guitar solo went for longer before fading out.
Luke is back on lead vocals (plus acoustic and electric guitar and bass) for the slow to mid-tempo epic Unknown Soldier. The moody, atmospheric five minute track has layers of instrumentation and percussion and a short, but decisive chorus, but the real joy of the track is the intense musical backdrop, which shows the genius of the talent in this band. The percussion and drumming in particular is another mind blowing display.
Luke’s constant touring in recent years has really fired up his voice. His vocals on this album are quite honestly the best I have ever heard from him.
It’s time for a break in the intensity of the album. And it’s time for Steve Porcaro to make his lead vocal debut on The Little Things. Steve isn’t that far from Joseph Williams’ tone and sounds great on this laid back, acoustic driven Westcoast melodic pop song. A simple song it seems, but the background layering of acoustic guitars and percussion take repeated listens to dissect. Hungate again appears on bass to give it that authentic Toto rhythm.
Chinatown is another song that only Toto could ever write. Or get away with! The song almost defies description, but I’ll try.
Leading off with a piano intro and a Paich vocal, there is a very quick back and forth with Paich and Williams trading lead vocal lines, but when Joe’s in control, he is accompanied by a bombastic burst of instrumentation, energy rivaling that of Burn from earlier in the album.
Then Luke buts in with his lead vocal delivered over a smooth jazzy passage of music that leads to the equally smooth jazzy chorus. Only Toto can do three lead vocals within the first minute! The subtle guitar/piano work is quite unbelievable as is the drums/percussion. So the song is jazzy, Westcoast pop song with a rock hook and a bluesy bass riff from David Hungate. Don’t forget the horns and saxophone. Genius!
It’s time for a sentimental ballad. While the second half of the album may appear softer than the first, this is the first real ballad. All The Tears features David Paich on lead vocal and some more outstanding piano work, with Luke taking over for the smooth, instantly likeable chorus hook, Joseph in the background on harmonies. The song has a really appealing chorus, a beautiful track all in all. Tal Wilkenfeld guests on bass on this and the following track.
Continuing a mid-tempo pace, Joseph Williams returns to lead vocal duties for the very smooth rock track Fortune. Another track that grows on repeat listens and features a distinctive Lukather guitar presence, not to mention plenty of Toto-esque special effects and percussion fills. Luke’s guitar tone is pure classic Toto. The closing minute or so of the album features another round of piano/guitar dueling that typifies the adventurous nature of these great musicians.
The regular album closes with what has to be another milestone song for Toto. This is just impossibly good. Mixing the history of the band into one track and reminiscent of the crazy good Dying On My Feet from Falling In Between, Great Expectations is a wild and crazy seven minute track. Starting very low key with some orchestration, piano and Paich’s vocal, the song quickly accelerates, moving from 5 to 95 within seconds, with a dashing slice of frantic keyboards and some thumping bass from Lukather. Joseph Williams then takes over vocals as the song goes from strength to strength, ramping up the pomp with every twist.
Piano joins in for a higher pitch, anthemic chorus before turning back to how it all started. At the 3 minute mark the rule book is thrown overboard and it’s a musical free for all. The song winds through a restrained guitar solo, some atmospheric arrangements, an ethereal medieval styled guitar riff before turning complexly insane, featuring a truly progressive section of classic Toto IV harmonics, keyboards, piano, percussion, guitar and then bang….back to one final epic chorus. Breathtakingly good and the perfect way to close out any album.
For Japan there is the added bonus of another Steve Porcaro song – Bend. What's more - it's all Steve on this track - he plays all instruments. The song features another quiet vocal, over a new-age styled simple arrangement. The song lasts just under 3 minutes and isn’t essential, but at the same time, is a beautiful, sentimental song featuring some classy acoustic guitar work from the "other" Steve.
Toto’s complex history is replicated in their music. No one does it like Toto does.
The long wait between records was entirely worth it. Toto deliver another all-time classic with Toto XIV - a record that hides it’s complexity within some apparently simple songs whose layers are pealed back with every subsequent listen until your mind is filled with layers and layers of instrumentation and orchestration. Sometimes you feel as if you are listening to an entirely different song by paying attention to the different aspects within them.
The first quarter of 2015 has some massive releases coming your way.
One of the biggest is the hugely anticipated new TOTO album. The album, right now going under the working title Toto XIV, is currently being mixed in Los Angeles.
Band guitarist Steve Lukather tells me they are up to track 7 of 11.
He was also kind enough to drop me a new quote on the upcoming record.
Luke says:“This new music is amongst the best we have ever tried to make. It is everything people love and or hate about our band. Haha…
The songs have hooks and depth and the production and sounds and playing are filled with blood sweat and soul. We did NOT phone this record in for $ and a tour! This record was born out of litigation, pain and loss…and for Mike P who could use a miracle about now.
It has brought us very close as brothers reflecting back at a lifetime of amazing highs and painful lows.
Fans will be the judge. I hate hyping things! No one ever lives up to their own hype. We are proud of it though and have worked hard on it.”
And co-producer CJ Vanston added his own update for me: “We’re all excited as our first mixes for the new Toto album is finished. Good times at the Treehouse (my studio) yesterday as we were all digging the sound and direction we came up with. I couldn’t be more pumped, these guys have taken everything up a huge notch on this one!”
Luke recently announced the band’s 2015 touring lineup: “It will be Me, Paich, Steve Porcaro, David Hungate, Joe Williams, Keith Carlock, Lenny Castro, Jenny Douglas and Mabvuto...FULL European tour to be announced asap. USA + world to come as well!"
Previously Luke has commented on the upcoming album: "The record we're making is real hi-fi. It has that big, obnoxious production that people who love our music are really going to love: big harmonies, big synths, big guitars, big grooves, great virtuoso musicianship, and classic Toto melodies. Everybody sings on the record. It's very fresh-sounding."
Follwing the release of the Sweden Rock news, Toto's Steve Lukather has updated fans with a little more information on what's to come.
He states: "As of 2015 the line up will be Me, Paich, Steve Porcaro, David Hungate, Joe Williams, Keith Carlock, Lenny Castro, Jenny Douglas and Mabvuto...FULL European tour to be announced asap. USA + world to come as well!"
Previously Luke has commented on the upcoming album, which will be released worldwide in February: "The record we're making is real hi-fi. It has that big, obnoxious production that people who love our music are really going to love: big harmonies, big synths, big guitars, big grooves, great virtuouso musicianship, and classic Toto melodies. Everybody sings on the record. It's very fresh-sounding."
Lukather: "The record we're making is real hi-fi. It has that big, obnoxious production that people who love our music are really going to love: big harmonies, big synths, big guitars, big grooves, great virtuouso musicianship, and classic Toto melodies. Everybody sings on the record. It's very fresh-sounding."