Category: Toto

Toto – Hydra

ARTIST: Toto                                               Hydra_(Toto_album)_coverart

TITLE:  Hydra

YEAR RELEASED: 1979

CHART ACTION: #37

SINGLES: 99 (#26), St. George and the Dragon, All us Boys

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No. More prog than rock.

LINEUP: Bobby Kimball, Steve Lukather, Steve Porcaro, David Paich, David Hungate, Jeff Porcaro with Michael Boddicker, Roger Linn, and Lenny Castro

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Instead of building on the rock-and-roll success of their debut, the second Toto album goes in a proggy direction and actually is better and more inspired.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Somehow, Toto decided not to reach for a consolidation of their rock success of the debut album, and went into a much more prog-rock direction. It worked, despite the possibility of pretention.

There was only real radio cut, “99”, which was based on the obscure George Lucas movie THX-1138. There’s only one cut that’s bad, though “All Us Boys” teeters on exilability.

The band shows their chops with much better songs and arrangements. It still has some excesses, but they’re actually in the positive for the band. I just wish at times that Bobby Kimball wasn’t the singer on several tracks. Alas.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The single “99” didn’t fare as well because it didn’t sound like Toto’s other hits, or so the wags said.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: B:  It’s really pretty decent, despite what you may have heard about the deep cuts of Toto albums.

 

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Toto – Toto

ARTIST: Toto 220px-Toto_Toto
TITLE: Toto
YEAR RELEASED: 1978
CHART ACTION: #9 US, #37 UK
SINGLES: Hold the Line (#5 US, #14 UK), I’ll Supply the Love (#45 US), Georgy Porgy (#48 US), Rockmaker
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: There’s a reason the above songs were singles.
LINEUP: Bobby Kimball, Steve Lukather, David Paich, Steve Porcaro, David Hungate, Jeff Porcaro. Cheryl Lynn sang the great vocals on “Georgy Porgy”
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Session dudes form a group. One of them writes a lot of songs. They show off. Profit.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I feel of two minds here. I really like the singles, and I love Jeff Porcaro’s drums (they sound nicely engineered with a good snap on the cymbals, especially the high-hat.). I know they are talented musicians. They show off a lot, but they’re really, really good at what they do.

Paich, though, who wrote eight of the 10 songs, shall I say, writes a dull song for every half decent one. Lyrically, sometimes they’re a little overmatched – “Goodbye girl / goodbye girl / girl goodbye” is one chorus. No, really. Some of the music and songs sound like they could be on a second-rate jazz fusion album.

It’s well played, though.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Paich, Hungate and Jeff Porcaro were on Boz Scaggs’ Silk Degrees record. That’s probably the best Toto record ever (snark…)

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: C+: Songwriting is just as important as musical chops. Though I’ll sing “Hold the Line” to my dying day.