40 Trips Around The Sun

Toto

Toto is one of those great musical collectives that people (hopefully unintentionally) tend to define by two hits from their most successful album — “Rosanna” and “Africa.” I’m putting it out there — I’m not one of those people. While the band’s latest compilation, 40 Trips Around The Sun, includes both songs, what makes me happiest is knowing that any hits are rounded out by several album cuts that had the power to become hits.

New tracks like “Alone” and “Spanish Sea” also boast the unchanging talents of members David Paich, Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams and Steve Porcaro. It’s hard to believe 40 years has passed since the band’s eponymous debut. At the same time, as this set reminds me, it’s hard to believe this band never had a “powerhouse” label attached to it.

I admit, I’m a little biased. After all, I’ve owned five of their studio albums for more than 15 years. Remember, these are the same guys who made names for themselves backing up Boz Scaggs on Silk Degrees — they deserve to be heard. At the same time, there are so many other great Toto songs that deserved room on the final roster — “Rockmaker,” “All Us Boys,” “Turn Back,” “Gift with a Golden Gun” and “Good for You” included.

Have no fear, “99,” “Hold the Line,” “I Won’t Hold You Back” and “I’ll Be Over You” are all here. What draws me instead to this album though are the inclusion of tracks like “Afraid of Love,” “I’ll Supply the Love,” and one of my personal favorites, “Stranger in Town” (also the band’s greatest music video, featuring Academy Award-nominated actor Brad Dourif).

And let’s not forget the band’s greatest instrumental since “Child’s Anthem,” “Jake to the Bone,” which has a mighty fusion edge as Lukather does his best Allan Holdsworth impressions. Though we laud Toto for their single successes, it’s important to realize one thing — the songs on 40 Trips Around The Sun are destined to help the band land on a future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee ballot.

~ Ira Kantor

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