What can you say about a band named after the little terrier in The Wizard of Oz?
Well first of all, that’s not quite the origin of Toto’s name, but the real story is kind of boring, so let’s stick with the dog story that the band members were telling people.
Anyway, before the fourth album, I have to admit I wasn’t a huge fan. I’ve never been that impressed with “Hold the Line”. Bobby Kimball’s voice always struck me as a bit much. And as for “99”, it’s not a bad song, but I used to think it was about Get Smart. Then I found out that it was inspired by the movie THX 1138, which I’ve never seen. Steve Lukather of Toto hated that song by the way.
But they had me at Toto IV. “Rosanna” is pretty good (incidentally, it’s not really about Rosanna Arquette), and I was really hooked at “Africa”. (And their original is way better than Weezer’s cover.) That sort of reverse order harmony on the chorus blew me away, and pretty much everybody else I guess. And “Afraid of Love” is a hidden gem of a rocker. As for Bobby Kimball’s strident nasal voice, they weaved it into the songs just right.
Check out Toto IV. In their case, fourth time’s the charm. Hey, Led Zeppelin IV is pretty good too! Maybe there’s something magic about that number.