A highly recommended album by AOR, the “IV” by Toto, a reference band of the style together with Survivor, Foreigner, Journey, Boston, Chicago, or Strangeways. After their debut in 1978 with the namesake, the 1979 “Hydra” and the 81 “Turn Back” Toto found the key to success in 1982 with their fourth work, which had massive recognition in sales (triple platinum record in the US). ) and no less than five Grammys (from when this award was given with more criteria, not like today, something similar happens with the Oscars). Among them: an album of the year, best instrumental arrangement, best recording, and producer.
It is more than clear that when the planets are properly aligned and in the established order, nothing can go wrong. On the one hand, we have established musicians in the studio such as the Porcaro brothers. Steve Lukather, David Hungate, Bobby Kimball, and David Paich. On the other hand, the last two failed albums by the band, where the production company was already pricked, due to the decline in sales, in relation to the band’s first job. And it is at that moment that the two heavyweights (Paich and Kimball) take the reins of the band to re-compose the songs on the album and mix the voices during the songs. They went from doing a boogie style to taking hold in this Soft Rock, with very Westcoast overtones, which is where the band has moved best, with a more significant Lukather on guitar.
In the end, everything conspired for the great triumph. As of today, it is the most successful Toto album in history, with more than seven million copies sold worldwide. An achievement within the reach of very few.
Personally, it is not the work that most fills me of the group, in fact, there are three that seem more rounded to me, “The Seventh One“, “Isolation” and “Kingdom of Desire“, but we must admit that it contains some emblematic tracks in the genre and really high quality.
Of the ten songs that make up the album, there are three that are wonderful, authentic immortal hits in the genre, with five horns, namely: Rosanna, who hasn’t heard it yet? I think that together with Hold the Line it is the best known of Toto, an insurmountable vocal section of Lukather and Kimball, stratospheric bridge of heavenly choirs, memorable chorus, a plucking that is a pure cream and a final part where the musicians shine showing a class brutal.
The first single was the well-known Rosanna, who sold a whopping two million copies in the USA. Grammy winner with three trophies (Sales Record of the Year, Best Instrumental Arrangement, and Best Vocal Arrangement), this song is dedicated to Rosanna Arquette, who was a partner of Steve Porcaro and was written entirely by David Paich.
One of its best singles was the beautiful ballad I Won’t Hold You Back where the magic in Lukather’s voice showed that in these mellow songs he performs like a fish in the water. This song peaked at number ten on the Billboard charts and has the quirk of featuring Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmit in backing vocals. A luxury. The orchestration of the theme is by Paich and Lukather’s guitar solo is one of the most endearing guitar solos in the entire history of the band.
Then there’s the other single, which was neither more nor less than Africa. Another of the greatest hits of all time, not only from the band but from the American music of the ’80s. A theme that exceeded two million sales in the USA and that is that in this theme sung by Paich, they touched the fiber of the millions of immigrants that their blood came from that continent. The single remained at the top of the North American charts for six months. Quite an achievement.
Toto is the band that has sold more than 40 million records and continues to chart the sounds to follow within Soft Rock around the world. And to say goodbye, and just as a detail, if we put together all the works where the components of all the times of Toto have participated, the global figure would exceed a whopping 500,000 million copies sold worldwide. Brutal!
Summing up this “IV” is a highly recommended record, for some, it is a masterpiece, which includes unsurpassed hits, class, and mastery in abundance with an eighties flavor. It has variety in the songs, not only for the sound but also for the different singers, each with their personality and tone.
You can listen to the full album below: