|My Toto Albums List WORST to BEST|
Many people know Toto for their iconic single "Africa", but fans know Toto as one of the finest Progressive Rock bands of the 1980's. Toto defined an era of soft, Progressive Rock that would lay groundwork for modern Pop Rock and Electronic Rock today. Hell or Highwater, here is my list of their albums ranked from Worst to Best.
Through the Looking Glass
A bunch of crappy cover songs and a waste of Bobby Kimball's talents.
Kingdom of Desire
The time between the firing of Jeff Williams and the return of Bobby Kimball 1999 was turbulent for Toto, who had failed to create any albums to match their 80's successes. Kingdom of Desire was where the troubles really started. Featuring really average instrumentation and a hefty dose of uncreativity, Kingdom of Desire showed that hard times were ahead for Toto.
Falling In Between
As 2006 rolled around, it became clear that Bobby Kimball wanted nothing to do with Toto anymore. Nothing is more telling of this than their album Falling in Betweem, of which Bobby just half-assed his vocals as if he was just waiting for this album to finish so he could move on.
Steve Lukather did everything he could to keep Toto alive as their albums continued to fail commercially and critically. Tambu was another example that Toto was in serious trouble in the early-mid 1990's. The lyrics were uninspired, the instrumentation was boring, and despite a good single in "I Will Remember", the album simply couldn't do any better.
Controversial opinion, but I never really understood the love for Hydra. Sure "99" was a great single, but other than that, everything else was middling in comparison. Despite great vocals from Bobby Kimball, Hydra was just good enough to be worth more than other Toto flops.
As Bobby Kimball exited the band, Fergie Frederiksen came in to fill the void. Though Fergie had great vocal ability, he could not do what Bobby did and so the band struggled to find a way to mix the vocals with the material. The result was a good/not great album that could've been better if they had worked the material around Frederiksen, not the other way around.
Fahrenheit continued Toto's attempts to make their new vocalists "Bobby Kimball 2.0" to no avail. Like Isolation, Fahrenheit had shades of a great record, but faltered from a mis-synthesis between vocals and instrumentation.
Bobby Kimball's triumphant return to Toto. After over a decade away from the band, Kimball returned to revive the band's fortunes. It never reached the heights of Toto's finest, but Mindfields was a tremendous effort backed by Kimball's soaring vocals and some of Toto's best instrumentation of the 1990's. Mindfields was a return to form for a band that had lost it's way after Williams firing.
Turn Back is Toto's most underrated effort. From a great collection of tracks with beautiful instrumentation and great vocals from Bobby Kimball, Turn Back was an amazing album and a great improvement over Hydra.
Toto XIV was Toto's triumphant return to music after disbanding in 2006. Designed as an album to help fund Mike Porcaro's medical expenses, who was suffering from ALS, Toto XIV featured a proud return of Jeff Williams to lead vocal duty. With this, Toto XIV returned to the darker and more Rock oriented style that permeated Jeff's tenure with the band. Toto XIV was an amazing comeback album, and a fine tribute album for Mike Porcaro, who sadly died shortly before this albums release.
The Seventh One
After trying to make the Progressive Pop style of their usual schtick work with Jeff Williams, the band finally said "screw it" and created a more Rock-oriented album, the result became one of Toto's finest outings. Featuring a darker side to the band, a more rough instrumentation, and great vocals from Williams, The Seventh One became another great album to add to Toto's best of all time. Unfortunately, during touring for the album, heavy drug use had shot Jeff's vocals and he was promptly fired from the band. We can only imagine what would've happened had this not have happened.
Their debut album catapulted Toto to immediate stardom and established the band as a late-70's Prog Dark Horse. With hit singles like "I'll Supply the Love" and "Hold the Line", Bobby Kimball's vocals soared through track after track. It also featured amazing instrumentation from the Porcaro brothers, who all added great rhythm and power to the vocals. It was an album made in Heaven.
Of course Toto IV remains Toto's greatest album and one of the greatest Progressive Pop albums of all time. Despite being Bobby's final Toto album until 1999, Bobby went out on a high note, singing like he knew it was his last album. The real MVP of this album however, is David Paich, who wrote the lyrics for almost all of Toto IV's hit singles including "Africa" and "Rosanna". With these great qualities, Toto IV became an iconic album and symbol of 1980's romanticism and exuberance.