Toto Still Shines Bright as the Sun

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Toto Forty Tours Around the Sun

Toto has long been one of those bands that I could just put an album on (yes I said album) and listen to it from start to finish. Their music always sounded polished and complete, meaning they never had me saying to myself, “I wish they would play a little more this, or a little less like that.”

On “40 Tours Around The Sun” they have proven to me that they not only play as well as they ever did, but in some ways they are even more polished and consummate now.

This 2-disc set from Eagle Rock Music captures the band in great form, and the recording is first-rate (as I have come to expect no less from Eagle Entertainment). Recorded last March, Eagle Rock wasted little time bringing this set to light, so that the music you hear on this set will be as fresh as if you were to go see them tomorrow.

But don’t think of this as some sort of a rush job to cash in; nay, nay, Eagle Rock knocks it out of the park again.

I love on a live album to not only be able to hear the audience, but to hear them such as they are behind the musicians, where you can hear and feel a sense of the hall they are playing in, and kept to such a level that they accent the bands playing, not over shadow it--and that’s what I hear here.

The soundstage is wide and deep, and the performers perfectly placed within it. Funny thing, though, is that missing from this set it one of my top favorite Toto songs. I wonder why they chose not to play “I Won’t Hold You Back”? Hmmm. Oh well, when you have such a long, storied career filled with so many great songs, you can’t play them all at one time.

That omission is more than made up for by the renditions of “Roseanna” and “Africa” recorded on this set. Especially “Africa.” It sounded unbelievably, over-the-top awesome. Several times I experienced VHF (what Steve Morse refers to as vertical hair factor). From the vocals to the amazing percussion, music came from everywhere and I would almost deem it an out- of-body experience!

Now imagine a 2-CD set where every song is played like that, and you have this amazing set!.

To anyone who says compact discs are dead, most have probably never heard one done right. Let me say emphatically once again, this is one CD set that is recorded exceptionally well, whether you like to listen in a car, through speakers, or with headphones. Listening, one can’t help but take a step back and say, "Wow!"

What I also like about this set is that it demonstrates how Toto has managed to keep themselves fresh and relevant, incorporating a couple of new-ish songs that are distinctly Toto, such as the rocking “Alone,” which opens the concert. "Alone" sets the stage for what is to come, and shows they are not content with just playing the golden oldies.

In the same vein of keeping it fresh,there are songs on this set you will see listed below that would be at home on Sirius XM’s “Deep Tracks.” Anyone who is a fan knows that the members of Toto are consummate musicians, and have played with with many, many other artists throughout the years on many great albums. But it's here, in this sphere if you will, where they are at their communal best.

Another of my favorite songs on this set is “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” I’ll just say it is as good as you are sitting there imagining it would be right now. Steve Lukather will show you why there are few others like him in the world of rock today.

I would love to hear this on the (also available) 3-LP vinyl set--and I will. I enjoyed this set so much I will be purchasing that as well. (What Toto fan can say they don’t have at least one album of theirs in multiple formats?)

This is a must-have CD, plain and simple; for the sonics, yes; for the music, yes; for the sheer enjoyment it will bring you time and time again listening to it, absolutely yes!

Songs:

CD1

  1. Intro
  2. Alone
  3. Hold The Line
  4. Lovers In The Night
  5. Spanish Sea
  6. I Will Remember
  7. English Eyes
  8. Jake To The Bone
  9. Lea
  10. Rosanna
  11. Miss Sun
  12. Georgy Porgy
  13. Human Nature
  14. Holyanna
  15. No Love

CD 2

  1. Mushanga
  2. Stop Loving You
  3. Girl Good Bye
  4. Angela
  5. Lion
  6. Dune (Desert Theme)
  7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  8. Stranger In Town
  9. Make Believe
  10. 10. Africa
  11. 11. The Road Goes On
Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0