we took HRH to the beach this evening to let her bop around in the waves on her new boogie board and while she did that, I plowed through a few more chapters of my next book ‘Top Secret Tales of World War II‘ by William B. Breuer and now we’re back chilling with another record before bedtime, this time the self-titled ‘IV‘ album by Toto.
This was another generous donation to HRH‘s collection by our friend Leslie over Christmas.
Funny thing about this album, I already own the album on cassette when I acquired it through the Columbia House music club. I was 10 years old and saved up for it by cutting lawns in the neighborhood and would later listen to it about another 6 kajillion times on my Walkman over that summer.
Little did I know it back then, but this album would later be regarded as a classic album in what would become known as “Yacht Rock“.
Yes, Yacht Rock.
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, musical artists like Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Steely Dan, Hall & Oates and, yes, Toto, popped up on each other’s records, creating a golden era of smooth-music collaboration which would later be known as yacht rock, coined in 2006, and this album might just be it’s holy grail.
This is the album that shot Toto into superstardom. ‘Rosanna‘ (the old story of a lovelorn lyric matched to a bouncy beat), with drummer Jeff Porcaro’s iconic shuffle technique, makes multiple left turns, a crucial component of most yacht songs. Besides ‘Rosanna‘, there’s the #1 smash hit ‘Africa‘ (both of which if you’ve never heard before, you should just wedge your toe into the trigger of a shotgun now and end it all because clearly you have not lived) and, my favorite ‘Good For You’.
Then there’s the slow groove of ‘Waiting For Your Love’ which shows the band’s ability to dip into soul and R&B, a trait that helped them on cuts like ‘Human Nature’ and ‘The Lady in My Life‘ off another yacht rock album, Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller‘ – which the individual band members helped to write and record. They also brought the heat with mid-tempo stunner ‘Make Believe‘.
The members of Toto may have more relatives who are NARAS voters than any other group, but that still doesn’t explain the sweep they achieved at the Grammys, winning six, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year (for ‘Rosanna‘).
This evening it was a simple fun reminisce back to simpler times and I can almost detect the smell the freshly cut lawn.
Not mine though, of course.