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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pop/Rock Legends: Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, ABBA...Toto?
I got introduced to Toto via an interview with Brett Detar of the now defunct The Juliana Theory. In a DVD interview, he mentioned how one of his band mates would not stop playing certain songs by some band called Toto. Who?

Well, whoever they were, he played three short excerpts of the songs "Rosanna", "Hold The Line" and "Africa". Oh my days! About fifteen...
Published 23 months ago by Michael Smith

versus
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What a pity, really!
I'm not going to talk about the music. This is a collection of classic songs from a classic band and I'm convinced that everyone interested in buying this box set knows what I mean. BUT why on earth CBS decided to put out a wonderfully packaged set of records without remastering and leaving these records with a really dated sound goes beyond my comprehension. What a pity!
Published on 28 Nov 2011 by scandosch


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pop/Rock Legends: Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, ABBA...Toto?, 26 May 2012
By 
Michael Smith ""SAY HELLO TO GOOD TIMES"" (Norfolk, UK, in a little village named Crimplesham...) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Collection (Audio CD)
I got introduced to Toto via an interview with Brett Detar of the now defunct The Juliana Theory. In a DVD interview, he mentioned how one of his band mates would not stop playing certain songs by some band called Toto. Who?

Well, whoever they were, he played three short excerpts of the songs "Rosanna", "Hold The Line" and "Africa". Oh my days! About fifteen seconds of each song, and the brief melodies got stuck in my head!

When, exactly, did I discover Toto? Um...about a week ago.

I am 21 and only just starting to explore classic rock. So far, my favourite is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Amazing songwriter. Also, Fleetwood Mac (from 1975 onwards), Chris Rea, The Beatles and The Doors. Loads of research, loads of band searches. Loads of reviews and websites. I can honestly say, aside from one song on a rock compilation I never really play, I have never, ever heard of Toto until I watched my Juliana DVD (the Juliana Theory were one of the finest modern rock bands. Like Toto, they never truly got the respect they deserved).

This is a real shame, for they are genuinely amazing!

Straight after looking for Toto products on Amazon, I came across this box set. Amazing value! Seven albums plus one live DVD for 12.00 is a no brainer. I took the plunge, and about four or five days after hearing this for the first time, I can honestly say I am in love!

This is amazingly played, tuneful and most of all memorable pop music. I say "pop" because it's a bit hard to categorise. R'n'B, prog, rock, even metal influences shine through the various performances, but the resounding feature of the songwriting is without a doubt the exuberant melodies: this is distinctly pop music, but without the narrow minded approach most artists make to stick to one specific genre. This is fun stuff!

Quick reviews:

Toto-
Ok, the debut: 5 stars

Highlights? Pretty much all the tracks, but the opening gut-punch of "Child's Anthem", "I'll Supply The Love", "Georgie Porgy", and "Manuela Run" is astounding in its variety and catchiness! The big hit single "Hold The Line" is a real classic, and "Angela", the closing number, is one song that has stood the test of time very well: after all these years, the shift in dynamics half way through still sounds so fresh, and I was not expecting it. Nothing about this album sounds cliched, although it feels very much like a '70's album. I am 21. I wish I were 30 years older! Cannot find a single thing to complain about. All good songs here!

Hydra-
Ok, not entirely into this one (as yet) 3 stars

I love the opening, self-titled track. "99" is good too, but its not really been played properly yet (its only been a few days!). So far, my least favourite (but that may change!)

Turn Back
Is this meant to be rubbish? 4 stars

Ok, apparently this album is supposedly a poorer Toto effort, judging by its lack of commercial success and no hit singles. Why? There are at least 3 brilliant rock classic on this: "Gift With A Golden Gun", "English Eyes" and my favourite, "I Think I Could Stand You Forever". This may just become my number one Toto album in time!

Toto IV
The BIG one: 4.5 stars

Not quite a rock classic like Born To Run or Rumours, but my goodness! The hooks! "Rosanna" is so addictive it should either be number one, or else banned! A seriously amazing melody! "Africa" is a classic. Again, I know I should have, but until this week I had never, EVER heard a single song on this album. I haven't lived... Anything else? "Make Believe" is great, the rest simply blurring into a mass of heavenly goodness. Seriously, its been ages since pop music has had such an immense effect on my senses!

Isolation
Played once- 3.5 stars

Have yet to really get stuck into this one. My verdict? I liked it very much while it played, but I liked IV and Fahrenheit a lot more! Look forward to replaying it soon, however...

Fahrenheit
Miles Davis? 5 stars

Miles Davis? Ok...that simply blew my mind. I saw his name in the credits, and I just knew I would have to really listen to this album. Also, lead vocalist Joseph Williams performed the singing voice of adult Simba in The Lion King, a favourite of mine. That's a nice bit of trivia, but I wouldn't have guessed, as to me he sounds like a more sophisticated Michael Jackson, with a lot of soul in his voice (I gather his vocal style may have reflected certain trends of the 1980's, but I love it!). "I'll Be Over You" is extraordinarily powerful. This is a pop song on the same high level as ABBA, Fleetwood Mac, and The Beatles. Simply spellbinding! The first 3 songs are terrific, especially "We Can Make It Tonight" and "Without Your Love". This is '80's pop at its finest. But the albums finest moment overall is the astoundingly beautiful instrumental "Don't Stop Me Now" featuring...Miles Davis. Ok, I love Kind Of Blue, a jazz classic. But I also love how he brings his distinct energy to this smooth number, whilst still keeping the flow of the rest of the album. I honestly cannot understand how its taken me 21 years to discover this pop gem. A masterpiece? Why not! Its a darn side better than Lady Gaga (although her "Marry The Night" would have sounded at home on this album). And a million miles better than Justin Bieber! Classic, I'm loving the energy of this one.

The Seventh One
Toto IV pt. 2? 3 stars

This one has yet to grab my attention, though at this point in the week I may simply be Toto-ed out. Is it going to grow on me? No doubt about it, "Stay Away" is so good. It strongly reminds me of Megadeth's and Lacuna Coil's Cristina Scabbia's powerful duet of "A Tout Le Monde" from 2007. I really dig this track. "Stop Loving You" is very good, as is "Rosanna Pt. 2", I mean "Pamela" and the very african (and "Africa"-lite) "Mushanga". Excellent drumwork on this last track. Not yet fully into this one, but I liked it a lot, and like Isolation, I'm looking forward to replaying it again...

Greatest Hits Live
Decent DVD. Rubbish camerawork. 3 stars

So, its been less than a week with this box set, but I am so impressed with this! I've never heard anything by this band before, so it has been refreshing to listen to an old-school band without any preconceived ideas. How Toto are not as highly esteemed as other bands of the era such as Journey, Fleetwood Mac, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen shall forever be a mystery to me, now that I've heard this. Also, how can a band of musicians so well renowned and talented as this go unnoticed by the 21st Century media? These are amazing songs, and the quality, and catchiness of a song like "I'll Be Over You" simply screams for karaoke meltdown on a Friday night, if only it were more well known!

So finally, Toto are uncool? Um...how does that explain the love for '80's cheese-bombs like Wham!, A-ha and T'Pau? Toto are nothing but awesome!

Either that, or I am just not cool. Oh well, who needs to fit in with the majority when you have a small box of immense treasure sitting on your shelf!

(I may update this is a few months, but I can't see me changing my views too much (aside from perhaps an improved respect for Isolation and The Seventh One).)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toto: The Collection Boxset (7x CD & 1x DVD), 3 July 2010
By 
John Crooks (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Collection (Audio CD)
Toto go back so many years for me to want to recall and make me feel my age - lol. Yet after all these years I still fine myself digging out my old vinyl to play them because if ever a band deserved the title of Classic Rock then TOTO do. They have stood the test of time and are still a viable band in this day and age. I bought this boxset to save playing my old plastic, and for convenience to travel with. Anyway, the boxset has all the early albums; TOTO, HYDRA, TURN BACK, IV, ISOLATION, FAHRENEIT, THE SEVENTH ONE plus the bonus of a DVD the GREATEST HITS ...AND MORE. This set is worth its weight (and you can't knock the price of this boxset either)in quality music from tracks like; Hold the Line, I'll Supply the Love, Georgy Porgy, Lorraine, A Secret Love, Rosanna, Africa, Stranger In Town etc just to name a few. Then the extra of all these albums in a nicely packaged Box and CD mimi sleeve covers. The DVD covers the well know songs live and extra Behind the Scenes & band Interview.

The only missing thing would have been a little booklet about the band and the history of the enclosed albums, but details like this can be found via the WWW. All in all a great package and I look forward to a follow up, hopefully soon with the rest of the bands back catalogue. Any aging rock fans like myself it is a must buy. For anyone just wanting to know what the band was like, this is a great way to focus your ears on Toto without the expence.

JayCee.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toto at their best - Great value too!, 6 July 2011
By 
J. Clark (Croydon UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Collection (Audio CD)
Having had some of this collection on vinyl and all their later albums on CD, I finally decided that it was about time to invest in these first seven Toto albums at what is a bargain price. The recent tour having renewed my interest in their back catalogue made me realise the wealth of great song writing Toto have produced over the years.
I expect most people will be familiar with the hits but there are some less familiar gems hidden in this body of work from 1978 to 1988.
The Live DVD is a bonus with some interesting interviews.
Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good!, 4 Feb 2012
By 
This review is from: The Collection (Audio CD)
Very good. Toto's The Collection musicbox in perfect price. Fast and good delivery, item was perfect condition. Best Toto music ever, with nice box.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good value, 24 Feb 2013
By 
Sebastian Palmer "sebuteo" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Collection (Audio CD)
A friend lent me this set recently, and I enjoyed some of it enough to warrant getting myself a copy. I borrowed it (thanks Denis!) in order to begin my researches on drummer Jeff Porcaro for an article I was thinking of writing.

Like many people of a certain age, I was familiar with a few of Toto's biggest hits (Africa, Rosanna and Hold The Line), but pretty ignorant of them beyond that. I knew that Jeff Porcaro was the drummer on Steely Dan's Katy Lied, and also played with them live prior to the formation of Toto. I have to confess that whilst I quite liked these famous hits, I thought of Toto as stodgy muso-pop, whose sound I associated with the 80s. The era of Thatcher and Reagan and unbridled capitalism, I've always felt this was an era in which popular music and the industry really started to both ossify and lose its way, and I associated Toto with this: bad hairdos, cheesy synth sounds, bombastic guitar, fairly dumb blue-collar rock lyrics, etc.

I have to say that I still feel largely this way about the period, and even quite a lot of Toto's music. But this set contains two albums that, in themselves, make this a near essential set for broad minded music lovers. These are their 1978 debut (my personal favourite), and their fourth, IV, which was their big commercial success, containing Rosanna and Africa, their two best known hits. Their self-titled debut, released in 1978, is astonishingly assured and varied, an effusive musical outpouring of energy and ideas, and compositionally almost entirely the work of keyboard player and occasional vocalist David (son of Marty) Paich. Not too well received critically, it nonetheless sold very well, and established the band.

Follow up Hydra is slightly less varied, and was slightly less successful. The single 99 - a soulful, mellow Lukather vocal, and one of my favourites - and the song Mama (the first time Porcaro would lay down a variation of the 'Purdie shuffle' with Toto) are the standout cuts. All Us Boys was another single, and embodies the opposite rambunctious rock n' roll pole to 99's gentle blue-eyed soul. I feel Toto are audibly drifting off the boil here: it's a good album, but not great. By the time of third album Turn Back we're into the realm of that kind of stodgy 80s rock I alluded to earlier, with Lukather's guitar dominating proceedings. I have to confess this side of Toto does very little for me.

Having come very close to being ditched by Columbia, they got back on track both musically and commercially with IV. As good as IV is, and it is great, there are times - Make Believe, for example - where one feels they're trying to recapture the magic of their debut (Make Believe can be seen as a recasting of Hold The Line, both being mid-tempo 6/8 soul-rockers, with Bobbie Kimball's formidable vocals leading the way). Certainly it is both more musically varied and leans more significantly to their mellower side than had Hydra and Turn Back, and after this the remaining albums in the set fail to recapture such levels of cohesion and inspiration. For hardcore Toto fans I might appear overly dismissive of the bulk of this set, but for me it's really just their debut and IV that make it a worthwhile purchase, with a few other gems here and there and the Live DVD making for added bonuses.

Ultimately it's the value factor that makes this set so attractive: Toto's first seven albums, plus the live DVD, all for less than a tenner (approx 9.50 when I got it). Amazing! On the down side, in addition to the patchiness of some the music itself, this a distinctly no-frills set: it's housed in a very sturdy box, but there is almost nothing added - no booklet, with essays, nor any detail of who sings or plays what, not even track times - beyond a very few summary words from Paich in the booklet (which simply lists tracks and reproduces cover art), and in fact quite a lot missing (the vinyl versions had both more info and pics, etc.), nor is the music remastered.

If you don't know Toto too well, I'd say this a no-brainier as a starting point: their first seven albums, which includes their best two, plus the live DVD (from a later period) for more or less the price of a standard album. As a value set this is a great success. But it can also be seen as a missed opportunity, especially perhaps for those who know Toto better. A de-luxe version with proper essay style notes, lots of pics, and the Cleveland Agora Ballroom concert of 1979 instead of the Paris 1990 concert included here, would've been a great deal better, but probably proportionately more costly.

Still, I would certainly recommend this as the best way to discover Toto.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest ablum of a gret rock band, 3 July 2013
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This review is from: The Collection (Audio CD)
5 excellent albums that pull me back to my teens. Wonderful to hear them again and let me get transported by the music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Collection, 7 May 2013
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Great box set for anyone interested in TOTO; be warned.. you will go on to buy the later albums not included here!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happily NOT remastered!, 6 July 2012
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This review is from: The Collection (Audio CD)
I for one am glad that Sony HAVEN'T ruined these albums with shoddy and overloud 'modern style' re-mastering - it could have been worse than not redoing them at all!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This box set is a must, 29 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Collection (Audio CD)
You have to have this box set as you get all the cd's re-mastered so the sound is so clear and true . The sound is better than my old vinyl ones have , so I have to tell you to go get this box set .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Toto at their best, 21 May 2013
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The first 7 albums plus a live DVD. What can I say? Easy listening rock and all for the same price as a brand new chart album. Well worth the money. If you are only familiar with 'Hold the Line' or 'Africa' then this is a great place to listen to more.
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