Best Album Of All Times – Number 3: Toto – The Seventh One
When I was in my late teenage years, and I guess until I was 30, there wasn’t so much more music than Hardrock, Heavy Metal and Westcoast. I knew most of the bands, the musicians (which at least in the westcoast-genre many times are the same on many records with different artists).
Toto, has always been a group with amazing musicians. The guy/woman at vocals have changed over the years, but somehow they’ve always maintained a great standard, but they have never been a “band of the critics” (at least in Sweden), and I guess that’s partly due to the lack of “deepness”, but on the other hand, if you like technical stuff like amazing guitar solos, great bass play, amazing percussions/drums, keyboards and so on; Toto surely delivers always.
The line-up for this album:
- Joseph Williams – lead vocals (except on “Anna” and “These Chains”)
- Steve Lukather – guitars, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Anna” and “These Chains”
- David Paich – keyboards, backing vocals, co-lead vocals on “Home of the Brave”
- Mike Porcaro – bass
- Jeff Porcaro – drums, percussion
and as guest musician:
- Steve Porcaro – keyboards, electronics
So, why the album Seventh One? I like almost all songs on all albums, so it wasn’t an easy choice. After my first cut, where I left out the albums that I thought had 1 or 2-star tracks, I had to choose from the albums:
- Toto (1978)
- Toto IV (1982)
- Fahrenheit (1986)
- The Seventh One (1988)
At first I picked Fahrenheit as the best of those four, but after a number of listenings I think The Seventh One must be the final pic. The average for all tracks are the best, in my opinion.
***** Pamela; with that amazing soft beginning, and the sudden “AHHHH” after 20 seconds. “Side by side”.. together with the rhythm section. The keyboard at 1:03, followed by the guitar afterwards. Nice! After 1:30, the chorus. Great, relaxed and the groove in the background just keeps on pushing. Don’t miss the solos after 2:50 with keyboard and guitar. Awesome!
*** You Got Me; in my opinion a great track, but the weakest on the album in my opinion. Highlights: the chorus after 0:50, and the horn section after 1:15 and forward. Really good.
**** Anna; one of two amazing soft ballads on the album. The place on the album is as good as it gets. Romantic, soft and gentle, and some nice strings of hope in the chorus. Beautiful! Listen especially to the guitar solo at 2:40 – 3:00
***** After some romantic feelings, the album once again get’s up to speed with Stop Loving You, and the acceleration is done superbly. A short intro in 20 seconds, then a stop followed by percussion and a verse that’s up to par with the amazing chorus. One of those tracks where at least I know almost every single tone. At 2:50 when they incorporate some Jazz-influences, the track reaches its peak.
***** Mushanga. I’ve tried to find out what the word Mushanga means but haven’t been able to find it. The only two explanations i’ve found:
“Mucu Mushanga, their 27th king, was credited with the invention of fire, and he was the first to make clothing out of bark cloth. Shamba Bolongongo (c. 1600), the 93rd king, who introduced weaving and textile manufacture to his people, was…”
Meaning of Mushanga: Mishnaic:1:of or relating to the Mishna (the first part of the Talmud). – See more at: http://www.chacha.com/question/what-does-mushanga-mean#sthash.SsUYRz2m.dpuf
Well, I guess it doesn’t matter that much. After all this is an amazing track with (as so many times before) a great rhythm section, and the Spanish-influenced guitar solo after 3:05 is probably one of the most beautiful one’s by Steve Lukather, then followed by a Keyboard solo followed with a pairing of the two. Awesome!
**** Stay Away starts of with a guitar and drums / cow shells. Highlights, the chorus after 1:12 with a great backing vocals.
**** Straight for the heart. Pushed, upbeat drums, paired with vocals starts this track, followed by a great chorus with some amazing horn sections.
***** Only The Children. Great guitar intro which is connected to the end of the last track of the album. The verse has a gentle pace, while slowly accelerates to the great chorus, after the equally amazing break at 0:50. After 2:50 there is a long break followed by the always great guitar solos of Steve Lukather.
***** A Thousand Years. The albums second ballad, once again well placed on the album. Not as romantic as “Anna”, but a nice gentle track with some amazing performances by the musicians. Once again, Beautiful!!
**** These Chains is a slow, almost jazzy track. I really like the vocals at “What should direction should I go”. One of the places where I always here my self sing along (and no that will not improve the song at all 😉 ).
***** Home Of The Brave. 6:48 of total pleasure. My favorite track on the album, and an awesome track live where they are using the guitar section after 3:10 / 5:34 to alter the sound between right and left in the concerts. Some flavors of Peter Gabriel in that section? And the crescendo on the album after about 3:50, the break! Totally awesome. I know that this may be more enjoyable for those that really enjoys the technical parts, but this is so good!