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The Essential Toto

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Album Review

While there have been a bunch of Toto budget-line compilations over the years, 2003's The Essential Toto is the first high-profile hits collection since 1990's Past to Present 1977-1990. At 14 songs, The Essential is one track longer than that compilation, but it shares eight cuts with Past to Present, which, of course, are all the big hits: "Africa," "Hold the Line," "Georgy Porgy," "Rosanna," "I Won't Hold You Back," "99," and "Pamela." What differentiates the two compilations, then, is that The Essential boasts a much better remastering and a better selection of songs, including the single "Make Believe" and a good selection of album tracks from their peak period, like "I'll Supply the Love." While this is missing some hits, they're minor ones that won't be missed by most listeners — "Live for Today," "Afraid of Love," "Loves in the Night," "Waiting for Your Love," "Stranger in Town," and "Holyanna" — and what's here is very good, an accurate representation of Toto at their best, making this their best compilation to date.

Customer Reviews

Better than I thought

I gave this compilation a chance as i kept hearing the catchy Africa everywhere i go. I was surprised to find that a lot of hits that are ubiquitous in public venues to this day are all Toto songs. There were many more hit songs by them than just Africa. I hadn't realized. There were even a few songs on here that I liked that I don't recall ever hearing before.

They're classic 80's and 70's sounds. Not great, but still classic. Some are irresistably catchy. They really convey the feeling of those years. I hear some of them and i'm back in my childhood.

They key factor about Toto's lasting appeal in stores, gas stations, etc. is that the songs are very unobtrusive. They blend well into the background. The bad part about their lesser songs, and even some on here, is that they become too unobtrusive to the point of being generic. That's how i would characterize every Toto song that I don't like (about 30% of this "essential" compilation): generic.

Excellent playlist, but...

You can probably find the exact tracklisting on cd at a local store under the title "Playlist: The Very Best of Toto" often very very cheap. Lame of Sony to reissue it as part of their Playlist series without acknowledging it is a repackaged item, but it I'd a winner, track after track of excellence!!!


Omg, the only song I really knew was "Africa", because the awesome young R&B singer sampled it, and I recalled hearing it as a child... But, every song on this "essential" album rocks... I'm under 30, but, loves 80s music!!!!! Toto rocks!!!!


Formed: 1977 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The original members of Toto were L.A.-based session men who had played with everyone from George Benson to Boz Scaggs and wanted to create something they could call their own. They scored a hit straight out of the gate with the album rock hit "Hold the Line" from their 1978 debut. Their biggest success, however, came in the early '80s with a pair of smash hits, "Rosanna" and "Africa," plus the breakout, six-Grammy success of the Toto IV album. The band endured some major personnel shake-ups over...
Full Bio
The Essential Toto, Toto
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Customer Ratings