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Tambu

Toto

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Album Review

Toto waxed philosophical on its first album to be recorded since the death of founding member Jeff Porcaro and his replacement by drummer Simon Phillips. The song lyrics were full of abstractions — apathy, dignity, faith, freedom, hope, hopelessness, hypocrisy, rage, trust (those are all from just the first song, "Gift of Faith") — which seemed to indicate that the band members were reflecting seriously, if not too specifically, on weighty issues in an angry, questioning manner. Some of the lyrics couched these internal struggles in romantic terms, but more often they seemed to refer to more general anguish. The group came up with a more focused, harder, bluesier musical style to carry the weight, and Steve Lukather sang expressively, making you wonder why they bothered so long with those cookie-cutter vocalists. Like a patient new to psychoanalysis, Toto went on at length (the album runs over 70 minutes), and without much coherence, about "the pain of my lifetime" and "a world of blind ambition," among other things. You couldn't call the result accomplished, but Tambu suggested that Toto was embarked on a new personal and musical journey that might lead in an interesting direction. (Released in Europe in the late fall of 1995, Tambu was released in the U.S. as Legacy 64957 on June 4, 1996.)

Biography

Formed: 1978 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

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

Toto was formed in Los Angeles in 1978 by David Paich (b. June 21, 1954, Los Angeles; keyboards, vocals), Steve Lukather (b. October 21, 1957, Los Angeles; guitar, vocals), Bobby Kimball (b. Robert Troy Kimball, March 29, 1947, Vinton, LA; vocals), Steve Porcaro (b. September 2, 1957, Connecticut; keyboards), David Hungate (b. Texas; bass), and Jeff Porcaro (b. April 1, 1954, Hartford, CT; d. August 5, 1992, Hidden Hills, CA; drums). Paich was the son of arranger Marty Paich; the Porcaros were the...
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Tambu, Toto
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