Saturday, November 1, 2014

Toto - Isolation

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Isolation, the fifth studio album from Toto. It had moderate sales, only achieving gold status. Still, it charted at number 67 in the UK, number 65 in Australia, number 57 in Canada, number 26 in the Netherlands, number 17 in Finland and Italy, number 15 in Germany and Switzerland, number 12 in France, number 8 in Norway and Sweden, and number 2 in Japan. Here in the US, it spent twenty-one weeks on the Billboard Album chart with a top spot of number 42.

This was the first of two Toto albums to feature lead vocals by Fergie Frederiksen who previously sang with Survivor (in 1982) and LeRoux (in 1983). He also contributed two tracks on the soundtrack for Can’t Stop the Music in 1979 under the alias of David London. He came on board with Toto after Bobby Kimball left the band during this album's recording sessions.

Side one opens with “Carmen”, a frantic love tale with lead vocals by David Paich.

The B-side to the fourth single was “Lion”. The song features a strutting syncopation.

The first single was “Stranger in Town”. It reached number 100 in the UK, number 40 in Australia, number 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 7 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. This one hit the rounds briefly at parties and clubs in late ’84 and early ’85. I always felt it had a bit of a Yes vibe to it ala their 90125 album from the year before.

The mid-tempo “Angel Don’t Cry” was released as the promotional fourth single. I like what Paich and Steve Pocaro do with the keyboards on this one.

The third single was the ballad “How Does It Feel”, featuring lead vocals by guitarist Steve Lukather.

Side two begins with “Endless”, the up-tempo fifth and final single from the album.

The title track “Isolation” is next; it was the B-side to the fifth single. It features a very prominent piano element at the beginning.

“Mr. Friendly” was the B-side to both the second and third singles. The song draws the line with an annoying and abusive acquaintance.

“Change of Heart” was the B-side to the first single. The guitar on this one gives it a hard rocking edge, making it stand out from some of the other tracks.

“Holyanna”, the closing track, was the second single; it peaked at number 71 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It has a swinging rhythm to it and a toe-tapping beat that I liked.

Once more, this was my first exposure to most of Isolation. I enjoyed listening to it and would certainly look forward to revisiting it again in the near future.

For more Toto, click here.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I don't think I've ever been more disappointed in an album purchase. I absolutely loved Toto IV and eagerly awaited this follow-up. I bought Isolation on vinyl immediately upon its release and gave it a spin in my dorm room. Hated it (I'm sure I had my reasons, but I can't remember what they were). I figured that I was missing something, so I gave Isolation a few more tries before selling it. I haven't heard it since.