Toto - Isolation

Toto – Isolation


For me, this is without hesitation the best Toto album for me, followed closely by the debut and ‘The Seventh One’.

Written by: gdmonline

ALBUM: Isolation
SERIAL: QC 38962
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Fergie Frederiksen – vocals * Steve Lukather – guitars, vocals * David Paich – keyboards, vocals * Steve Porcaro – keyboards * Mike Porcaro – bass * Jeff Porcaro – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Carmen * 02 Lion * 03 Stranger In Town * 04 Angel Don’t Cry * 05 How Does It Feel * 06 Endless * 07 Isolation * 08 Mr Friendly * 09 Change Of Heart * 10 Holyanna



Fans of the band Toto have ample choice to choose a favourite album from their vast back catalogue. West Coast fans may choose the first two albums or perhaps ‘Toto IV’. The AOR purist may choose ‘The Seventh One’ or this one ‘Isolation’, the band’s fifth release from 1984. It marked a change for the band.

Fresh from the success of their Grammy Awards with the aforementioned ‘Toto IV’, the band embarked on a new album, with a harder sound, a new singer and new bassist. Joining them on ‘Isolation’ was former Trillion and Le Roux warbler Dennis ‘Fergie’ Frederiksen and Mike Porcaro, replacing David Hungate, and joining brothers Steve and JEFF. Many of the GDM readership will have no hesitation putting this album right up there as the best thing they’ve ever done. Certainly I do.

The Songs

Some of Toto’s best songs are assembled here. Tell me that tracks such as ‘Angel Don’t Cry’ and ‘Endless’ don’t strike a chord with you?

Tremendous AOR fare, and if you thought they were good, how about the lead-off track ‘Carmen’ (where David Paich and Fergie share the vocals) and the sharp edge AOR of the title-track ‘Isolation’.. tell me that end sequence hasn’t been stolen from Journey‘s ‘Send Her My Love’ off ‘Frontiers’.

I think Messrs Paich and Lukather owe Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain and Neal Schon a few beers, dont’cha think? lol! ‘Mr Friendly’ is another to hit home, very similar to 80’s era The Tubes but the sharp precision like delivery cuts through leaving no room for excess.

‘Change Of Heart’ is more of the same radio friendly AOR the band are known for, though the bombastic pompy mid-section gives it variety. The album features a killer ballad ‘How Does It Feel’, this one sung by Steve Lukather. He would continue to sing some of their best ballads on successive albums.

The staggered tempo and traditional Toto shuffle bears fruit on ‘Lion’ while the quirky ‘Stranger In Town’ was an unusual choice for single.. though a few repeat plays will warm you up. Even the video for this is weird! The album finishes up with the fun-time romp n rollick that is ‘Holyana’ sung by David Paich.

In Summary

Commercially, this is not one of Toto’s most successful works, though it did sell a heap of units. When compared to its predecessor ‘Toto IV’ that comparison becomes unfair, considering it was one of the biggest selling albums of 1982. Unfortunately for the band, Frederiksen would only last this one album, his spot being taken by Joseph Williams.

Still as as audio imprint, ‘Isolation’ remains a favourite for many, but with their different albums representing different era’s and timeframes, many of them could be equal-favourite too. For me, this is without hesitation the best Toto album for me, followed closely by the debut and ‘The Seventh One’.


Angel Don’t Cry

TOTO - "Angel Don't Cry"

Stranger In Town
Toto - Stranger In Town


Entire Album (Select Tracks)

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