Toto - Tambu

Toto – Tambu

87 / 100

This Toto album cover looks like a collection of relics from an Indiana Jones movie set. However, the music from these AOR legends is something different altogether.

Written by: gdmonline

ALBUM: Tambu
LABEL: Columbia
SERIAL: 481202 2
YEAR: 1995
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Steve Lukather – vocals, guitar * David Paich – keyboards, vocals * Mike Porcaro – bass * Simon Phillips – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Gift Of Faith * 02 I Will Remember * 03 Slipped Away * 04 If You Belong To Me * 05 Baby He’s Your Man * 06 The Other End Of Time * 07 The Turning Point * 08 Time Is The Enemy * 09 Drag Him To The Roof * 10 Just Can’t Get To You * 11 Dave’s Gone Skiing * 12 The Road Goes On * 13 Blackeye

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This Toto album cover looks like a collection of relics from an Indiana Jones movie set. However, the music from AOR these legends is something different altogether. Having enjoyed their 1992 set ‘Kingdom Of Desire’, Toto were still a going concern, though they were minus a dedicated frontman, Steve Lukather instead handling the vocal duties, while British drummer Simon Phillips moved into the vacant drum stool previously occupied by the late great Jeff Porcaro who had passed away in 1992.

During this halfway point of the 90’s decade, many bands that were successful in the 70’s and 80’s were considered mere afterthoughts by younger audiences, but touring for some of the bigger bands such as Toto was still a money-spinner, and mature listeners still turned up in droves while kiddies hid away in basements playing games on their DOS and Windows 3.11 computers.

The Songs

‘Tambu’ it must be said is a thoughtful album, quite long in playing time, with most tracks over the 5 minute mark. The tempo doesn’t set any landspeed records, but the overall tone is more classic rock than outright AOR, with a few lush ballads thrown in for good measure. I don’t quite hear any direct comparison to past records as such, it’s like Toto have been given license to change direction slightly without the need for a map.

The best remembered song here is the exquisite ballad ‘I Will Remember’, A tune you’ll see on any number of their many compilation albums. Styles tend to shuffle around a bit, like the urban funk of ‘Baby He’s Your Man’, while the album is laden with ballads such as ‘If You Belong To Me’, ‘The Other End Of Time’ and the acoustic pairing of ‘Just Can’t Get To You’ and ‘The Road Goes On’. Ocassionally, Toto do leave the heartstrings in the closet, and tear it up on tracks including ‘Time Is The Enemy’, ‘Drag Him To The Roof’ and ‘Dave’s Gone Skiing’.

In Summary

‘Tambu’ won’t make it into Toto’s list of essential albums, the 1995 time frame puts paid to that, plus the lopsided ballad count makes the album an unbalanced affair for the most part. The album would only be one of two studio albums during the 90’s decade, not including live albums and the 1998 compilation of early material.

Toto on Video

Entire Album (Select Tracks)

Gift Of Faith

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