If you are a Toto completist, then there is obviously no hope for you when it comes to this album. Eleven tracks, and I’m sure most of you will come away with different feelings. Guaranteed you won’t all be the same, and I’m unsure whether this is a totally necessary addition to your CD collection.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Through The Looking Glass
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Bobby Kimball – vocals * Steve Lukather – guitar, vocals * David Paich – keyboards, vocals * Mike Porcaro – bass * Simon Phillips – drums, percussion
TRACK LISTING: 01 Could You Be Loved * 02 Bodhisattva * 03 While My Guitar Gently Weeps * 04 I Can’t Get Next To You * 05 Living For The City * 06 Maiden Voyage/Butterfly * 07 Burn Down The Mission * 08 Sunshine Of Your Love * 09 House Of The Rising Sun * 10 Watching The Detectives * 11 It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
WEBLINKS: Site Link
You’ve often heard the word ‘nadir’ bandied about. What exactly does it mean? I thought it was some mystical creature from a fantasy/sci-fi show, like the Griffin. But no, it actually means (for want of a better phrase) ‘bottom of the barrel’. And that folks is what ‘Through The Looking Glass’ is all about. Whoa Nelly. Is it that bad?
Well no, it isn’t, but it’s probably the album Toto needed to make to give the one finger raspberry to former label CBS for fucking them around in prior years. Look, Toto have been slagged from hell to high heavens by more influential people than us meager folks at Glory Daze. During this phase of their career, the band were trying to establish just how meaningful they were on the melodic rock landscape.
Their old label were still hawking off Live DVD’s and Greatest Hits compilations, which didn’t exactly help their cause in terms of fresh material. Lukather and co didn’t help matters by putting out a covers CD full of songs that reeks of ‘so-so’. I understand that they probably needed to let off steam by putting out a CD like this, and say a big ‘fuck you’ to CBS at the same time, but really?
Before I begin, let me say one thing. The musicianship is as high-class as anything you’d hear on a Toto album. That much is guaranteed. It’s just that much of the content was totally unnecessary. A CD full of new songs would’ve been a better idea, but then again albums either side of this (‘Mindfields’ and ‘Falling In Between’) were just as polarising, so perhaps that wasn’t a good comment by yours truly.
Let me get the ‘yuck’ out of my throat before I choke. The reggae powered ‘Could You Be Loved’ is something we could have all done without. We know Toto can play any genre of music they put their hand to. They didn’t need to convince us that reggae was one of those. So too a cover of Elvis Costello‘s ‘Watching The Detectives’, played in that late 70’s reggae/ska vibe.
Other than that, there are some absolute winners too (face palm, yes I know). ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ has been done a billion times before, but a guitar freak like Luke just had to give it a go, and good on him. ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ we’ve probably all sung at parties under the duress of alcohol, but Bobby Kimball sings it like a master.
Cream‘s ‘Sunshine Of My Love’ is an out-an-out’ classic and Toto do this one a great favour. Herbie Hancock‘s ‘Maiden Voyage/Butterfly’ describes David Paich’s perfect CV/resume as a lounge club pianist if ever he decides to take up that option.
I didn’t like the version of Stevie Wonder‘s ‘Living In The City’. Too slow in tempo and too riff heavy. I quite liked Steely Dan‘s ‘Bodhisattva’, but comparing them to Toto is like comparing Coca-Cola to Pepsi. Much of a muchness.
Eleven tracks, and I’m sure most of you will come away with different feelings. Guaranteed you won’t all be the same. Unsure whether this is a totally necessary addition to your CD collection, but if you are a Toto completist, then there is obviously no hope for you.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps