The Kids Today Are Wrong, As Usual

Gentle reader, it is time to talk about the best Toto song. I mean, the time had to come around once after 1985, right? You live in the quantum universe where that time has come.

Now, you might think I favor “Rosanna” because it came on a cassette I got out of a box of Chex cereal in the days where prizes came in the box or you might already be a winner when you unscrewed a cap on a soda bottle or opened a pack of gum. Now, of course, you get a code where, after you sign up on the Internet and give the consumer package goods conglomorate all of your personal information or, heaven forbid, download the app and give the conglomorate and its “partners” the right to track your every move before discovering, nah, bro, you didn’t win. But in the 1980s, cereal boxes gave you compilation cassettes of “old” songs which were in fact only a couple of years old, but they came out when you were in elementary school and not after you grew up and went to middle school, so they were uncool.

Anyway, Toto’s best song is not “Roseanna”:

Strangely enough, I went looking for that cassette in the bins under the bed where we store out old cassettes, and I did not find the un-cased tape in a quick search. Given how I don’t tend to get rid of anything, I presume it’s there or misplaced, but I don’t doubt I still have it. I found cassette singles from the era, though. You know, every couple of years, I get out the 45 records and listen to them. But one never pulls out cassette singles and listens to them. Whether it’s because the tactile experience is different, because records are hip (or hep) now, or because you either have to pause the listening to rewind or have to listen to all B-sides, I am not sure, although it might be the last.

Of course, Toto is most known for “Africa” because Weezer covered it with “Weird Al” a couple of years ago. But, to be honest, that is five or six years ago, so the Weezer has slipped out of the zeitgeist and off of the radio’s abbreviated playlists. Toto’s version appears from time to time between the Aerosmith, Tom Petty, and Journey.

I will listen to arguments that Leo Marachiolli’s heavy metal cover is Frog Leap Studios’ best song. In between sentences here, I’m going to see what Leo’s been doing lately. He’s still doing metal covers, but it looks like his output has declined a bit. But he’s in a different place in his life than he was six or seven years ago. Aren’t we all.

But back to Toto. The best Toto song, at least among their radio hits, is definitely “Hold the Line”:

Although the song comes from their debut album in 1978, it got a lot of radio play on the classic rock stations in the middle 1990s, so I heard it a bunch, and it was in my dating years, and I’d just started seeing this really hot chick who, I’m not joking, was either the #2 or #3 hit on the Google Image search for “legs.” So it hit me in a spot back in the day when the radio stations were probably playing old songs over and over again but probably with larger playlists and when the songs were still new enough to me that I was not tired of them. I heard it on the newest preset in my car, a radio station with no DJs and few commercials whose mix of 80s, 90s, and whatever is slightly different from the other similar stations in Springfield, for a little while, anyway. Over time, I will discover it overlaps with the other stations more than I prefer (and probably a convergence is forthcoming) and that its library is not that big, either. I am this far away from another curmudgeonly radio post.

Last night, I spun Foreigner’s Records, their greatest hits collection that I inherited last weekend. I had actually bought this album on cassette in college, so I was familiar with the songs already. You’ll hear the occasional Foreigner song on the radio today, but not my favorites, “Dirty White Boy” and “Long, Long Way From Home”.

Both Toto and Foreigner were old bands when I came to listen to pop radio in the late 1980s, so they were kind of background noise at the time. But, you know what? They’re all right. I’m not likely to rush to order their music on Amazon–they’re not metal or jazz songbirds, after all–but I’ll watch for their records. Although, to be honest, they’re in that peak of priciness–pop bands from the 1970s and 1980s–so I’ll not likely find any inexpensively.

But they’re interesting to reminisce to and about.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

1 thought on “The Kids Today Are Wrong, As Usual

Leave a Reply