Toto, “English Eyes” from Turn Back (1981): Toto Tuesdays

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Toto’s “English Eyes” rocks even harder than the previous track on 1981’s Turn Back, “Gift With A Golden Gun.” This mid-tempo rocker, composed by David Paich, Bobby Kimball, Jeff Porcaro and Steve Porcaro, has been performed live more than any other track on Turn Back, and may be the best example of what the band was attempting to achieve with the album.

Steve Lukather’s guitar lead is stadium-rock big and is complimented by an equally big drum track in 4/4 time from Jeff Porcaro. As in “Gift from A Golden Gun,” Bassist David Hungate is noticeably restrained and keyboardist Steve Porcaro adds just a touch of organ and string synthesizer parts. Bobby Kimball’s singing is rock solid and perfectly appropriate for this track. Kimball paints a tale of longing desire and loss while getting the most out of his upper range.

At 6:11, the song doesn’t offer too much lyrically – but that’s not its purpose: “… Red sky warning, girl you really put a spell on me / Never told me ’bout the daddy you refused to please / You took the bishop when the king was standing right in front of you / There’s nothing in it if I can’t have a girl with eyes like you.”

In the hands of Toto, “English Eyes” transcended from mediocrity to a level slightly higher. Sure, this is faint praise – but the band has already proven it’s capable of so much more.


Toto Tuesdays is a song-by-song feature that explores the rich musical history of Toto. The group returned in 2015 with ‘Toto XIV,’ their first album since 2006.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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