Toto, “A Million Miles Away” from Turn Back (1981): Toto Tuesdays

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A million miles away and it’s killing me inside
There’s a stranger in a carriage and he’s taking her out tonight
The devil’s riding on a full moon and he sends his love
When I’m a million miles away

Not the typical stuff power ballads are made of, but this David Paich composition from Toto’s 1981 album Turn Back isn’t your typical power ballad. Indeed, guitarist Steve Lukather is often the go-to guy in Toto for such things, and his ballads are often memorable. But don’t count out Paich, who employs his golden Toto touch here to push “A Million Miles Away” over the top.

First in foremost is the use of vocalist Bobby Kimball. He is a fine rock singer, but his vocals were not often utilized on the softer stuff where Toto always favored Steve Lukather. Here, Paich cast Kimball’s voice against the backdrop of classically inspired acoustic piano and a solid rock backbeat. Paich and Lukather work their magic again on backing vocals, but Kimball’s pleading lead is the center point.

Except for the mystical bridge, the lyrics that David Paich writes are standard breakup fare. The bridge adds an element which could have made the song fit nicely on the prior album, Hydra. Steve Lukather’ s guitar solo has a Neal Schon feel to it, and fits the song perfectly. The track seems perfectly suited for rock and pop radio, but it wasn’t released as a single.

As with most of the tracks on Turn Back, Steve Porcaro isn’t given much space for his synthesizers. But he more than makes up for it on the next song, “Goodbye Elenore.”

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; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at
Preston Frazier
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