Toto, “It’s a Feeling” from Toto IV (1982): Toto Tuesdays

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“It’s a Feeling” is an anomaly among Toto tracks in that it was, at the time of the release of Toto IV, the second lead vocal taken by keyboardist Steve Porcaro. Additionally, the song’s chord structure and feel differs somewhat from the compositions from the then-chief songwriter David Paich. Yet, “It’s a Feeling” is a perfect example of what makes the band Toto and the album Toto IV so fantastic.

The song’s minor chords and synthesizers patches are subtle yet brilliant. Porcaro’s style is a hard-to-define, yet instantly recognizable blending elements of jazz, rock and progressive rock. His synthesizers are seamlessly intertwined with David Paich’s piano and Steve Lukather’s electric and acoustic guitar. David Hungate and Porcaro’s brother Jeff keep the pace steady and in lock with Lenny Castro’s congas and bongos. Steve Porcaro’s keyboard arrangement is complimented by the addition of the Martyn Ford Strings, again conducted by James Newton Howard and arranged by David and his father Marty Paich.

The song’s feel is not unlike that of Porcaro’s hit for Michael Jackson, “Human Nature” – or the song “Ready or Not” from his much-anticipated 2016 solo debut album, Someday/Somehow. Lyrically, “It’s a Feeling” could be aligned with a changing romantic relationship just as easily as it could be talking about Porcaro’s place in the band he cofounded. Its focus is on a person who is just on the outside looking in. Vocally, with a just a touch of David Paich assisting on background vocals, Porcaro more than adequately paints the narrative.

It’s unfortunate that Steve Porcaro wouldn’t again sing on a Toto record until 2015’s Toto XIV. Still, that release featured “The Little Things,” an evocative gem, and the Japanese-only edition also included Porcaro’s “Bend.” In a few weeks, we will have Someday/Somehow, a daring new album, to add to this impressive discography.

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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