Toto, “Lovers In The Night” from Toto IV (1982): Toto Tuesdays

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How do you follow a Steve Lukather rocker like “Afraid Of Love” on Toto IV? With an even more potent song, “Lovers In The Night.”

On the song, not only does David Paich write one of the best Toto rockers ever, but he sings and arranges it to surpass some of the bands earlier high water marks. Paich’s piano starts off the charge, set against a seemingly conventional drum and bass pattern from Jeff Porcaro and David Hungate. The arrangement quickly takes an almost prog rock turn, however, as Steve Porcaro synthesizer accents are followed by Lukather’s Ibanez guitar-fueled power cords. We are just 15 seconds into the song and you quickly realize this is not standard rock fare.

David Paich’s lead vocal is perfectly cast in this mid-tempo rock setting. Lyrically, he paints an obtuse but appropriate setting which flies along with Jeff Porcaro’ s 4/4 rhythm. Steve Lukather’s rhythm guitar is stinging, and his volume pedal work during the chorus will give you goose bumps.

Yet Toto can still bring subtlety and nuance, even to a rocker like this. Bobby Kimball’s harmonies and backing vocals add to the song’s suspense. Lenny Castro’s congas are perfectly integrated into the driving back beat. Tom Scott and Jim Horn provide tenor sax parts during the bridge and breakdown. Synthesizer wiz Ralph Dyck adds the swirling synth parts during the breakdown, which both meshes with Steve Porcaro’s parts yet are unique.

Not to be outdone, Steve Lukather provides arguably his best group of solos on the album. His middle solo is brief, hard and a wonder of string bending. From there, he goes into an insane yet melodic march over the last verse of the song. At the turnaround, all these elements come together: the synths, piano, bass and drums and percussion, then real orchestration to build into Luthaker’s whammy-bar end solo.

Great writing, fantastic arranging, stellar playing. It’s Toto.

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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