Toto, “Mr. Friendly” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

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Musically, Toto’s “Mr. Friendly” is delightful. Opening with a trademark synth riff, the song dances on a solid Jeff Porcaro groove with Fergie Frederiksen’s stratospheric tenor vocals soaring throughout.

There’s that old adage about good singers that one would enjoy hearing them sing the phone book because their voices transcend the material. “Mr. Friendly” lyrically isn’t much of a step up from the phone book. It’s arguably one of Toto’s weakest lyrics. But Fergie goes totally honey-badger on it. He doesn’t care how weak the lyrics are; he totally tears it up anyway.

What would easily be considered a throwaway track at the hands of a lesser singer or lesser band still manages to stand out on 1984’s Isolation. While it’s not their best, it’s still proof positive that Toto – even at some of their weaker moments – was and still is light years beyond other bands at their best.

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

Perplexio

Perplexio

Perplexio also maintains a stand-alone blog called The Review Revue, where he explores music, movies and books. He spearheaded 'Saturdays in the Park,' our weekly multi-writer, song-by-song series focused on the music of Chicago. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Perplexio
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