Toto, “Can’t Stand It Any Longer” from Fahrenheit (1986): Toto Tuesdays

Share this:

Sandwiched between the two lead singles from 1986’s Fahrenheit (both ballads: “Without Your Love” and “I’ll Be Over You”) is a great rock track in “Can’t Stand It Any Longer.”

In addition to bringing a contrasting and harder edge to the Toto sound for this album, “Can’t Stand It Any Longer” is also the perfect vehicle to showcase then-new frontman Joseph Williams’ broader vocal capabilities.

The opening verses practically ooze contempt. Reflecting on the trials of a relationship he wants out of, Williams nails the delivery with a mix of weariness and taunting condescension:

Standin’ on thin ice
Walkin’ on a fine line
Never seem to buy, enough for you
If you’re lookin’ for a way out
Then you’re headed for the right place
Givin’ up is something I can’t do

In the chorus, though, Williams wails with power and seems to really enjoy himself. You can sense he has sure footing here and is equally at home with this genre as he is a slower-paced ballad.

From an instrumental perspective, the backing groove is locked down. This is a showcase of Toto at the top of their game. Jeff Porcaro’s backbeat is direct and uncluttered but breathes – laying a sparse foundation for pinging delayed guitar chords, popping bass slaps and punchy synth keys. (For an example of what I’m talking about with Jeff, check out Rob Shearer – who is surely one of the better Porcaro-inspired drummers out there – playing along to this track.) Toto’s arrangement layers nicely as “Can’t Stand It Any Longer” progresses with squealing guitar harmonics, additional percussion and richer backing vocals.

Not wanting to play favorites, but I find myself again drawn to Mike Porcaro’s performance on bass. I’m amazed by his confidence and creativity with what he does in the chorus – just listen to the lines that move around under Joseph Williams’ vocals. His timing, feel and tone are impeccable: On Fahrenheit, Mike is a musician coming into his own.

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

Anthony Sonego

Anthony Sonego

Anthony Sonego is a long-time Toto fan (and synth-nerd) from Down Under. It’s tragic, but if you ask him about achieving blip or the accumulation of subtleties, he can help you program it. Contact Something Else! at
Anthony Sonego
Share this: