Toto, “Stop Loving You” from The Seventh One (1988): Toto Tuesdays

Toto planted a seed with their 1982 smash “Rosanna.” I was in kindergarten and, along with Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” it seemed to be everywhere on the radio. It didn’t hurt that my older brother had Toto IV, and played it quite often.

Flash forward several years. I’m the one in high school. I know of Toto; I’m familiar with their hits. I wouldn’t really have called myself a fan, but I liked them enough to order their Past to Present compilation from Columbia House.

I loved that cassette, played it incessantly, wore it thin. But the one track I played a bit thinner than the rest of the tape was “Stop Loving You.” From the first moment I head the song, a switch had flipped. I was no longer merely a casual listener; I was a fan. I couldn’t get enough. And while it was still a few years before I’d pick up 1988’s The Seventh One, I was totally sucked in.

Why the song was not a bigger hit than it was in the United States is a mystery to me. It’s got a catchy hook and Joseph Williams owns the vocals; Jeff Porcaro lays down a catchy groove. All of the pieces came together perfectly on that song. I’d argue it’s superior to the much bigger hit “Rosanna,” in that the lyrics are a bit more universal in their appeal. It can be applied and sung to anyone, regardless of name.

And while over time I’ve grown to love other Toto songs more, “Stop Loving You” remains a sentimental favorite: It’s the song that made this listener really open his ears and dive head first without wings into Toto’s vast musical catalog. It’s the song that led to my discovery of Joseph Williams’ impeccable voice, a voice that through a rather circuitous and indirect path led to meeting another Toto fan, the man who inevitably introduced me to my wife. … But that’s another story for another day.

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.



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
  • Preston Frazier

    Wow, I remember the Yes connection with Jon Anderson doing that very brief ad lib during the instrumental breakdown. I guess the connection was that Toto worked with Anderson on his In The City of Angels album. Of course there is the connection to Yes later with their work with Billy Sherwood on many of his projects as well as his collaboration with Toto on the song, The Other Side.