Toto, “She Knows the Devil” from Kingdom of Desire (1992): Toto Tuesdays

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I really don’t know what went on in the Record One studios on April 15, 1992 when Toto’s “She Knows the Devil” was recorded by Greg Ladanyi.

The song, like most of the others on 1992’s Kingdom of Desire, was group written and produced. The multi-tracked rhythm guitar licks have a Danny Kortchmar, late-’80s feel. Of course, Steve Lukather is known for his brilliant solos – but his talents at holding the rhythm down cannot be overlooked.

Jeff Porcaro makes the 4/4 backbeat all his own, switching from his main snare drum to a piccolo snare for effect – and using his bass drum to propel “She Knows the Devil” into the funk stratosphere. Mike Porcaro doesn’t hold back either, as he dances with Lukather’s guitar parts and his brother’s bass drum.

The song has a jam feel to it, with David Paich providing nifty piano and organ touches to tie it all together. Musically, Toto’s “She Knows the Devil” is so strong that it’s easy to overlook the lyrics and Steve Lukather’s live-sounding vocals.

Bad little girl with a vermin tongue
Ooh, she loves to have her fun
The daughter of Mephistopheles
She loves to aim and she aims to please
She’ll take any young god and burn him down
He’ll see who’s the queen and who’s the clown
She got lips that bleed
She’s what I need
I want her for my girlfriend

She knows the devil
She knows the devil
She knows the devil
And the devil knows me

Given the lyrics, that’s OK. Bobby Womack provided a few vocals ad-libs which are – ah, interesting, while Lenny Castro pulls from his impressive percussion arsenal. Overall, the song seems to be meant as nothing more than good rock-funk fun. If that’s the case, Toto’s “She Knows the Devil” accomplished its mission.

Toto Tuesdays is a song-by-song feature that explores the band’s rich musical history. They returned with three new songs on 2018’s ’40 Trips Around the Sun.’

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; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at
Preston Frazier
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