Toto, “Kick Down the Walls” from Kingdom of Desire (1991): Toto Tuesdays

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Toto’s “Kick Down the Walls” is almost forgettable. No, it’s not a bad song. There are no bad Toto songs – though this one was inexplicably left off of the iTunes and MP3 versions of the album.

Written by guitarist Danny Kortchmar (of Don Henley and the Section fame) and former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch, “Kick Down the Walls” has a late-’80s production feel that is inconsistent with 1991’s Kingdom of Desire. Kortchmar also produced the track and enlisted Lynch and Richard Page to lend their voices to the chorus.

Both Kortchmar and Lynch have contributed to a number of Grammy-winning projects. However, “Kick Down the Walls” verges on formulaic, and all too radio friendly. Toto’s Mike Porcaro seems to emulate a synth bass or was replaced by sequencing. Likewise, Jeff Porcaro’s drums are drenched with reverb, but come off as equally uninspiring and mechanical.

Steve Lukather does his best vocally with the pedestrian lyrics, but they are almost overshadowed by the production’s deficiencies – as are David Paich’s contributions. Despite the high level of musicianship, this Toto track simply does not leave a lasting impression.

Perhaps that’s why it was left off the recent re-releases of Toto’s Kingdom of Desire. Luckily, the Danny Kortchmar-written title track more than makes up for “Kick Down the Walls.”


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