Toto, “Hash Pipe” (2018): One Track Mind

Share this:

Toto’s 40th anniversary celebration has been a musical delight. The year kicked off with a very successful European tour and the release of three new songs from the 40 Trips Around the Sun compilation. Just a few weeks ago, the band Weezer covered two iconic Toto songs. Their update on “Africa” not only prominently charted, it also sparked chart interest in the original Toto IV classic.

Now Toto, in full flight on their American tour, gives fans another treat. Though ailing founder David Paich will not be on this leg of the tour, the band has given us another single. “Hash Pipe” was originally released on Weezer’s The Green Album in 2001. Always favoring hook-laden rock, Weezer also has a sense of humor which is missing from many of their contemporaries. While Toto isn’t known for its lyrical humor, their version of the song is just as charming and engaging as Weezer’s cover of “Africa.”

A big part of the song’s appeal is due to arranger and vocalist Joseph Williams. Williams creates a tight pop-rock arrangement which drummer Shannon Forrest and bassist Sam Porcaro execute flawlessly. It’s a straight-ahead rocker executed by pros. Producer Steve Porcaro also brings in some early Toto elements, combining both vintage and modern synthesizer wizardry and including congo-player Lenny Castro’s hands of silk and stone. Of course, the anticipated mid-section keyboard guitar breakdown is there, and Steve Lukather rips off a distorted guitar solo which matches the song’s lyrical focus. Joseph Williams also continues to cement in my mind why he’s the best Toto vocalist ever.

Thanks, Toto, for this one-off cover. Now, on with the rest of the tour and the release of the comprehensive box set All In, which Steve Porcaro mentioned in our latest interview.


Can’t get enough Toto? Click here to explore Toto Tuesdays, a song-by-song feature that explores the band’s rich musical history. Look for it every other week here at Something Else!

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
Share this:
Close