Toto, “The Road Goes On” from ‘Tambu’ (1995): Toto Tuesdays

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After the raw exposed nerve of Toto’s Kingdom of Desire, 1995’s Tambu was a more understated follow-up. It also marked the end of the quartet era which saw Steve Lukather handling all of Toto’s lead vocals.

Tambu has a polished cohesiveness to it. There’s an excellent flow to the album, thanks to a very strategic track order. Closing the album with “The Road Goes On” elevates the song to a completely different level. (Toto tacked on “Blackeye,” but only as a bonus track; it doesn’t appear on the track listing on the back of Tambu.)

“The Road Goes On” works like a crescendo. Where the rest the album played out like a collection of well-crafted songs, this track was anthemic in comparison. It provided the exclamation mark that Tambu was always building toward.

The lyrics speak to Toto moving forward after the tragic and catastrophic loss of founding member, drummer Jeff Porcaro: “Now I see it all through different eyes, where I’m going where I’ve gone; all I know, I’m still surprised – the road goes on and on.” Written by Glen Ballard, Steve Lukather and David Paich, the song is extremely catchy and was a staple of Toto’s live sets for years, with fans joining in for the “whoa ohs.” When sung by an audience several thousand strong, that wordless vocal further elevated “The Road Goes On” to a level that could best be described as empowering.

Toto only lasted two albums as a quartet, before the official return of original vocalist Bobby Kimball in 1998. They could not have chosen a better or more fitting song to close out this brief era in their evolution.


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.’

Perplexio

Perplexio

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 [email protected] reviews.com.
Perplexio
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