Toto had an undeniable moment this year thanks to the resurgence of interest — ironic or otherwise — of their song “Africa.” They’re banking on that success with a new, limited-edition box set, All In, available only through their website. It contains all of their studio LPs through 1999’s Mindfields, along with bonus content, one item of which is Old Is New. The record contains odds and sods that never made the cut on their regular records, and, as a teaser, they’re releasing “Devil’s Tower,” a song that could have made the cut on their blockbuster 1982 LP, Toto IV (home to “Africa”).
“Devil’s Tower” is a skittering prog rocker with all the hallmarks of the time: big, triumphant chords, twinkling piano lines and lyrics about perseverance. It’s as if it were custom-made for a training montage in a movie. “We originally recorded this track with Mike and Jeff Porcaro back in 1981 during the sessions for Toto IV,” guitarist Steve Lukather said in a statement. “We never recorded a lead vocal or had lyrics for this one, so Joseph [Williams] finished it up for us recently.” (Vocalist Williams joined Toto in 1986, a couple of years after founding lead singer Bobby Kimball was fired.)
All In features the studio albums and bonus content on 17 LPs and 13 CDs, and it includes two Blu-rays: Toto IV in 5.1 surround sound and a Live in Paris 1990 concert. Among the discs is the previously unreleased Live in Tokyo EP, from 1980, and Old Is New. Of the latter’s 10 tracks, seven are previously unreleased. The music on the set is newly remastered, and there’s also an 80-page hardcover book with essays and rare photos. Each set comes with a certificate of authenticity, signed by the band.
Toto reentered the pop vernacular this year when Weezer decided to cover their hit “Africa” at the behest of a teenage fan, who’d started an online campaign. Toto returned the favor by covering Weezer’s “Hash Pipe” when they kicked off their North American tour. On Halloween, Rolling Stone declared “Africa” the new “Don’t Stop Believin.’”