Records That Made History

Toto – Absolutely Live

todayJune 15, 2024 20

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Absolutely Live is the first live album released by Toto in 1993, featuring new singers Jenney Douglas-McRae, John James and Donna McDaniel. After its first release the album was reissued in 1999 by Sony International.

Toto are considered by many critics and fans to be one of the best live bands to ever appear. The original line-up of the group was probably the tightest band ever to appear on the modern rock scene, but even with their new line-up they are still well above average.

The album opens with the track “Hydra”. In a very nice live performance, the song doesn’t sound the same without Bobby Kimball’s incredible vocals, just like the female-dominated “Rosanna” and “Africa”. In any case, the album is considered to be musically wonderful. The sound is truly amazing and in no way would you distinguish it from a studio recording if it weren’t for the roar and applause of the crowd.

These guys are warm and hardworking, Paich, Lukather, Porcaro and Phillips are a concert force on this album, giving it their all. Highlights are the jazzy tracks “Do Not Stop Me Now” and “Georgy Porgy” with an interesting variation on Lukather’s solo. “Kingdom Of Desire” and “Don’t Chain My Heart” sound strong and deserve attention.

With musicians like those mentioned above, the tracks, however complex and large, are played with great mastery on stage, such as the combination of “Africa” with the highly listened to but smaller hit “I’ll Be Over You”. Of course, as former session musicians, they give many extended solos on the tracks and especially on the most popular ones like “Hold The Line”, which here lasts over ten minutes. However, this is also the real beauty of this album which perfectly captures the band’s live performances, but their great songs, with the music itself and not the performance, winning people’s attention.

What’s cool about “Absolutely Live” is the fact that we discover that Toto are an extremely live group, who don’t hesitate to play their tracks live, often jamming away from the more restrictive studio recordings with Steve Lukather to finally reveal the sound that will make him recognizable to the ears of all aspiring guitarists and make Jeff Beck yellow with envy.

Through this amazing live album I select the even more amazing “Hold The Line”.


1.1 Hydra 7:45
1.2 Rosanna 8:25
1.3 Kingdom Of Desire 8:02
1.4 Georgy Porgy 3:45
1.5 99 3:02
1.6 I Won’t Hold You Back 2:10
1.7 Don’t Stop Me Now 2:35
1.8 Africa 6:12
2.1 Don’t Chain My Heart 7:21
2.2 I’ll Be Over You 5:39
2.3 Home Of The Brave 7:08
2.4 Hold The Line 10:45
2.5 With A Little Help From My Friends 10:08

Written by: Dimitris Sigalos

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