Toto – Hydra (1979)

Toto_Hydra4.5 out of 5 Stars!

In the forty years since Toto has been together, 1979’s Hydra remains one of my favorite albums simply because it’s one of the band’s most progressive releases.

With no trio of mega hit singles included (no mighty “Hold The Line”/”Georgy Porgy”/”I’ll Supply the Love” type of triumvirate, which all appeared on the band’s previous platter) this sophomore effort—which spawned only one hit single in the form of “99”—was summarily and unfairly dismissed by many original fans of the band and the music press, but I on the other hand (being more of a rebel, I guess, and also being a Prog-Rock lover more than a Pop-Rock devotee) eagerly embraced Hydra, with songs such as “St. George and the Dragon,” “White Sister,” “All Us Boys,” “Lorraine,” and the awesome title track, hoping it actually indicated the future of the talented group.

In some ways, my wish came true, with the next album (Turn Back) also stretching the musical boundaries for AOR fans with the additional progressive flourishes, with Toto experimenting a bit more, and thus—with no hit singles at all—becoming another big disappointment for many original fans and critics alike.

For me, however, this “pre-Rosanna/Africa” period of Toto’s history was always the most enjoyable, and Hydra remains the best of the band’s initial three releases and (apart from 1984’s Isolation, which featured the excellent Dennis “Fergie” Fredericksen on lead vocals) the Toto album I continue to hold most sacred.

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