Friday, November 3, 2017

"Holyanna" by Toto

Song#:  2212
Date:  02/09/1985
Debut:  78
Peak:  71
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Toto's follow-up to their multi-Grammy winning album Toto IV was not doing all that well. Isolation got off to a bit of a shaky start when its first single, "Stranger in Town," failed to get near the Pop Top 10 (#30). While it was able to reach #7 at Rock, the results were not encouraging. Hoping to turn things around, the band issued this second single. Unfortunately, it did even worse and only managed a short stay near the bottom of the Pop chart. A third single, "How Does It Feel," was released, but it couldn't even chart. With little to promote the album, Isolation peaked at a very low #42 and could only muster gold-level sales. Coming off of a triple-platinum hit album, the results were highly disappointing.

ReduxReview:  Although I had hoped "Stranger in Town" would catch on, I thought the album was gonna tank after hearing it. The material just wasn't there and for the most part their slick soft rock was gone as well. This second single probably came closest to replicating their sound, but it still wasn't nearly as good as their previous hits. It kind of has a Supertramp feel to it with a little Chicago thrown in, which I like. However, that wasn't really enough to make me wanna keep replaying the tune. Plus, I weirdly think the title was a deterrent. It seems like it should be pronounced like two names - Holly and Anna. But it is Holy, like in something religious, which ties into the lyrics about Catholic school girls. Get it? I think they would have been better off with a different name and not worry about the religious tie-in. Regardless, it's an okay song that wasn't going to bring the band back to the Top 10.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  After singer Bobby Kimball was released from Toto, they hired on Fergie Frederiksen to take his place. Frederiksen would sing lead vocals on the majority of tracks on Isolation (minus the two charting singles from the album, including this one). Known for being in rock bands, Frederiksen actually had a brush with disco music at the turn of the decade. Just as disco music was beginning to crash, a musical/comedy film based on the group The Village People was filmed. Titled Can't Stop the Music, the film was a very loose interpretation of how The Village People formed. It was a notorious box office bomb that was directed by Nancy Walker (of Rhoda fame). The musical featured several songs from The Village People, two from the disco act The Ritchie Family, and two from an artist named David London. London was actually Fergie Frederiksen. Although he didn't appear in the film, he somehow got work doing the vocals on the tracks "Samantha" and "The Sound of the City." The former song was issued as a single, but it didn't get anywhere. Yet somehow, the songs helped Frederiksen secure a record deal with the Scandinavian label Arrival and he recorded a self-titled album in 1981 under the David London name. After that adventure, he went back to his own name and worked with a few bands until landing the gig with Toto. Unfortunately, after the Isolation album and tour, the rest of the band decided that Frederiksen was not the right fit for them and dismissed him.



  1. 5/10 for me. Decent, but absolutely nothing good or great. Also, I wasn't even alive in the 80's! Or 90's as a matter of fact! I'm a high school senior who just LOVES 80's music! And who doesn't?

    1. Exactly! Glad some younger folks are catching on to the wonderful and strange sounds from the 80s!