Sunday, February 28, 2021

"Pamela" by Toto

Song#:  3419
Date:  02/20/1988
Debut:  84
Peak:  22
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  Toto did not have an easy time following up their #4 Grammy-winning 1982 album Toto IV. Although 1984's Isolation and 1986's Fahrenheit would be gold sellers, neither made the Top 10 and the only single to get near the Pop Top 10 was the #11 "I'll Be Over You" (from Fahrenheit). Undeterred, the band went into the studio to focus on a new album that would get them back into the game. They came up with their seventh album, appropriately titled The Seventh One, and this first single was released. It would do well over at AC reaching #9, but the song ended up stalling just short of the Pop Top 20. It would end up being Toto's final single to make the Pop chart. The results didn't do much for the album, which stopped at #64 to became their lowest peaking studio LP to-date. The band would not reach the Pop Album chart again until 2015.

ReduxReview:  Apparently, it was thought that since this song was reminiscent of the band's #1 classic "Roseanna," it would become a hit and draw fans back. It sort of worked. From what I've read, the band really put forth a concentrated effort to make the LP a hit and had full support of the label, including promotion. But not long after its release, changes took place at the label and those working towards making the LP and "Pamela" hits were gone and it left the band in the lurch. As a result (or so the thought goes), "Pamela" stalled, two other singles from the album failed to chart, and the album sold poorly. I can sort of see that. Certainly label push does help, but on the other hand, we already had "Roseanne," did we need another one? I just think by this time the corporate yacht rock that Toto had been dishing out was passé. It was like they were trying to recreate '82 at a time when other styles and genres had taken over the airwaves. In general, the song is not bad. Had it been released a few years earlier, it might have gone Top 10. It was a song that their album Isolation desperately needed. However, in '88 it just wasn't working and it ended up closing the Pop charting career of Toto.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  After The Seventh One, the band would go through several changes, especially the lead vocalist position. Joseph Williams, who had taken over lead vocal duties in '86, would be fired from the band after the supporting tour for the LP. The band wanted to hire back original lead vocalist Bobby Kimball, but their label pushed them to hire South African vocalist Jean-Michel Byron. Byron would record four songs for the 1990 compilation Past to Present 1977-1990 and go out on the supporting tour. However, his different style, odd onstage antics, and attitude clashed with the rest of the band (and fans as well) and it wasn't long before he was fired. Band member Steve Lukather would then handle most of the lead vocal work. Later on in 1998, Kimball would rejoin the band and stay until 2008. Then Williams would return in 2010. Toto would continue to release albums over the years, but the only one that got them back on the Pop chart came in 2015 with Toto XIV. As of 2020, the only true members of Toto left were Steve Lukather and Joseph Williams. They would go out on tour with a new backing band.


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