5 timeless Toto songs that aren’t Africa

Little did you know, Toto makes one hell of a song. It’s not all about the rains down in Africa – though we do love those rains, and the hundred men or more who couldn’t drag us away from them.

Toto is all about soft-rock ballads to express their love. Be it a love of Africa, or a love of a woman. In support of Toto’s upcoming set at Falls Festival over New Years, here are five great Toto song that aren’t Africa.

toto africa falls festival
Photo via Getty

With Toto playing at Falls Festival over New Years, we’re here to remind you about all the great Toto power ballads that aren’t you-know-what.


There’s nothing more romantic than repeating your woman’s name 21 times in a love song. There’s even a whisper portion of the song, a known art of seduction, and a key change, a well-documented dramatic tool.

Rosanna peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982, and won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1983.

The incredible West Side Story-esque video clip is a time capsule for the 80s, featuring close-ups of the impassioned Bobby Kimball, and Dirty Dancing’s Patrick Swayze and Cynthia Rhodes.

Hold the Line

Hold the Line was released as the band’s debut single in 1978 and contains a phrase that has leaked into popular culture for decades; “Hold the line, love isn’t always on time”.

Drummer Jeff Porcaro described the tense ballad like this: “[It has] your heavy metal chord guitar licks, your great triplet A-notes on the piano, your Sly-hot-fun-in-the-summertime-groove, all mishmashed together with a boy from New Orleans singing… it really crossed over a lot of lines.”


Toto wrote 99 in 1979 as a tribute to the 1971 science-fiction film THX 1138, directed by George Lucas. Despite the song’s success, guitarist Steve Lukather has since confessed that he hated this composition.

The music video reimagines a scene in the film, where THX 1138 or Thex, the protagonist, is imprisoned in a white room wearing a white jumpsuit.

I Won’t Hold You Back

This is a classic power ballad, fit with dejected lyrics of a love lost and an emotionally-charged guitar solo by Lukather.

Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmit features on the chorus backing vocals with a heartfelt harmony.

Stop Loving You

The opening of this tune sounds incredibly like the 80s-themed Stranger Things title track – a testament to Toto’s embodiment of the decade’s iconic sound.

This soft rock ballad, released in 1988, is bound with obscure metaphors about love and is sure to make you feel all the 80s feelings. It features backing vocals by Yes frontman Jon Anderson.


Bring in 2019 right with Toto at Falls Festival – grab your tickets here.