April 1982: Toto Releases "Toto IV"

Toto IV cover
Photo Credit
(Columbia)

Toto was under the gun when it came time to record the band's fourth album. After breaking out big with their 1979 top 10 self-titled debut, follow-ups Hydra (1980) and Turn Back (1981) failed to recapture the same chart magic.

With the threat of losing their contract if the album failed, the song "Rosanna" would serve as the light at the end of the tunnel.

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"When we finished 'Rosanna,' we knew that we were on to something," Toto's David Paich told Songfacts. "Because the whole album had this consistency, and it had this sound to it - stemming from [engineer] Al Schmitt and from the way that the songs had been coming together and everybody's participation. We never knew it would do as well as it did. You never know that. It's so hard. It's like capturing lightning in a bottle, when you're thinking about hit records. Just to have a nibble is a big deal. But when you get up into that Top 20 or Top 10, it becomes a logjam up there and very slow movement."

Released as the first single from the album on April 1, 1982, "Rosanna" would sprint up the charts, ultimately peaking at #2 on the Hot 100 for the week of July 3, 1982. The #1 song in America that week keeping "Rosanna" from the top spot: Human League's "Don't You Want Me."

Released on April 8, 1982, Toto IV would prove to be exactly the hit the band so desperately needed. It would peak at #4 on the Billboard 200 for the week of July 10, 1982. The #1 album in America that week: Asia's self-titled debut.

The album's second single, "Make Believe," would break through the top 40, climbing as high as #30 in September 1982.

The third single would prove to be the charm, as well as Toto's only #1 hit in America to date: "Africa."

After the massive success of "Africa," the group would downshift with the emotional power ballad, "I Won't Hold You Back," the song peaking at #10 in May 1983.

Considering the string of hits from the album, it can be understood how the final single from Toto IV, "Waiting for You Love" could end up overlooked. Which it was, only getting up to #73 on the Hot 100. This is despite the song being a high-energy dance-floor workout with one of the most underrated videos of the 1980s. 

Toto IV would reel in an impressive six Grammys in 1983, including Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, and Record of the Year with "Rosanna." 

"We're very blessed - there's a lot of luck involved with that and a lot of it is the way people are perceiving the music," Paich would later say. "It just happened to click at the time. We're very lucky. There was no way we could predict it, but in our hearts, we felt that we had something really good and we knew it was going to be a great album."

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