Toto, “Struck By Lightning” from 40 Trips Around the Sun (2018): Sneak Peek

“Struck By Lightning, the third new song from a forthcoming greatest-hits album called 40 Trips Around The Sun, offers yet another taste of Toto’s hard-rock sound. After the release of the excellent song “Alone,” and the Africa-like David Paich-sung “Spanish Sea,” the band displays a distinctly harder edge with “Struck By Lightning.” 

Composed by Steve Lukather, David Paich, Joseph Williams and Steve Porcaro, this track boasts an tough attitude which would not have been out of place on 1984’s Isolation or 1992’s Kingdom of Desire. Yet “Struck By Lightning offers something different, with Joseph Williams at his hard-rocking best. Since Williams’ return to Toto for the 35th anniversary tour and live album, he has proven to be Toto’s most versatile and dependable vocalist. He belts out the lyrics on “Struck By Lightning” with a pleading and urgency, fitting the subject matter of a man on the edge. 

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: Steve Porcaro joins Preston Frazier to discuss how Toto tried a new way to make music – and how his solo album got them there.

Of course, none of it would not work if the basic track wasn’t as strong. This Toto produced and engineered song is sonically as smooth as any from their Top 40 heyday. There are touches of Steve Porcaro’s synth magic, however the mood is set by Steve Lukather’s meaty rhythm guitar and Lukather’s no-nonsense bass playing. Drummer Shannon Forrest provides a fittingly direct back beat, locking into the groove as you expect on a Toto song. There is a neat middle breakdown with a chanted vocal, but then all hell breaks loose with a melodically powerful solo from Luke. 

“Struck By Lightning” easily fits among the more familiar hits on 40 Trips Around the Sun, and it’s not even my favorite new Toto song. This is a powerful testament to a band which continues to forge ahead.