Toto, “Love Is a Man’s World” from ‘Toto XX’ (1998): Toto Tuesdays
“Love Is a Man’s World,” a leftover David Paich composition from 1977, contains many of the Totoisms you would expect from the band. Unlike “Mrs. Johnson” from the same period, however, it’s possible this song could have been worked up to fit on Toto’s first or even third album.
Paich’s lead vocals are upfront in the mix and work well with the lyrics. Ah, those lyrics. They work fine too, as Paich conveys his story succinctly and with passion. The song also has a deep R&B groove partially enhanced by the Moog bass, yet also propelled by the slightly behind-the-beat playing of Jeff Porcaro.
Steve Porcaro provides innovative synth parts, which are supported by programming by Mike Boddicker. To this point, “Love Is a Man’s World” is almost too good to go unreleased.
Then, during the final one-third of the song, everything threatens to go off the rails. “It’s disco time,” Paich seems to proclaim, leading to a funky bass passage from David Hungate and a Steve Lukather solo which verges on unhinged – but in a good way.
Bobby Kimball’s vocal ad-libs further support Paich’s disco proclamation. Still, I can’t help but think “Love Is a Man’s World” could have been included on one of their contemporary studio efforts if Toto had worked through an alternate ending.
Luckily for fans, we finally got to hear this song – in all its weirdness – on 1998’s Toto XXcompilation.