Toto is the debut studio album by the American band Toto. It was released in 1978 and includes the hit singles "Hold the Line", "I'll Supply the Love" and "Georgy Porgy", all three of which made it into the Top 50 in the USA. "Hold the Line" spent six weeks in the Top 10, and reached Number 14 in the UK as well. Although not initially very well received by critics, the band quickly gained a following, and the album gained a reputation for its characteristic sound, mixing soft pop with both synth- and hard-rock elements. The band would venture deeper into hard rock territory on their next album.
Rolling Stone found Toto's attempt to transition from career session players to a band in their own right a failure, calling David Paich's songs "excuses for back-to-back instrumental solos" and saying that none of the four lead vocalists are better than passable.
In a retrospective review, AllMusic argued that the album received a strongly negative critical reaction only because critics felt threatened by Toto's demonstrated ability to create outstanding songs in any genre, which was a contradiction to popular critical assumptions about genre delineations and inspiration's supremacy over craft. They commented on the irony of the critics' reaction, in that it was this ability that made the album so well-liked by listeners of the time.
Philip Garris, well known for painting many Grateful Dead album covers, created the album's emblem after listening to a lyric from the song "Manuela Run" ("You better watch that sword that's hanging over you") which referred to the Sword of Damocles. The sword also represented the band's powerful, hard-edge sound, and, due to their ability to play many types of music, Garris made the sword double-edged to show their versatility. The iron ring represented a piece of work being constructed (the record itself), and the ribbons represented the Year of the Child.