While there have been a bunch of Toto budget-line compilations over the years, 2003's The Essential Toto is the first high-profile hits collection since 1990's Past to Present 1977-1990. At 14 songs, The Essential is one track longer than that compilation, but it shares eight cuts with Past to Present, which, of course, are all the big hits: "Africa," "Hold the Line," "Georgy Porgy," "Rosanna," "I Won't Hold You Back," "99," and "Pamela." What differentiates the two compilations, then, is that The Essential boasts a much better remastering and a better selection of songs, including the single "Make Believe" and a good selection of album tracks from their peak period, like "I'll Supply the Love." While this is missing some hits, they're minor ones that won't be missed by most listeners -- "Live for Today," "Afraid of Love," "Loves in the Night," "Waiting for Your Love," "Stranger in Town," and "Holyanna" -- and what's here is very good, an accurate representation of Toto at their best, making this their best compilation to date.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine