Open main menu

Hydra is the second studio album by American rock band Toto, released in 1979.[1] It reached #37 on the Billboard Pop Albums.[2] While most of the album's singles failed to make any impact in the charts, "99", a song inspired by the 1971 science fiction movie THX 1138,[3] reached #26 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4]

Hydra (Toto album) coverart.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1, 1979
RecordedJanuary 1979
StudioSunset Sound and Reggie Fisher Recording Studio (Los Angeles, CA)
Toto chronology
Turn Back
Singles from Hydra
  1. "St. George and the Dragon"
    Released: 1979
  2. "99"
    Released: January 1980
  3. "All Us Boys"
    Released: 1980

In 2013, Toto's guitarist Steve Lukather said of the album:

You get successful with something, it’s always the whole thing where you don’t want to repeat it. So we tried something a little different with Hydra, and it sold well, although it might have been a little bit rushed for us. And here's some irony for you -- Rolling Stone beat up on the first album, and then when they reviewed Hydra, the opening line of the review is something like, "It doesn’t have the magic of the first album." We're immediately pissing ourselves on the floor with laughter. Who are these cats? Do they think we have amnesia? We were just following our muses, man. We were following our own rules and we didn't want to listen to anybody.[5]



Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic      [6]
Classic Rock ReviewB[7]
Sea of Tranquility     [8]

Though a commercial success, Hydra was far less popular than the band's top-selling debut. AllMusic suggested this was due to the band's failure to establish a distinctive, recognizable sound on either Hydra or their debut, which would have allowed listeners to immediately identify Toto's major hits with the band themselves. They also speculated that most listeners were not familiar with the film (namely, THX 1138) on which "99" was based, and thus found the lyrics hopelessly abstruse, preventing the song from becoming as big a hit as it could have been.[6]

Critical response to the album was mixed. AllMusic's retrospective review made little judgment on the quality (noting only as an aside that the songs were "well-played"), instead discussing why it had failed to match the commercial success of their debut.[6]

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by David Paich, except where noted.

Side one
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."Hydra" (David Hungate, Bobby Kimball, Steve Lukather, David Paich, Steve Porcaro, Jeff Porcaro)Paich7:31
2."St. George and the Dragon"Kimball4:45
Side two
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."All Us Boys"Paich5:03
2."Mama" (Paich, Kimball)Kimball5:14
3."White Sister" (Paich, Kimball)Kimball5:39
4."A Secret Love" (Paich, Kimball, S. Porcaro)Kimball3:07



Additional musiciansEdit


  • Produced by Tom Knox, Reggie Fisher and Toto.
  • Engineered and Mixed by Tom Knox and Dana Latham.
  • Assistant Engineer – Stephen McManus
  • Mastered by David Donnelly
  • Art Direction – Jim Hagopian, Tony Lane and Jeff Porcaro.
  • Design – Philip Garris
  • Photography – Jim Hagopian
  • Calligraphy – Mike Manoogian
  • Management – The Fitzgerald Hartley Co.


  • "99" / "Hydra"
  • "St George and the Dragon" / "A Secret Love"
  • "All Us Boys" / "Hydra" (released in US)


External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Turntable Tips". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. January 16, 1980. p. 9D. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
  2. ^ Hydra Billboard chart history, Allmusic.
  3. ^ Regemann, Petra & McVey, Steve. Toto Band History,
  4. ^ Toto Chart History, Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  5. ^ Giles, Jeff (October 18, 2015). "Interview: Steve Lukather Recounts 35 Years of Toto History". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Hydra at AllMusic
  7. ^ "CRR Review - Toto – Remasters (Toto, Hydra, Turn Back)". Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  8. ^ Fleck, Steve. "Toto: Hydra". Sea of Tranquility. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  10. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 1, 2012
  11. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  12. ^ " Toto – Hydra". Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Archived from the original (ASP) on October 27, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  13. ^ " Toto – Hydra". Hung Medien. VG-lista. Archived from the original (ASP) on November 12, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  14. ^ " Toto – Hydra" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  15. ^ "allmusic ((( Hydra > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  16. ^ "Album Search: Toto – Hydra" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  17. ^ "Top 100 Albums". RPM. December 20, 1980. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  18. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (December 20, 1980). – Year End Charts – Year-end Albums – The Billboard 200.
  19. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Toto – Toto". Music Canada. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  20. ^ "American album certifications – Toto – Toto". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 1, 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.