Arena rockers Toto in new album after nine years

 Legendary US rock group TOTO pose for photographs upon arrival at Changi Airport in Singapore in a 2006 file photo. -- PHOTO: AFP
 Legendary US rock group TOTO pose for photographs upon arrival at Changi Airport in Singapore in a 2006 file photo. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Toto, which packed arenas with 1980s hits such as Africa and Rosanna, will release its first album in nearly a decade in March followed by an extensive tour.

The Los Angeles-area rockers said they regarded Toto XIV, their first album of new material since 2006, as a sequel to 1982's Toto IV, which jumpstarted the band's career.

"This is opposite of going through the motions," said keyboardist Steve Porcaro, the last of three brothers from the original lineup.

The band wants to "make the best music we can. Entertain people... is what we were put on this Earth for", he said in a statement.

Toto has sold more than 35 million albums and became a mainstay on a diverse array of radio stations by bringing elements of hard rock and the blues to pop songs.

"Toto XIV" - which aptly is the band's 14th album if including the soundtrack to the movie Dune - will come out between March 20 and 24 around the world.

The album features the return of original bassist David Hungate. Mike Porcaro, who joined on bass after "Toto IV," is suffering from neurodegenerative Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS.

The band initially reformed in 2010 to play benefit shows for Mike Porcaro.

Toto announced a European tour to promote its latest album, starting in Glasgow on May 21 and closing in the French city of Vienne on July 16, with appearances at the Sweden Rock Festival and France's Festival de Nimes.

The band said it would also tour North America and Asia later this year with dates to be announced.