Artist of the Month: Toto
February 1, 2018
Legendary authors of countless Rock Classics and with brand new music surfacing shortly, our Artist of the month for February is the one and only ToTo…
If you played in a band that had backed everyone from George Benson, through to Boz Scaggs via Sonny and Cher, Seals and Crofts, and Steely Dan, then you’d be aware of two things. First, that your band is up there with the very best of the crack back room musicians, and secondly, that it’d be great to have some hits under your own name.
Welcome then, to the world of Toto.
Toto was formed in Los Angeles in 1978 by David Paich (keyboards, vocals), Steve Lukather (guitar, vocals), Bobby Kimball (vocals), Steve Porcaro (keyboards), David Hungate (bass), and Jeff Porcaro (drums). And it’s incredible to think that this amazing band have been together and delighting millions of fans the world over for 40 years – hence the new compilation, ’40 Trips Around The Sun’.
ToTo songs have buried themselves deep into the cultural psyche. From the moment they released their debut single, ‘Hold The Line’, back in 1978, it was pretty obvious that their winning combination of superior musicianship, studio skills and innate melodic sensibility was going to be around for some time to come.
And while their self-titled debut album went on to sell two million copies upon its release, the success of 1982’s ‘Toto IV’ would go on to eclipse even that, evolving into a multi-platinum monster fuelled by the global mega-hits ‘Africa’ and ‘Rosanna’.
So popular was the former that it went Top 3 in the UK while hitting the top slot back home. The latter, written about Steve Lukather’s girlfriend, Rosanna Arquette, proved to be so beloved that it scooped Record Of The Year, Best Vocal Pop Performance, and Best Instrumental Arrangement With Vocal at the 1982 Grammy Awards.
Oh, and ‘Toto IV’ also took home the Grammys for Album Of The Year, Best Engineered Recording, and Best Producer.
You might have thought Toto would’ve been happy with that were it not for a string of albums and hits including ‘I Won’t Hold You Back’, ‘Only You’ and ‘Stranger In Town’, proving Toto’s grip on their quality control was as firm as it had been since Day One. Sure, the band’s line up altered over the years but that consistency of top-notch songwriting and first-class performance is what marks Toto down as such a unique and enduring proposition.
But what also makes ’40 Years Trips Around The Sun’ an essential album are not just the deep cuts from the band’s formidable back catalogue, but also the new tracks contained herein. As displayed by ‘Alone’, ‘Spanish Sea’ and ‘Struck By Lightning’, Toto’s musical prowess and skills remain neither dimmed nor tarnished by the passing of the years.
These are songs that feel instantly recognisable, despite their relative youth, and are destined to become just as loved as the legendary hits.
Here’s to forty more trips around the sun.
PRE-ORDER ON DIGITAL and receive new track ‘Alone’ instantly.
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