Friday, October 21, 2011

Toto - A Super Group - or a mushy confederacy of top session players?

Toto - were they a Super Group?  I think so.  Toto is/was an assemblage of top career sidemen and session men into a stand alone group, of which Rolling Stone magazine commented that that attempt was an abject failure.  I think history shows not.  This is the first of their 12 albums, that ran from this one - out in 1978, that ran all the way to 2006.  This, their eponymous debut album has a breakout smash on it, called Hold the Line.  I was sampling songs onYouTube by someone who's channel is Slayd5K.  His channel is all vinyl.  The song I stumbled upon is call Georgy Porgy.  "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.  Toto's main members are/were:  Toto is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1977.  The group currently consists of Joseph Williams (lead vocals), David Paich (keyboards), Steve Porcaro (keyboards), Steve Lukather (guitars, vocals), Mike Porcaro (bass), and Simon Phillips (drums).  Their style to me is sort of west coast version of Hall & Oats.  Buttery smooth, some tight fills, slick production, and very inside the box.  But - catchy and listenable songs.  Perhaps soft rock is a bad or inaccurate label.  David Paich and Jeff Porcaro had played on some albums together and decided to form a band. David Hungate, Steve Lukather, Steve Porcaro and Bobby Kimball were recruited to join.  Then in 1992, Simon Phillips was asked to fill in for Jeff Porcaro after Porcaro died during rehearsals for the upcoming tour to promote Toto`s Kingdom of Desire album. Steve Lukather stated that he would only go on tour so shortly after Porcaro died if Toto could get Simon to play the tour, so he was the first and only drummer that the band contacted to replace Porcaro. After the 1992/93 tour Simon was asked to join Toto as a permanent member.

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