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Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Nite Retro

It's Friday at last and time for another edition of my musical history "plays". Allow me to set the stage for tonight's presentation:

Six of the most sought-after studio musicians of the 1970's have established a reputation for their uncanny ability to transform so-so recordings into studio gold. After contributing to the successes of artists such as Steely Dan, Seals & Crofts, Boz Scaggs, and Sonny & Cher, they decide to pool their talents and form their own little group. And in '77, production began on the band's first album.

Once all of the songs were written, and the first album was recorded, the band and record were both as of yet unnamed. After viewing the name that one of the band had scribbled on the demo tapes to differentiate them from the tapes of other artists working in the studio, the group's bassist explained that the word in Latin translated to "all encompassing".Since they believed that they could play on any record and play any type of music, the band adopted the name as their own. . .and Toto was born! Toto hit the charts quickly, earning instant acclaim with "Hold the Line" ,"Georgy Porgy", and "I'll Supply The Love". The band was nominated for a Grammy for "Best New Artist," and for these six studio musicians, their careers were propelled into fast forward.

Hold the Line

Georgy porgy

I'll Supply The Love

Despite the fact that the band were now focused on their own careers, the long list of studio accolades continued to grow. However, between sessions, the band recorded and released their second album Hydra in 1979. The album yielded the hit single "99", based off of George Lucas' cult film THX 1138. However, the album did not sell nearly as well as their first album.


Following Hydra's release and in between their extensive studio work, Toto released Turn Back in 1981. However, Turn Back failed to earn the radio play or critical acclaim of either of the previous two records and ended up a commercial disappointment and no hit singles were produced from it. The song "Goodbye Elenore" was the only official single to be released worldwide from Turn Back. Due to the failure of Turn Back, no tour was planned either.

Goodbye Elinore

1982 marked the beginning of Toto's most successful era. After the frustration of Turn Back, the band would have to deliver above and beyond in order to continue. With Toto IV, the band struck back at critics and disenchanted fans alike, delivering one of the most commercially successful records of the 80s. Producing the smash-hits "Africa" and "Rosanna", Toto IV rocketed the band into instant international stardom. Toto IV was awarded 6 Grammy Awards, including "Record of the Year" for "Rosanna", "Album of the Year" for Toto IV, and "Producer of the Year" for the band. "Africa" topped the charts in February of '83 and was a constant presence on radios across the globe. Toto IV gained even more success with 3 other singles being released, "Make Believe", "I Won't Hold You Back", and "Waiting For Your Love".



I Won't Hold You Back

Amid inner turmoil and changes to the band's line up, "Isolation" was released in late 1984. Not surprisingly, it produced no singles. At the close of the Isolation tour, Joseph Williams, son of famous film composer John Williams signed on as the new lead singer for the band. Williams wrote and recorded "Fahrenheit", released in October 1986. Featuring the hit in "I'll Be Over You", Fahrenheit was a much softer release for Toto, featuring an instrumental piece performed with Miles Davis.

I'll Be Over You

After numerous other changes to the band's lineup, Toto regrouped and recorded Tambu in 1995. Quite a departure from Toto's polished, almost over-produced sound of the 80s, Tambu was a very organic release and featured the hit, "I Will Remember" which received a lot of radio play.

I Will Remember

In 1997, the band searched through a bunch of old tapes and demos for an album release of unreleased songs to celebrate the band's 20th Anniversary. In 1998, it was released as Toto XX. After the Toto XX tour, Bobby Kimball (the original lead singer), rejoined the band as after a 15 year absence. The band released "Mindfields" in early 1999 and went on the Reunion Tour. Later that year, a live album entitled "Livefields" was released. The tour continued into 2000.

In early 2006, Toto released Falling In Between, their first album of new material since 1999. With very positive reviews from critics and fans alike, Toto release the successful single, "Bottom of Your Soul", which hit #1 on many single charts in Europe. Since the record's release, Toto has embarked on an extensive world-wide tour.

Bottom Of Your Soul

Check out everything else you may want to know about Toto at their official website! And join us once again next week for a Friday nite journey through time. . .


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Blogger JM said...

Wow, a pretty kewl history lesson. I really had no idea. Too bad that the music and hairstyles of this era didn't hold up better against the ravages of time.

title="comment permalink">May 18, 2007 10:44 PM  
Blogger Parson said...

Don't forget Toto did the sound track for the David Lynch movie, Dune

title="comment permalink">May 19, 2007 12:24 PM  
Blogger Parson said...

There is something interesting in that Rosanna video. The hot chick is dancing around, all the guys are dancing with each other. [not that there is anything wrong with that]

title="comment permalink">May 19, 2007 3:08 PM  
Blogger Hill said...

Love Toto!
I would be hard pressed to pick my fave. Virtually impossible.
Just a tidbit I heard years ago. "Roseanna" is about Roseanna Arquette. Wonder if it's true?
Good Man?

title="comment permalink">May 20, 2007 11:16 AM  
Blogger John Good said...

John - Well. . the music anyway. ;)

Parson - Careful now! I'll add you as a FNR contributing editor if you keep spouting off! ;)

Hill - I seem to recall that as well. If I remember to, I'll look into it.

title="comment permalink">May 20, 2007 9:28 PM  

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