TOTO: Then and Now

Yes Toto Summer TourAn all-star crew of session musicians united in 1978 and formed their own band, Toto. Almost forty years later and thirty five million albums sold, Toto recently released their 14th studio album and will be co-headlining a summer tour with Yes. Known for their Top 10 80’s hits, “Africa”, “Rosanna”, and “I’ll Be Over You”, Toto hasn’t had a hit single in years. But despite the lack of recent success, Toto is one of those bands with a loyal fan base who are guaranteed to consistently sell out rib festivals and county fairs for the past two decades. Where did it all begin? What was Toto’s first hit song and how do they sound today?

Toto XIV CD cover“Hold The Line” from Toto’s debut album went Top 5 in the winter of 1978. Opening with a rockin’ keyboard solo, Toto’s energetic single featured a hard rock guitar riff that stands as one of the band’s most unique songs in their catalog. Drummer Jeff Porcaro created the groove on “Hold The Line” by combining his love for Sly and The Family Stone’s sound on “Hot Fun In The Summertime” and Jeff’s need to mix in a “harder rock caveman” beat. One look at Toto’s new CD, XIV, and you’ll see the same album cover imagery dating back to their debut. This summer’s supporting tour is dedicated to bassist, Jeff Porcaro, who passed away in March after a long battle with ALS. The band’s lineup has changed over the years but fans will still be singing out loud everytime those big 80’s hits get played during this summer’s tour.