Sunday, November 14, 2010

Reevaluating Toto

I always gave TOTO a wide berth back in the day -- the band was a little too mainstream for my alternative tastes.
Now, I find myself listening to a few of the band's classic songs, such as "99," "Hold the Line" and "Rosanna" -- not really through any softening toward their MOR approach, but rather through a growing appreciation of Toto's principal songwriter, DAVID PAICH.

I have been listening to many songs co-written by Paich (the son of jazz performer and arranger Marty Paich) while enjoying my BOZ SCAGGS records.

Paich's contributions to Scaggs' canon include "What Can I Say," "Miss Sun," "It's Over," "Lowdown" and the majestic "Lido Shuffle," among others.

After being impressed by Paich's work with Scaggs, I decided to give some of the Toto songs another chance.

With pianist Paich, guitarist Steve Lukather and brothers drummer Jeff Porcaro and keyboardist Steve Porcaro, Toto was packed with great musicians who had made their names on numerous sessions around Los Angeles.
Allying these fine musicians with well-written songs was always going to be a winning combination, as it proved for Toto.

Lukather ("I Won't Hold You Back" and "I'll Be Over You") was also a composer of catchy tunes -- albeit of a softer rock variety.

I still prefer Scaggs to Toto -- there's more blues and soul there -- but I am finally willing to give the latter band their due, years later.


Blogger Charles said...

I admit my bias, but David is a superb musician. He's honored by comparisons to his father, of course, but his name stands in its own right.

Until you've been in sessions with David, you might not know just how much he contributes to the sound and line and energy of everyone else. His perfectionism is legendary, but so too his ceaselessly positive attitude and collegiality.

David is one of those great musicians who makes everyone around him sound even better. I've known him for years, and have never seen it otherwise.

12:45 PM  

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