Several members of Toto met while in high school and played together in the band Rural Still Life. Keyboard player David Paich and drummer Jeff Porcaro decided to form their own band and recruited bass player David Hungate. Other initial members of the group included guitar player Steve Lukather, Jeff Porcaro’s brother Steve also on keyboards,
and singer Bobby Kimball.
Many of the members of the group were session musicians who played on recordings by Boz Scaggs, Steely Dan, Seals and Crofts, and Sonny and Cher. David also co-wrote several songs for Boz Scaggs and wrote or co-wrote most of Toto’s biggest hits.
The band began recording their first album in 1977 and the album went double platinum after its release in 1978.
Their most successful album was Toto IV, which contained two major hit singles, Rosanna and Africa. After that success, the group forced Bobby to leave Toto when he began facing legal problems related to drug usage. Fergie Frederiksen replaced him for one album, after which John Williams’ son Joseph joined the group.
Joseph handled the lead vocals for all the songs on their sixth album except for the two hit singles for which Steve provided the lead vocals. The first single from the Fahrenheit album was I’ll Be Over You. Appearing in the video for the single and singing backup vocals was Michael McDonald. The single only reached #11 on the Hot 100 but topped the Adult Contemporary chart for two weeks.
The second single from the album was Without Your Love. The single reached the top ten on the Adult Contemporary chart but peaked at a disappointing #38 in 1987.
In 1988, the group released their next album, which bore the uninspired title of The Seventh One. Joseph finally sang lead on a hit single. Pamela reached #22 on the Hot 100 and #9 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1988.
After the tour to support The Seventh One, the band elected to replace Joseph with a new lead singer. They wanted to bring back their original lead singer, Bobby Kimball. While the band did record a few songs with Bobby, their record company insisted that they bring in South African singer Jean-Michel Byron. Friction with the rest of the group marked his tenure, and Steve eventually took over lead vocals.
Toto went through several line-up changes (including the return of Bobby) and disbanded and reformed a few times. The group never reached the Hot 100 again (although they somehow had a few more hits in the Netherlands).
The band released their most recent album in 2018, bringing their total to 15 albums. They also continue to tour.
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