Classics: Toto – Africa (Columbia)
Unlike our fragmented environment would tend to show, (quality) music is not a matter of genres. No more than of skin than it is a matter of color of its originators. Besides, a quick look at history should remind us as to how it’s even the contrary. Mind you, music is a universal language. Therefore open to everybody, regardless their origins. With sky reputedly being the limit in terms of creation.
Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs and, of course, Toto… As many names who’ve built up reputation while staying away from any form of artistic emprisonment. This explaining how they could flirt wih the groove or the Jazz at times. Eventually contributing givin’ birth to the Blue-Eye Soul along the way.
How not remembering of ‘Georgy Porgy’? A classic of theirs which the transient Charme covered soon after along with a then unknown Luther Vandross??? But also of the brilliant ‘Africa’ which stands among their signature cuts. This in addition to ‘Rosanna’. If not ‘I Won’t Hold You Back’. With the three of them featuring on their 1982 ‘Toto IV’ album which marked the zenith of their career…
(Quality) music isn’t a matter of genre, nor of color. But most likely of a rendition itself resulting of the right blend of elements. Don’t you think?
The son of musician and session player/arranger Marty Paich, keyboardist David Paich and drummer Jeff Porcaro (the son of noted session percussionist Joe Porcaro) first met while attending Grant High School in Van Nuys, CA. There, they eventually formed a group by the likes of Rural Still Life. Regularly working as recording session musicians with luminaries such as Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs and Sony & Cher among others, they started thinking of dropping their own music. Which is how they brought in Steve Lukather and Steve Porcaro (Jeff‘s brother). But also David Hungate and Bobby Kimball. Tom Kelly and Lenny Castro joinin’ them soon after the release of Toto‘s debut-album.
Rumors have been much circulating about the why of such a name for the band, as explained on Wikipedia. Which didn’t get them from makin’ the buzz with cuts such as ‘Hold The Line’, ‘I’ll Supply The Love’ and ‘Georgy Porgy’ (along with Cheryl Lynn).
1982 most likely marked the opening of the most successful period for Toto. Their ‘Toto IV’ albums featuring the classics ‘Africa’, ‘Rosanna’ and ‘I Won’t Hold You Back’.
From then, Toto was to get thru regular changes on their line-ups. Most likely due to momentaneous disputes. They are still active nowadays. With their current formation consisting in Steve Lukather (1977–2008, 2010–present), David Paich (1977–2008, 2010–present), Steve Porcaro (1977–1987, 1998, 2010–present) and Joseph Williams (1986–1989, 1998, 2010–present). They’ve released 14 studio albums to date. With their latest – ‘Toto XIV’ back in 2015. And an upcoming one tentatively titled ’40 Trips Around The Sun’ set for release in 2018.
Jeff Porcaro sadly died in an accident on Aug. 05, 1992, at the age of 38 while working in his garden. According to the LA Times Report, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office listed the cause of death to be a heart attack from the hardening of the arteries caused by cocaine use.