Toto – The Best Known Band in the World
While you may not have heard of the band Toto, you have undoubtedly seen their music videos. The group gained worldwide popularity through the video for “Reelin’ in the Years,” which was a number one hit in the United States. If you want to get in on some of the fun, take a look at some Toto music history.
Toto is an American musical group formed in 1977 in Los Angeles, California by four guys called Matt Toledano, Robert Hunter, Joe Dart, and Steve Porcaro. The current line up includes Steve Porcaro, David Paich, Joseph Williams, and David Gilmour. Guitar player David Gilmour is currently on tour with Toto as part of their tribute to John Lennon and the Exotic Movement. bass player Robert Hunter is a member of Weezer and maintains a solo career.
The musical style of Toto is known as “psychedelic rock.” Their original musical influences were primarily from progressive metal, jazz, classical, and the blues. In addition to the classic composition “Reelin’ in the Years,” Toto also helped to popularize songs such as “I Remember You,” “Dogs,” “Stairway to Heaven,” “Haitian Divorce” (with Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers), and “I’m a Believer.” To date, there are not a lot of Toto albums that you can purchase to listen to, but most people familiar with Toto music will at least have an acquaintance of some of their songs.
A curious aspect about Toto is the way they developed their sound. During their early years, the band would often perform in small towns all across America, traveling from town to town performing to crowds of mostly older men and boys. According to Robert Hunter, bassist for Toto, these early gigs helped to hone their sense of song writing and recording. According to Hunter, the band wrote most of its initial material during a long road trip in which the singer, Roger Waters, would lay down some demos. This long process produced several hits for Toto, including hits such as “Pixel,” “Bodhisattva,” “Reelin’ in the Years,” “I Remember You,” “Dogs,” “Stairway to Heaven,” “I’m a Believer,” and many others.
In fact, much of the music that makes up the best known version of Toto, “Theien” (also known as Justine Timberlake and Nick Carrino), was written during one of the sessions. One interesting aspect of Theien is that it contains a sample of George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.” Toto, along with many other popular bands, has covered several songs from the Beatles, most notably” Abbey Road,” “Honeymoon,” ” Twist and Shout,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” ” Thank You,” and “illyess.” Many of these songs have become hits throughout their existence, especially those by the band members.
Joining The Tops in the studio in the early nineteen eighties, Joanna Newsom soon began collaborating with several session musicians in the group, which was eventually known as The Porcourageousrums. Between her and guitarist John Cale, Newsom quickly began crafting a sound that would influence albums by groups such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Dream Theater, and many others. Together, they wrote and played together, developing a sound that would stay with them for the rest of their careers.