Tag Archives: Toto

Episode 15: Thirtysomething at thirty: an oral history


Welcome to a new episode of the Return to the ’80s podcast! Paul’s partner-in-crime, Robert, is missing in action this episode as the soccer team he coaches is in a state tournament kicking ass and taking names. But, this is still a great episode. We welcome Scott Ryan to the show. He wrote thirtysomething at thirty: an oral history, which will be out on June 7. You can purchase the book at www.scottryanproductions.com. Even if you never watched the show, this is a great episode. [Note: I have never watched the show myself] We talk a little about the show, and Scott’s experience in writing the book. We also cover an arrangement of other ’80s topics. Play This, Not That features Billy Joel, and morphs into a great conversation about Billy Joel. We also have a new Remember That Song and ’80s Trivia. So, please check out this episode and let us know what you think. In addition to listening right here on the site, you can also listen on iTunes, or anywhere you get your podcasts from


Opening

– Paul, flying solo this episode, introduces author and podcaster, Scott Ryan

thirtysomething at thirty: an oral history

– Scott talks about how thirtysomething changed drama on television
– thirtysomething and the ’80s
– MAD Magazine editor Nick Meglin’s involvement
– Writers Scott interviewed
– 2 degrees of separation from Tom Cruise – Scott and Tom Cruise compete for Ed Zwick’s time
– thirtysomething and the Emmys
– Scott’s podcasts

  • Red Room podcast
  • how the thirtysomething podcast led to the book
  • Paul turns Return to the ’80s into The Chris Farley Show talking about Scott’s latest podcast episode with Ken Olin
  • Scott Luck Stories

R.I.P

– Paul’s mother-in-law
– Erin Moran (October 18, 1960 – April 22, 2017)

 

 

 

 

– Don Rickles (May 8, 1926 – April 6, 2017)

Photo by Paul Buck/EPA/REX/Shutterstock (7840912bo)

Play This, Not That

Instead of “Uptown Girl”

Play “Easy Money”

-More Billy Joel talk

Shall We Play a Game?

Remember That Song

Last Song: “Africa” by Toto
Winner: Jim Vilk

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless, longing for some solitary company

New Song:
We’ve always had time on our sides
But now it’s fading fast
Every second
Every moment
We’ve got to, we’ve gotta make it last

’80s Trivia

Last Question: What nickname did Warren Weber answer to on Happy Days?
Answer: Potsie
Winner: Jim Vilk

New Question: What was the name of the company Michael and Elliot owned in the first season?

’80s Potpourri

– TV shows
– Family Ties
– Reboots

Closing

You can contact Scott at the following places:

@30somethingpod
Facebook
www.scottryanproductions.com

@bluerosemag1
bluerosemag.com

In addition to purchasing the book from www.scottryanproductions.com
you can also click on the link below to purchase the book from Amazon:

And you can find Return to the ’80s on iTunes
Also,
returntothe80s.wordpress.com
Find Return to the ’80s on Facebook
Twitter: @returntothe80s
Email: returnto80s@gmail.com

Top 40 Songs This Week – September 25, 1982: Songs 30-21

Hi Everybody! Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown. Today, we will cover songs 30-21. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31.
Ah, 1982! What a great time for music! These 10 songs alone have such diversity that we definitely don’t see in today’s countdowns, and may never see again. Today, there is some rock, country, pop, funk, R&B, and flat-out classic ’80s.
Now, let’s Return to the week ending September 25, 1982, and continue the countdown.

30. “Make Believe” by Toto

Make Believe by TotoThis was the second single from the multi-platinum album Toto IV, which also contained the smash hits “Africa” and “Rosanna“. There are a few different theories of where the band name originated. In the early ’80s, band members told the press that the band was named after the dog in The Wizard of Oz. There was also a joke that the name came from Bobby Kimball’s “true” last name, Toteaux. The last theory is that after the completion of the first album, the band and record were still unnamed. David Hungate, after seeing the name Toto on the demo tapes (which Jeff Porcaro wrote in order to distinguish their own demo tapes from other bands’ in the studio), explained to the group that the words “In Toto” in Latin translated to “all-encompassing.” Because the band members played on so many different records and many different musical genres, they adopted the name “Toto” as their own.

29. “Voyeur” by Kim Carnes

The title track from Kim Carnes’ 1982 album received a nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance at the 1983 Grammy Awards. To me, this sounds a lot like Carnes’ smash hit, “Bette Davis Eyes“.

28. “Never Been in Love” by Randy Meisner

Randy Meisner was a founding member of the Eagles, who sang backup on “Take It to the Limit“.

27. “Break It To Me Gently” by Juice Newton

indexNow, we’ll get to some country music. If a country song were to enter the Top 40 today, it would be a re-recorded pop version of the original version. But, back in the good ole days, the songs made it on the countdown in its original version. This song earned Juice Newton the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female.

26. “Gloria” by Laura Branigan

This smash hit by Laura Branigan, which I still love, is actually a cover. The original version was an international hit, performed in Italian, by Umberto Tozzi. I’m actually digging his version as well!

25. “Jump To It” by Aretha Franklin

This fun song was produced by Luther Vandross, and features Vandross and Cissy Houston (yes, Whitney’s mom) on backing vocals.

24. “Big Fun” by Kool and the Gang

Time to get funky! I love the horns and the vocals and harmonies in this song.

23. “Hot in the City” by Billy Idol

This song peaked right here at #23. But, if you remember this song from later in the decade, you are either from the U.K., where this song was re-released in 1987, or you are one of the few people that watched the 21 Jump Street spinoff, Booker. This song was the theme song for Booker, which was supposed to launch Richard Grieco into super-stardom. Oh well. We’ll always have If Looks Could Kill anyway.

22. “What’s Forever For” by Michael Martin Murphey

And now we go back to Country music. This song was Murphey’s first of two number ones on the country chart.

21. “I Ran (So Far Away) by A Flock Of Seagulls

Today, we close out with some classic ’80s New Wave. I was never really much of a New Wave fan back then. However, I am embracing it now. Unfortunately, now that I’m older, I don’t think I can quite pull of the Mike Score hairdo from back in the day:


Well, that wraps up today’s list of songs. We’ll continue the countdown tomorrow. Have you had any favorite songs, pleasant surprises, or “I never want to hear that song again” moments? Please let me know.

Top 40 Songs This Week – May 28, 1983: Songs 20-11

Welcome back as we continue the countdown! If you missed the previous articles, you can check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. I think this has been a great countdown this week already. But, today’s list features quite a few of my favorite bands of all time! These songs may be familiar to most of us, but it is really nice to go back to the time when these hits were new to us. So, let’s Return to the week ending May 28, 1983, and continue the countdown.

20. “She’s a Beauty” by The Tubes

What better way to start the day than some classic ’80s! This was the biggest hit for The Tubes, topping out at #10. The disturbing music video was directed by Kenny Ortega. Ortega was the choreographer on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Dirty Dancing, as well as directing Michael Jackson’s This is It.

19. “I Won’t Hold You Back” by Toto

Here is an awesome ballad by an awesome band! This song came off the album Toto IV, which also provided us with “Rosanna” and “Africa“. [I’m pausing the countdown right now as I listen to “Africa”. If this countdown is late, you’ll know why. Oooh, shiny object!]

18. “Der Kommissar” by After the Fire

Yet another classic ’80s tune! This countdown is a great time capsule for ’80s music. This song was originally performed by Falco. Falco’s version is in German, so it wasn’t a big a hit in the U.S. as it was in Europe. However, a year later, After the Fire recorded this song in English, and made it a smash hit, topping out at #5 on the charts.

17. “Family Man” by Hall & Oates

I think we would be hard-pressed to find a countdown in the early-to-mid ’80s that didn’t have at least one Hall & Oates tune. This song was written, and originally performed by Mike Oldenfield, featuring Maggie Reilly on main vocals. A year later, Hall & Oates took the song, and made it a huge hit, reaching up to #6 on the charts. I prefer the Hall & Oates version, but the original is also really good.

16. “Photograph” by Def Leppard

One of my all-time favorite bands of all-time! Incredible song off of an incredible album. Def Leppard is still going strong today, as they just released a new, self-titled, album. If you are interested in Def Leppard at all, you really need to check out that album. It’s probably their best since Hysteria, in my humble opinion.

15. “Jeopardy” by The Greg Kihn Band

This was a very cool ’80s song…until Weird Al ruined it for me. Now, whenever I hear this song, I can’t get Weird Al’s “I Lost On Jeopardy” out of my head, complete with Don Pardo telling Weird Al that he doesn’t win a year supply of Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat, he doesn’t get to come back tomorrow, he doesn’t even get a lousy copy of the home game. He’s a complete loser!

14. “Don’t Let It End” by Styx

Another one of my favorite bands, and their second entry on the countdown this week. This is a very nice Dennis DeYoung ballad from Styx’s Kilroy Was Here album. I knew that this was a great hit, but I didn’t know that it charted as high as #6.

13. “Faithfully” by Journey

Yet another one of my favorite bands! Queen and Journey are my #1 and #2 bands. This song is one of Journey’s most recognizable hits. It is such a great ballad. Between Steve Perry’s incredible vocals, Jonathan Cain’s awesome keyboard riff, and Neal Schon’s classic guitar solo, this is perfection. When I saw Journey in concert in 1999 for their comeback with Steve Auggeri, they closed out the concert with this song. I had never been to a rock concert that closed out with a ballad. It was very classy.

12. “Always Something There to Remind Me” by Naked Eyes

And we have yet another classic ’80s song that is also a cover. This song was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David in the ’60s. It reached up to #49 on the charts in 1964 by Lou Johnson. And just as Naked Eyes has that classic ’80s sound, Lou Johnson has that classic ’60s soft rock sound. The Naked Eyes version was a big hit in the U.S., topping out at #8.

11. “Affair of the Heart” by Rick Springfield

We’ll wrap up today with some Rick Springfield! And it’s not “Jessie’s Girl”! This is an outstanding rock song. It was actually nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1984. But, just like anybody else who released any songs between 1982 and 1984, he lost to Michael Jackson.


Well, that’s it for today. We’ll close out this awesome countdown on Friday. Again, feel free to leave a comment about your thoughts of any of the music we’ve covered so far.

Toto’s Mark on the Musical Landscape of the ‘80s

Today, I am pleased to present this article written by Robert, our regular Return to the ’80s contributor. Today’s article is about one of my favorite bands – Toto. I loved them from the first time I heard them – 1982’s smash hit “Africa”. They have so many other incredible songs. Robert will take you on a journey to enjoy some of their hits once again, and help us discover more awesome Toto music. OK, Robert, I Won’t Hold You Back, so go ahead and take it away!



The recent death of Toto’s bass player Mike Porcaro in March due to complication form ALS has made the rock world a little less perfect. Toto is one of those band that straddles the line for most rock fans. Nearly everyone recognized a few of their songs, but few casual rock listeners could name more than a handful. Toto’s hit songs are in many aspects, timeless – they appeal to a wide range of listeners from several decades.

This is not meant to be a complete history of Toto, rather an homage to a group of fantastic musicians who have left an indelible mark on the rock world. Toto was originally formed in 1977 when studio musicians David Paich (keyboards) and Jeff Porcaro (drums) recruited friends Steve Lukather (guitars), Dave Hungate (bass), Steve Porcaro (keyboards), and Bobby Kimball (vocals) to create their own band. As with many bands, members change and the band is forced to evolve. Mike Porcaro, the brother of Jeff and Steve, joined Toto in 1982 and was a member of the band until 2007, when his ALS Diagnosis forced him to retire. Members of Toto played and wrote music for like likes of Boz Scaggs, Steely Dan, Seals and Croft, and Sonny and Cher; but it was not until the formation of Toto that their talents were allowed to soar.

Clearly the members of Toto have plenty of musical experience to be considered masterful studio players. One of the most successful and forgotten (or unknown) examples is by virtuoso guitarist Steve Lukather. Lukather was a major player on Michael Jackson’s mega album Thriller. Lukather played on many of the tracks. In a recent interview on Dutch television, when asked about how much he played on Thriller, Lukather humbly uttered, “Over 50%. And it was a blast.” Everyone knows that Eddie Van Halen plays the searing guitar solo on “Beat It“. What many do not know is that Lukather is the master of the rest of the song’s killer guitar work.

When considering the music of Toto, I cannot conceivably discuss all of it in the space here- it would not be fair to them. Instead, I am going to take a look at the big singles that the band released in the ‘80s, eleven hits to remind all of us about how good Toto is. This greatest hits entry is not (and not meant to be) a complete retrospective. Toto released five studio albums between the years 1981 and 1988. These album represent a clear high point of the band commercially due to the eight Top 40 hits (the had two previous to the ‘80s). Despite several lineup changes, which in the ‘80s included three different lead vocalists, Toto was able to maintain high quality music through excellent musicianship, solid writing, and sheer talent.

Rosanna (album: Toto IV) #2

This was the first single off this Grammy award winning album. The song itself won the Grammy for song of the year and helped the album Toto IV becomes the band’s most commercially successful release. Legend has it that this song is about actress Rosanna Arquette (yes, the one who will soon film Desperately Seeking Susan). Despite this often heard story, songwriter and keyboardist Steve Porcaro has denied this in several interviews. The song is one of the many that features Toto’s fantastic musicianship that has its roots in the members long time involvement as studio musicians. Yes, it is catchy and the chorus is great, but do not stop the song too early or you will miss the tight sound Toto produced as a unit. The video does feature Cynthia Rhodes (the future star of Dirty Dancing and Mrs. Richard Marx).

Africa (album: Toto IV) #1

This song has always been of my favorites by Toto because it strikes me as being a bit different than the rest of their music. This song was one of my early experiences with Toto. I can remember playing this song non stop for hours. The keyboards are soothing and match the smooth beat and bass line along with Paisch’s vocals. The chorus is one that has always stuck with me and pops in my head at the strangest times- I don’t mind, I just leave it there: “It’s gonna to take a lot to drag me away from / There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do.” This is Toto’s only #1 single and holds a strong place in the overall canon of ‘80s music.

Make Believe (album: Toto IV) #30

This song once again demonstrates Toto’s creative music talents that cannot be pigeonholed. It features a soaring saxaphone that highlights the great piano work. Lyrically, the song returns to the lost love story – a love that the speaker wishes he could get back, “Always remember – we met in the pouring rain / You were content and we went our separate ways / No matter which way the wind blows, I’ll hang on to it anyhow / Don’t ever say it could never be the same.”

I Won’t Hold You Back (album: Toto IV) #10

This is an excellent ballad and Toto’s third Top 10 single from Toto IV. This is a simple, but powerful song about guilt and the toll it can take on our hearts. I have always been intrigued by the fact that there are several band members who serve as lead vocalist. On Toto IV alone, the four hits have three different lead singers – this one features guitarist Steve Lukather. Not only is he one of the top rock guitarists (and underrated), his voice is smooth and fits this soulful song perfectly. This video is a live version that displays his great talent – and his solo is great!

Stranger in Town (album: Isolation) #30

This song is the first single from Toto’s album that features new lead singer Fergie Fredricksen. He was brought in to replace Bobby Kimball who was having drug related issues. Richard Page from Mr. Mister was asked to join Toto but he refused because he wanted to stay with his band (and we know what is coming from them). I have no good reason, but I have always liked this song. I discovered it one day as I was sifting through my girlfriend’s record collection. I was on the lookout for records I did not own, and, while she did not have many, this was one of them. I am not sure how I missed buying this one – I owned (and loved Toto IV) – perhaps this is a result of the poor airplay it received as well as the lack of a positive critical response. It is a bit of an uncharacteristic song from Toto. The lyrics are a bit story-like and focus on several sightings of a stranger- a bit of a mystery, I suppose. I do like the chorus: simple, but with a few guitar chords that I have always enjoyed. This song is catchy, but does not have the typical Toto musical punch, although Lukather’s guitar almost saves it.

Hollyanna (album: Isolation) #71

As the chart placement suggests, this was not a huge hit for Toto, but it was the second, and last, single released from Isolation. One thing that Toto has typically been known for is a song or two with a female name as a title. This song is not bad as it is another that features Paisch on both piano and vocals. The lyrics are not deep or thought provoking, but the song is catchy and worthy of a little attention.

I’ll Be Over You (album: Fahrenheit) #11

“Would Toto’s third lead vocalist of the ‘80s please take the stage.” That vocalist would be Joseph Williams, who will be featured on Toto’s last two albums of the ‘80s. This song is another very smooth ballad that features a lie. The speaker in the song has lost a special someone and is lying to himself- he doesn’t need her and she will soon be forgotten – yeah, right, “As soon as my heart stops breaking / Anticipating / As soon as forever is through, I’ll be over you.” This song received substantial airplay and was helped out by backing vocalist Michael McDonald. The video is shot on a rooftop (a bit cliche, but I love it) and shows Lukather on vocals, once again letting his talent shine through. I listened to this album hundred of times during the beginning of my senior year in high school. This song became an important part of my outlook on relationships. I met my girlfriend (now wife) in October of 1986 and I did not want to end up like the speaker in this song – alone, and wishing he could regain what was lost.

Without Your Love (album: Fahrenheit) #38

This is another song that features Lukather on lead vocals. This is a somber, brooding song with a killer bass line and guitar work. The speaker on the song is pleading, and realizing that life is not as good as it was when he was with the woman he loves. Neither of these two songs from Fahrenheit features Toto’s new lead vocalist. For a great sample of his work on this, his first album with the band, check out “Could This Be Love“.

Pamela (album: The Seventh One) #22

I was in the second semester of my freshman year in college when the album The Seventh One was released. To my surprise (and dismay), I had a number of friends who were not well versed in what I considered good ‘80s rock – this included being nearly clueless about Toto. I forced them to watch the video to this song many times. I continued to wear them down by listening to older music by Toto and soon they had to admit that they were a pretty good band. We did return to watch the awesome hair bands that were featured every afternoon on Total Request Live, but Toto left their mark on them. I love this song – another one by Toto with a woman’s name as the title. And it does feature Williams on lead vocals. It once again demonstrates superior musicianship and an all out catchy song. Since hearing of bass player Porcaro’s death a few weeks ago, this has been the song that I have come back to most often-despite all of these great songs, it is easily one of my favorites by Toto. It has two of my favorite Toto lyrics: “Don’t try mixing truth with jealousy, the road we’re on is clear as far as I can see” and “Wanting every part of you is not a crime / Could it be that you’re the one who is wrong this time?

Mike Porcaro’s death reminds us that an all things will eventually fade- even the heyday of great bands from an era of excellent rock music. Toto is still recording and performing live, and I admire their commitment to their music, but an important piece of the ‘80s rock world’s puzzle has been lost and can never truly be regained.

Toto has so many great songs that it is nearly impossible to have them all here. The ‘80s were clearly a great decade for this band, but do not limit yourself to just these songs and videos. Dig into the music of this group of influential and slightly underrated band- you will not be sorry.

Remember That Song: 1/29/15

Can you name the artist and song:

Darlin’, I’ll climb any mountain
Darlin’, I’ll swim any sea
Darlin’, I’ll reach for the heaven
Darlin’, with you lovin’ me


Last Song: “Africa” by Toto from Toto IV (1982)

Great job SouthernHon (@peacesong464), Frida (@carrjam94), and Jim (@JimVilk) as well as Robert’s AP English class once again (@mishouenglish)!!! It’s great to see that our future generation knows all about awesome music – proving that there is hope after all!!!

I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some long forgotten words or ancient melodies

Remember That Song: 10/22/14

Can you name the artist and song:

Your camera looks through me
With it’s X-ray vision
And all systems run aground


Last Song: “I’ll Be Over You” by Toto from Fahrenheit (1986)

Great job Jim!!

Remembering times gone by
Promises we once made
What are the reasons why
Nothing stays the same

Remember That Song? – 12/16/11

Can you name the artist, song and complete the lyrics:

And while you’re out there sittin’ on a fence
So get off your ass and come down here
‘Cause rock ‘n’ roll ain’t no riddle man
To me __ _____ ____ ____ _____


Last Song: “Hold the Line” by Toto (Oops by me! This song was released in 1978. Eh, we all love it anyway, right?):

It’s not in the way that you stayed till the end
It’s not in the way you look or the things that you say that you’ll do