Toto was founded by session keyboardist David Paich and session drummer Jeff Porcaro, along with guitarist/singer Steve Lukather. The music veterans joined forces after playing on various artists albums including those for Boz Scaggs and Steely Dan. Other band members joined over the years, including Porcaro’s brothers Steve (keyboards) and Mike (bass). The band’s first album was a generally soft rock album with progressive and jazz elements, though some songs were more up-tempo.

Hold the Line” was the album’s breakout hit, and a top 5 hit. It combined keyboards, a heavy guitar riff, and layered vocals. The song’s extended guitar solo made for many an inebriated air guitar contest, as this author can attest. The music video below gives a good indication of Toto’s live persona, which let’s just say isn’t exactly stellar. Future videos were more conceptual and less-reliant on performance clips.

Toto’s next two albums were disappointments, but they came back in a big way in 1982 with Toto IV. The album had three top ten hits, including “Africa” and “Rosanna”, and the album won numerous Grammys including Album of the Year. The album sold over three million copies. Two follow-up albums were less successful but still went Gold, despite departure of original lead singer Bobby Kimball.

Toto has continued to tour and perform, despite the untimely death of Jeff Pocoro in 1991 at the age of 38, due to heart issues caused by heavy use of cocaine.