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Hold The Line by Toto
Album: TotoReleased: 1978Charted:
This pop nugget was the first single by Toto, a group made up of six very talented session musicians who had backed up artists like Boz Scaggs, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand and Jackson Browne. It was written by their keyboard man David Paich, and it deals with the mysteries of love. It proved that a slick pop song created by top players could succeed without a great deal of hype or a charismatic lead singer. Toto was a Top 40 staple in the '80s, releasing nine hit songs, including the #1 "Africa
This song used a single-note piano percussion that was a popular technique at the time - Jefferson Starship also used it on "Jane
." Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro explained: "'Hold the Line' was a perfect example of what people will describe as your heavy metal chord guitar licks and your great triple A-notes on the piano. It was taking the Sly Stone groove and meshing it with a harder rock caveman approach."
By 2008, guitarist Steve Lukather was the only original member still with the band when he decided to call it quits. He made this statement on the band's official website: "Honestly I have just had enough. This is NOT a break. It is over. I really can't go out and play 'Hold the Line' with a straight face anymore. I was 19 when we cut the record. I am 50 now." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Toto was one of the few American bands to make music videos in the years before MTV went on the air. For "Hold The Line," they produced a simple performance video featuring Steve Lukather wearing some sweet suspenders. They moved on to concept videos in the '80s and became one of the most popular artists on early MTV. That low budget video for "Hold The Line" ended up getting millions of views on YouTube.