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Hold The Line



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

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 9 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.
More Toto songs
More songs that were an artist's first hit

Comments (5):

On January 7th 1979, "Hold The Line" by Toto peaked at #5 (for 3 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it entered the chart on October 1st, 1978 and spent 21 weeks on the Top 100...
It reached #14 in Australia...
Was track four on side two of their debut album, 'Toto', the album peaked at #9 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
Two other tracks from the album made the Top 100 chart; "I'll Supply The Love" (at #45) and "Georgy Porgy" (at #48).
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
This was the first song of the album (which I bought my senior yr of high school ). The album which this song was featured has a ton of hits (Georgy Porgy, You Supply the Love ....) to me is the best album of Toto's collection.
This song is sometimes mistakenly called "Love Isn't Always On Time" and on P2P sites is mis-credited to Foreigner.
- Harold, University Park, PA
I'm 15 again every time I hear this song.
- john, Grand Island, NY
I love this song. I love the video. It was such a big staple of the 80's! If Steve hates playing it that's fine... but I love playing the guitar on this song!
- Tye, Guthrie, OK
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