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.
Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"
With the band in danger of being dropped from their label, Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith co-wrote the song that started their trek from horror show curiosity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Don breaks down "Hotel California" and other songs he wrote as a member of the Eagles. Now we know where the "warm smell of colitas" came from.
His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."