Toto Preview New Music From ’40 Trips Around the Sun’ Set
The album features a mix of the band’s most popular hits and deeper tracks from its catalog, all newly remastered, plus three new tracks, including the song, “Alone,” which you can listen to below.
“It just went so fast,” guitarist and singer Steve Lukather tells Ultimate Classic Rock. “I’ve been doing this for 40 years. I mean, understand that my first record came out on f---ing 8-track, and here I am going into 2018. I never thought in a million years that I’d be doing this 40 years in. We thought if we got 10, that would be amazing.”
Fans who pre-order the new album will receive “Alone” as an instant download. The song was written by the four core band members -- Lukather, David Paich, Steve Porcaro and Joseph Williams -- with no outside collaborators. “It’s got a hook for f---in’ days,” Lukather says. “I think it’s classic Toto.”
Thanks to the discovery of some unfinished tracks, the band was also able to revisit previously unreleased material featuring late Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro, who died in 1992, and his brother, bassist Mike Porcaro, who died in 2015 after battling ALS. “We were able to take things with Jeff and Mike that were recorded during the 1981 to 1984 era, and Sony found a whole vault full of s--- that we forgot about,” Lukather says. “Just basic tracks that we didn’t use, because 'Oh, that chorus sucks.' So we were able to go in and go, 'Well, the chorus sucks, but the f---ing track was killer. Can we fix this? Let’s rewrite it and insert it.' We were able to do that now.”
The group used that process on “Spanish Sea,” which grew out of a musical idea from the period when it was working on the 1984 album Isolation. “As David says, it’s an heir apparent to an ‘Africa’ kind of a groove," Lukather notes. "It’s got massive Brian Wilson-like vocals on it. We really went for it. We said, ‘Well, if we’re going to be over-produced and everybody hates that s--- about us anyway, our fans love it, so let’s give them what they want.’ So we kitchensinked this bad boy!”
Completing the songs was an emotional experience for Lukather and his bandmates. “We’d sit in the studio and laugh and cry and do all of the s--- that you do that brings back a lifetime of memories,” he says. “And we missed our brothers who aren’t here anymore, and that part was the hardest part of all. To hear Jeff count off the song, it sounds like he’s still alive, right here, right now.
"On one hand, it was magical, because it’s real. It’s those guys. The way Mike and Jeff played together, it was one brain, four arms. You could hear the personality and you could hear them talking before the takes and stuff like that. That didn’t make the record, but it was wild. It was a roller coaster ride emotionally. But at the same time, it was really cool, and I’m really glad that people are going to get to hear something.”
Toto will spend the next two years celebrating their 40th anniversary with a world tour and an extensive slate of releases, including additional new material and a complete overhaul of their Sony catalog, which has been freshly remastered by Elliot Scheiner, Gavin Lurssen and his team, with the full participation of the band.
Lukather says that the first three albums in particular, are a “revelation.” “It’s like somebody took a blanket off of the speakers! The one rule was, no compression and let’s be really careful,” he explains. “We’re not in the volume war. You want it louder? Turn it the f--- up! Because you’re going to get the dynamic range. Otherwise, it’s just going to be like what everybody else does, add high end, more compression and make it loud. That’s not remastered. They have technology now where you can specifically find frequencies and actually remix the song, kind of, with EQ. We started with the first album, the first track, and we went in chronological order of all of our music. We had never done that in 40 years. I heard things that I haven’t heard since we cut them.”
The albums will be presented initially as a box set, which will be available in a variety of configurations, including a high end vinyl option. The 40 Trips Around The Sun world tour will begin on Feb. 11, two days after the new compilation hits the shelves. Three dozen shows have been announced for Europe so far; a U.S. tour is in the planning stages for later in 2018.
You can pre-order 40 Trips Around the Sun now, and check out the complete track listing below.
Toto, '40 Trips Around the Sun' Track Listing
‘Alone’ (new song)
‘Spanish Sea’ (new song)
‘I'll Supply The Love’
‘I'll Be Over You’
‘Stranger In Town’
‘Struck By Lightning’ (new song)
‘Afraid Of Love’
‘I Won't Hold You Back’
‘Jake To The Bone’
‘Stop Loving You’
‘Hold The Line’