David Paich Shares Toto’s Conflicts and Battles With Their Labels

David Paich Shares Toto’s Conflicts and Battles With Their Labels | Society Of Rock Videos

via FaceCulture / Youtube

David Paich joined the “Broken Record” podcast recently and talked candidly about the difficulties Toto had early on with their record label.

Regarding the band’s musical approach, Paich expressed the label’s concerns:

“A lot of the comments were, ‘There’s no thread [to the music]. You guys don’t have a sound. What is the sound? We can’t tell if you’re an R&B group or, a rock n’ roll group, or an adult contemporary group. What are you?'”

Emphasizing their refusal to be pigeonholed into a single genre, Paich stated:

“We just said, ‘This is it. This is what we are. We do all this stuff.’ That’s why we wanted to be different. We wanted to just do good music of any kind, any genre.”

Toto’s Breakthrough Amid Challenges

Toto made a huge success in October 1978 with their debut song, “Hold The Line,” which climbed to the Top 5 on the charts despite the label’s difficulties. Paich remembered, with nostalgia, the first time he heard the song on the radio:

“I was at my sister’s apartment, catching a faint piano. I thought, ‘That sounds familiar. It’s like me playing. Oh, that’s our record! It’s on the radio!’ We were all calling radio stations like excited teenagers.”

The Band’s Journey

Over two million copies of Toto’s self-titled debut album were sold thanks in part to “Hold The Line.” The band’s fourth album, Toto IV, helped them become more successful abroad, particularly with the smash song “Africa.”

Considering the popularity of the 1982 song, Paich clarified in an interview with Prog magazine:

“It’s a phenomenon to me; I can’t put my finger on it. If it wasn’t a hit, I’d say, ‘That’s a nice little album cut.’ We thought the hits were already on the record. ‘Rosanna,’ I thought ‘Make Believe’ was going to be a giant hit. Africa came out of nowhere; it was an 11th-hour song, it barely made the album.”

Four Decades in the Music Industry

In 2018, Toto celebrated their 40th anniversary with the release of ’40 Trips Around The Sun,’ a compilation of their greatest hits. Now, in their 46th year, they’ve announced plans for a North American tour with Journey, set to take place from February to April 2024.

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