Michael Jackson's "Thriller" - It was Toto Album...

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by gener8tr, Feb 7, 2014.

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  1. gener8tr

    gener8tr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA USA
    Another from the "You learn something new every day" camp.

    Interview Part 3 with Lukather below. If you're a Beatles fan (who am I kidding here), watch parts 1 and 2 as well.

     
  2. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    Location:
    Ohio
    Well, I've always known that TOTO played on much of the "Thriller" album and the same of Boz Scaggs "Silk Degrees". Hey, I'm a fan of TOTO and I have to be honest and say that Luke needs to smoke a doobie or something and chill the F out. I thought he was going to explode and all because he doesn't feel like his band got their due. Today, nobody knows who plays on "anything", thanks to the world of downloads, where nothing matters, except what song is in the i-Tunes top ten this hour! Steve and the boys all got paid for playing on all of those old albums and TOTO had a few hits of their own, so quit ego tripping already!
     
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  3. Ryan Lux

    Ryan Lux Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, ON, CA
    Unfortunately, it's difficult to sell music without a face. People, in general, don't really care who did what and, if they do, will tend to focus on the artist and then the producer, if at all. I can sympathize with him. As a producer/musician, it can be disheartening to help an artist in a big way and then watch them bask in the credit, but that's reality. There's no doubt in my mind that those guys really made some of those hits with their contributions.

    On the other hand, he doesn't really do himself any favours by getting angry about it on camera. It took 40 years, and passionate fans, to bring the Wrecking Crew and Motown session players' stories to light. If he wants more credit, he should write his book.
     
  4. swandown

    swandown Under Assistant West Coast Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Thriller isn't considered a Toto album for the same reason Pet Sounds isn't considered a Wrecking Crew album.
     
  5. Rosskolnikov

    Rosskolnikov Designated Cloud Yeller

    Lukather is very well-recognized in the music world. Actual musicians know that he is a superior player. Journalists and hipsters (who basically don't know ANYTHING about how music gets made) have another agenda. I kind of like that Lukather doesn't take this lying down. In a just world, he would be rightly celebrated as one of THE guitar players of the last 30 years. Yes . . . up there with Hendrix, Beck, Van Halen, and others. He is and was that good.
     
  6. Rosskolnikov

    Rosskolnikov Designated Cloud Yeller

    Not quite the same. The Toto guys had a MUCH larger role in writing Jackson's songs than the Wrecking Crew did on Pet Sounds. Not only did Steve Porcaro write one of the songs, but Toto were the primary arrangers on several of the other Jackson songs, including Beat It. You cannot hear Beat It and know Lukather's guitar tendencies and not hear that he was obviously the main arranger for that tune. It's that obvious.
     
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  7. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs.

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    Nobody cares about the backing musicians. Look at country music, the best pickers on earth, and none of the audience ever knows any of their names. Country is totally singer-fixated, most "acts" are singers w backing bands. I remember I was on a forum about country music and asked, "who won best instrumentalists" and more than 1 person laughed and said they got up and went to the bathroom or the kitchen for that part. They didnt care.

    Rock is no different.. there was another thread here discussing the dearth of instrumentals in the american hit parade.
     
  8. marcel

    marcel Alea Iacta Est

    Location:
    Italy
    As I often say regarding the Berlin Philarmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Philarmonic and so on: outstanding, phenomenal orchestras and musicians, but they are essentially cover bands. They didn't write Beethoven's 9th or Mahler's 5th.

    Toto are/were a group of incredibly gifted musicians but...did they write the "Thriller" tunes (except for "Human nature")? Nope.
    I can somewhat understand Lukather's frustration but I am not surprised. He made similar remarks in an old "Record Collector" interview.
    What's next? Session players who performed on Shania Twain's "Come on over" telling "...it was our album, really"?
     
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  9. Ryan Lux

    Ryan Lux Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, ON, CA
    Well, to be fair, he doesn't say it was their album. He's frustrated that the Toto guys aren't recognized for their contributions to many hit albums. I'm not sure that's true though. Jeff Porcaro is a legend and it's pretty well documented that most of the guys played on Thriller. That's no secret. Perhaps his issue is with the rock press and Rolling Stone in particular.
     
  10. gener8tr

    gener8tr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA USA
    I've been a Toto fan dating back as far as IV for certain. I was in junior high at the time and the hits were all over the radio.

    But it's only been the past couple years I've come to realize just how special these guys were (are) as musicians. It was touched on above, but I'll put the explanation point on it... I honestly believe Luke is on of the top-ten guitar players walking the earth today... and has been for a very long time!
     
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  11. overdrivethree

    overdrivethree Forum Resident

    I feel bad/like I'm opening a can of worms here. But the reason no one ever talks about those guys (apart from Jeff Porcaro, and being dead helps) is because they became Toto. Honestly, in the grand scheme of pop and rock music (and not the insular community of informed musicians), they're perceived now as a joke, a relic of overdone studio perfection with kitschy radio hits like "Rosanna" and "Africa."

    I developed a new respect for the actual dudes once I realized who was playing on all those Steely Dan albums. But the fact they put all their eggs in one basket as Toto kind of seals that deal.
     
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  12. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Did someone really not know that Toto is all over Thriller?
     
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  13. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Forum Resident

    Location:
    Little Britain
    That explains why I never really like the album.:D
     
  14. marcel

    marcel Alea Iacta Est

    Location:
    Italy
    Exactly. Even a nobody like me knows who Toto are and that they're wonderful musicians.
    Imho, and I'll repeat imho, he probably thinks they should have made way more money for their contributions on Thriller and the other albums they played on, hence his disappointment.
    I guess the luckiest Toto guy is Steve Porcaro. His songwriting royalties for "Human nature" must have made him a very rich man over the years.
     
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  15. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    Location:
    Ohio
    :laughup: Enough that he quit TOTO, before TOTO quit themselves!
     
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  16. marcel

    marcel Alea Iacta Est

    Location:
    Italy
    He rejoined a few years ago but ....didn't he quit in the late 80s, some years after Thriller?
     
  17. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    I didn't know until I first looked at the credits for this album, which was several years after it came out (since I didn't buy it).
     
  18. overdrivethree

    overdrivethree Forum Resident

    Also, those guys were like at ground zero for early '80s cocaine excess and neuroses. You read the history/interviews with the band, and they all got super caught up in that cycle, particularly once they became successful as Toto, and they were screwing each other over and stirring up all kinds of inter-band drama that didn't do their career any favors.

    Also, Lukather was never one to back down from talking smack. Which doesn't work because he lacks the charm and charisma of a David Lee Roth type. Dude likes to run his mouth and doesn't do the notion of hot shot guitarists any favors, either.
     
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  19. Sandinista

    Sandinista Forum Resident

    This about sums it up - and I kind of like Toto - here and there and in small doses. I actually bought the box set super cheap from a member here and my impression is this: there is some great stuff in that box and listening to a little bit at a time, it's easy for me to see and appreciate how good they were. BUT if I listen to a whole album or three in a row it just gets very bland and samey - particularly with ballads, some of which got to be sickeningly sweet or maudlin.

    That said, I feel the guys pain in a way - they are monster players and really did play on a ton of successful records, many of which are pretty well regarded and yet they are kind of the Rodney Dangerfield of rock.
     
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  20. Koabac

    Koabac Self-Titled

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Yeah, while I can understand his frustration, there's really two separate issues here: that the group of musicians who comprised the band Toto are under-recognized for their contribution as session players and backing bands on a wide variety of different, very successful music projects AND that the group, itself, Toto, isn't given respect for what THEY released as a band.

    In terms of the first point, the mainstream press or audience has never really cared about or paid too much attention to backing bands or session players, while, I imagine, most music insiders and professionals know and respect them as musicians plenty - which is HOW/WHY they kept getting all those session and backing gigs - everybody that "counted" DID know, right?.

    As for the second issue, well, looking back over the history of rock music, the band Toto, as a band called Toto, had a couple slick hits and that's all. As a band, how revered do the DESERVE to really be? Their legacy is that they seem to be considered much more of a group of amazing session cats who formed a band, had a couple hits, and then went back to being session cats because the Toto thing didn't turn them into the Rolling Stones.

    Being a versatile musician who could play amazingly well and contribute creatively to multiple genres of music is a wonderful talent for a session musician, but also suggests that, perhaps, they lacked a central "voice" or individualistic style as a band, which is, perhaps, the main reason that, as a band called Toto, they never connected with history.
     
  21. gener8tr

    gener8tr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA USA
    Crazy as it may seem, the success of Rosanna and Africa probably did more harm than good as far as Toto's reputation and or legacy goes. Same thing can said for bands such as Foreigner with "I Want to Know What Love Is." They were a pretty damn good ROCK band prior to that, but sadly that's the one they'll be most remembered for by the masses.

    Anyway, my favorite Toto album is TURN BACK, and I don't think it had a single track that charted. Gets regular play on my turntable.
     
  22. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    I've always liked "Rosanna" and "Africa." The problem is that the rest of what I've heard from them is pretty dreary by comparison.
     
  23. ToEhrIsHuman

    ToEhrIsHuman Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    ...or that the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique isn't considered a Dust Brothers album.
     
  24. gener8tr

    gener8tr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA USA
    Check out Million Miles Away if you haven't already.
     
  25. Juggsnelson

    Juggsnelson Forum Resident

    Location:
    Long Island
    I think Luke is a great player and a good songwriter as well. Does he get the credit he deserves as either? No. But unfortunately this is what happens to a guitar player whose greatest moments are featured on somebody's else's work. I like Toto quite a bit but to me Luke really shines collaborating with musicians outside of his own band. Talk To Ya Later is a great example.
     
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