After the succes of Toto IV, Bobby Kimball left Toto as lead singer and frontman. He was replaced by vocalist Fergie Frederiksen, who only managed to survive the album Isolation.
"Bobby's lifestyle wasn't suited to us anymore. When you become famous you simultaneously have a lot of responsibilities, especially in Toto's case. We're not Guns 'n Roses where each individual can live out his own ego trip as and when he likes or can play the party animal endlessly and jet of here, there and everywhere. If recording sessions are fixed then everyone has to turn up and not be half way across the other side of the world! Bobby simply just didn't take the whole thing seriously, and we did all the more."
Lukather in 2004 about Fergie: "We were mixing the tracks [of Isolation] while he [Fergie Frederiksen] was still trying to gag out a vocal. It was painful, punching one word in at a time. I wish we had Pro Tools back then bro. You know, and like he was good for like two nights in a row and then he'd get sick, he's get sores all over his face, he was so nervous and he'd get all freaked out and shit. Just doing the back flips and shit. You know, once we lost Bobby, we lost the integrity of the band and we were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. That's why we kept going through them and going through them.
Jeff kept pretty much backing to Fergie. So we said OK, Jeff, he was always our spiritual guru and our big brother. To all of us. So we went with that. As it turned out, he was very difficult but we made a pretty good record. But all of our shit was done, we were trying to implement him into this, and it was very nerve-racking for him. The myth about Bobby singing the whole record and then replacing every song with Fergie, is just that, a myth. Bobby sang on about 3 or 4 things and it was really hard because he wasn't in good health, and then he wouldn't show up, he was in a bad way. Like I said, he's nothing like that anymore either or he wouldn't be in the band."
For most of the fans and Toto watchers Isolation is one of the heaviest albums, together with Kingdom of desire. On the album we hear lots of influences of David Foster and Fee Waybill (Tubes). The reason is quite simple. During the period from 1981 till 1984 the Toto boys worked a lot together with them. In 1981 Lukather co-wrote the raging rock classic Talk to ya later (produced by Foster) together with the Tubes. In 1982 almost the whole Toto crew showed up at the album Chicago 16 and in 1983 on the Tubes album Inside outside, both produced by Foster again. In 1984 especially Lukather worked and wrote a lot together with Fee Waybill for his first solo album Read my lips on pretty heavy songs.
On Isolation the group song Mr. Friendly showes up as a mirror song of the Tubes rocker Mr. Hate, from the album The completion backward principle (1991). On Stranger in town Tubes technician Mike Cotten is helping out with some un-Totoian keyboard sounds.