The compilation album Past to present marks out the David Paich era of Toto. Until 1990 David Paich (co-)wrote most of the Toto hits, some of them collected on this album. Next to these hits there are a couple of new songs (co-)written by Jean-Michel Byron (*), who supposed to become Toto's new lead vocalist. After a short period of time Byron didn't appear to be the ideal successor of Joseph Williams.
"Sony wanted a couple of new songs for our Greatest Hits album and they gave us a tape of Jean-Michel Byron, telling us that this was the vocalist we had to work with. (...) Jean-Michel is a good vocalist and artist, but he doesn't fit into the Toto style. His musical world is third world r&b. That's what he's doing great. (...) He tried to immitate Michael Jackson on stage, with dance steps and stuff. It drove us mad. Especially my brother Jeff. Jean-Michel also thought he could make big stars of Toto again. That kind of bullshit. That was the last time we listened to our record company!" (Mike Porcaro in music magazine Oor, October 3, 1992)
Lukather in 2004 about Byron: "So we do all this rehearsal and we go on tour, the first fucking gig and we see the guy putting on his fucking clothes. A little sheriff's badge on, he puts one golf glove on. We're thinking, man that's fucking funny, that's great, man that's a great joke. Hey says, “What are you talking about?” I go, “You're not going to go out there with a fucking glove, that's Michael Jackson's shit.” He said, “No it's not, it's my stuff.” I'm going, you've got to be fucking kidding me. We get on stage and we start the first tune, Love has the power and he starts dancing around like fucking Richard Simmons on acid. Some fucking fruity shit going on man. And the crowd is like looking at me and going, something's up. They're looking at him and flipping him the bird telling him to get off the stage. And I'm looking at Jeff Porcaro and he's looking at me going, what the fuck is that? I mean is was unbelievable…He thought he'd come to save the day. Like Christ had come down and blessed us. We get off the gig and we're like, what the fuck is that? We're nuts, we're psycho. You can't do that. He goes, “I'm going to make you all very famous.” He thought he was the shit, he was hysterical. And I was single, newly single at the time after my first divorce and I was out there for the chicks and every time I got with a chick, he'd try to get with her."
After the release of Past to present Toto operated more clearly as a collective. Steve Lukather got the role of lead vocalist and he got more and more influence in the songwriting and sound of Toto. The next album Kingdom of desire was the first Toto album with most of the songs written by the band as a whole.