Through the looking glass (2002)

Toto (Toto Recordings Inc., CMC/EMI 5426602)

"You're a world of blind ambition
Staring through the looking glass
You will meet your own collision
When your conscience comes to ask"

(Toto - Slipped away, Tambu, 1995)

Well, here we are again, free at last, unburdened by corporate shackles and invisible slave owners. It's time to open the book once more.

Once upon a time... there was a song and the song had melody and the melody had words with meaning. Si! Give us a beat, that's all it takes, a home, some gear, a few wannabes and a record player (which, in fact, is a time machine by which one can travel to any point in time).

Eric... Jack... Peter... Elton... Stevie... Steely... Dylan... Marley... Leon... Al... George... Herbie... Elvis?

... we are not worthy!!! But, they still sound as good as the day we heard them, a thousand summers ago. This is a gift to you, o' great ones, with whome we've had the miraculous good fortune and honor of rubbing musical elbows with. This is a rendering of masterpieces that could not have been perfected, only interpreted and passed down to the next runner (may he never drop the baton). This is a musical mirror of our true reflections. Close your eyes and you'll find you can see through your ears.

Our love and apologies, Toto.

We did this (album) for FUN as we were all doing outside projects and had nothing nor any time to prepare a new CD. What WE do (when we make a new album) is spend ALOT of time writing and ALOT of care to detail, so in order for us to do this it takes about a year from top to bottom. We DO have personal lives, kids etc and also do OTHER outside projects and we are always busy doing something. As a matter of fact Toto has more output than any other band out there if you count all our outside projects.

Steve Lukather, October 8th 2002.

Album info

Through the looking glass, Toto's 25th anniversary album, is mixed by Steve Macmillan and released on October 14th in Europe through EMI, before the start of the 25th anniversary world tour and in the USA through Capitol Records in November 2002. The album consists of 11 (no bonus tracks) covers recorded in Simon Phillips's studio Coy Sound. The Bob Marley song Could you be loved is the first single from the album. "We recorded the whole record at Simon's house with no help, no second engineers etc... I LOVE the Steakhouse but Simon wanted to do it at his house so we did. We had a blast and it's one of our best sounding CD's ever," Luke stated in the Q&A section of!

A couple of all time pals like Lenny Castro, James Ingram and Steve Porcaro contributed to the album. Luke: "The music on this album is VERY diverse. I think this will rate with our best work, even if they are interpretations of other people songs. It totally sounds like Toto. James Ingram was in doing backgrounds on 2 songs and we played him one thing we did and he had never heard the song before and thought we wrote it. That will happen a lot on this, depending on what kinda music you listen to. The next piece we played for James is our intrumental for the CD and he actually cried while listening to it saying how great it was. I think we will have a hit record even though were fuckin over 40! Hahaha."

Lukather: "When coming up with the title we were throwing around alot of different ideas and Through the looking glass really made sense with the music we are making. It's like looking back in time at some of our favorite artists. It's gonna be a really cool album cover. We are going to write a small paragraph on why we chose each song with a story of our connection with the material we chose. These songs were more than just a random choice of tunes. It will be explained song by song. The connection with Slipped away (Tambu) is an accident but a cool one. It makes for a better story. Hahaha."

Toto did the Elvis Costello song Watching the detectives as a joke, knowing how much Elvis hates them. Lukather: "Well, it's a known fact, as he has stated in interviews before. It was a long time ago. We started out at around the same time. The critics loved him... and hated us... It rubs off I guess. Truth is I really like some of his stuff. It's a bit pompous but very articulate and well written. We did it as a joke and it came out GREAT. I do a great impression of him sure to make you (and him) laugh, BUT it does sound really cool. I wish I could be in the room when Elvis hears it... or even hears about it! Hahaha. There are 2 trax on the Toto record that we did for "fun" showing a never before humourus side to Toto. I think people that don't know us think we are so serious. As you know... we are not. Hahaha.
Ya gotta stir the pot sometimes. I think we will get press out of this no matter if "they" love or hate it."

The Toto version of Stevie Wonder's Living for the city has got everything to do with September 11th 2001. In the middle section of the original song there's a New York street noice cut.
Lukather: "Wait till you hear what WE did in the middle section! It's all about September 11th. Intense sounscape we finished yesterday with Steve Porcaro. It's like a mini movie soundtrack. These are the times we live in. Were trying to get Stevie Wonder to guest on it. We are waiting for a call back. That would be so cool. We have all worked with him on various projects and he came out and played live with us in Japan once on Rosanna and kicked ass! Hope it happens."

Luke (March 18th 2002): "I did the 99% of the new record with a small Marshall combo amp with 1-12" speaker plugged directly into it. All effects were done at the console and or layered. I used my LUKE guitar for the whole thing and Ovation/Kamas acoustics. It will be interesting to my critics that THINK I need some huge rack to play. That's bullshit and always has been. YES, I did over due all that crap in the 80's and OTHER people copied it and blamed me. This is not the case. A little delay from the board is about all I'm guilty of, maybe flanging on House of the rising sun, ala Dave Gilmour. Not too much , just a pinch. Very organic.
I am in the midst of re-doing my old rack. Back to the Bradshaw pre-amp-VHT power amp with a few other tricks up my sleeve. Real solid powerful sound, righ in your face. Same 3 speaker configuration, 1 dry, left-right wet. It sounds so good and is so compact. I don't know why I EVER changed. The best sounds of my career if ya ask me. You will hear it soon. Were mixing and doing our last overdubs in the coming week. The album should be done by the end of the month."

About the design and artworks by WorldWest


  1. Could you be loved (Bob Marley)
  2. Bodhisattva (Donald Fagen, Walter Becker)
  3. While my guitar gently weeps (George Harrison)
  4. I can't get next to you (Barrett Strong/Norman Whitfield)
  5. Living for the city (Stevie Wonder)
  6. Maiden voyage/Butterfly (Herbie Hancock)
  7. Burn down the mission (Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
  8. Sunshine of your love (Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Constant)
  9. House of the rising sun (Traditional)
  10. Watching the detectives (Elvis Costello)
  11. It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry (Bob Dylan)


David Paich: keyboards, background vocals, vocals (11)
Steve Lukather: guitars, lead (3) (8) (9) and background vocals, keys (8), dobro (11)
Bobby Kimball: lead and background vocals
Mike Porcaro: bass
Simon Phillips: drums, loops

Additional musicians:
Lenny Castro: percussion (1) (3) (6) (7) (9)
James Ingram: background vocals (1) (4)
Steve Porcaro: keyboards, programming (2) (3) (5) (7)
Davey Johnstone: background vocals (7)
Nigel Olsen: background vocals (7)
Tippa Irie: toasty deejay'n
Brandon Fields: sax (4) (6)
Walt Fowler: trumpet (4) (6)
Ellis Hall: vocals (5)
Monet: background vocals (8) (10)

Toto - Could you be loved (2002, CMC/EMI 5514462)

  1. Could you be loved Radio edit
  2. House of the rising sun
  3. Could you be loved Instrumental

Toto - While my guitar gently weeps (2002, CMC/EMI promo)

  1. While my guitar gently weeps (Radio edit)
  2. While my guitar gently weeps (Album edit)

Source list Through the looking glass:

  1. Bob Marley - Could you be loved (Marley) (Uprising, 1980)
  2. Steely Dan - Bodhisattva (Fagen, Becker) (Countdown to ecstacy, 1973)
  3. The Beatles - While my guitar gently weeps (Harrison) (White album, 1968)
  4. Al Green - I can't get next to you (Whitfield, Strong) (Get's next to you, 1971)
  5. Stevie Wonder - Living for the city (Wonder) (Innervisions, 1973)
  6. Herbie Hancock - Maiden voyage/Butterfly (Hancock) (Maiden voyage, 1965)
  7. Elton John - Burn down the mission (Taupin, John) (Tumbleweed connection, 1971)
  8. Cream - Sunshine of your love (Clapton, Bruce, Constant) (Disraeli gears, 1967)
  9. The Animals - House of the rising sun (Traditional) (The Animals, 1964)
  10. Elvis Costello - Watching the detectives (Costello) (My aim is true, 1977)
  11. Bob Dylan - It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry (Dylan) (Highway 61 revisited, 1965)
Steve Lukather Side Image

Tour dates

Visit the official TOTO website for current tour dates.

  1. 25Nov2023
    Antwerp Belgium
    Night of the Proms
  2. 26Nov2023
    Antwerp Belgium
    Night of the Proms
  3. 01Dec2023
    Mannheim Germany
    SAP Arena
    Night of the Proms
  4. 02Dec2023
    Dortmund Germany
    Night of the Proms
  5. 03Dec2023
    Oberhausen Germany
    Rudolf Weber-Arena
    Night of the Proms

More tour dates »