Call it a perfect storm, or call it all of the right pieces falling into place. There’s something beautiful and, dare I say, majestic about “I’ll Be Over You” from Toto’s 1986 album Fahrenheit. While not the first product of the Steve Lukather/Randy Goodrum songwriting partnership, and certainly not the last, it is easily the most successful pairing of their talents.
Lukather had never sounded better as a vocalist; his vocals were spot on. There’s a yearning and poignancy in every note that perfectly reflects the heartstring-tugging lyrics of lost love, and all of it dances gently over a smooth groove laid down by Jeff and Mike Porcaro.
As this was the first song recorded for Fahrenheit, Joseph Williams had not yet been hired to replace Fergie Frederiksen, although he does appear in the music video lip-syncing background vocals. In the absence of a full-time singer to provide high harmonies, Michael McDonald lent his pipes for background vocals – and they perfectly complemented Steve Lukather’s voice. David Paich adds some beautiful piano flourishes at all the right moments, too.
I’m not sure who directed or filmed the accompanying clip, but I’d argue that it was the most visually appealing and perfectly shot of any of Toto’s music videos. It’s a hot day, so the band takes their instruments and amps up the fire escape to play on the roof. The lighting is note perfect; you can almost feel the heat of the sun and the refreshing breeze on your face. As the video progresses, however, the weather turns. Storm clouds roll in, and the band is forced to run for cover. The closing shot of rain falling on one of Jeff Porcaro’s cymbals is a nice touch: Wonderful “cymbalism.”
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