Pop Music

Toto, “Stranger in Town” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Stranger in Town” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

“Stranger in Town” was written by Toto’s David Paich and Jeff Porcaro, who also composed the smash hit “Africa.” But it couldn’t be more different.

Toto, “Lion” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Lion” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

Lyrically direct yet with a playful turn on the word “lion,” this Fergie Frederiksen-sung Toto song is sharp, funky and precise.

Steven Tyler – We’re All Somebody From Somewhere (2016)

Steven Tyler – We’re All Somebody From Somewhere (2016)

I wasn’t going to listen to Steven Tyler’s new country-influenced album, but I’m such an Aerosmith fanboy that I unfortunately just couldn’t resist.

Toto, “Carmen” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Carmen” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

Toto should have been on top of the world after the blockbuster ‘Toto IV.’ Instead, their follow up ‘Isolation’ found the band in a state of flux.

Preston Frazier’s Mid-Year Best of 2016: Steve Porcaro, Ben Craven, Cyndi Lauper + others

Preston Frazier’s Mid-Year Best of 2016: Steve Porcaro, Ben Craven, Cyndi Lauper + others

As we reach the half-way mark, Preston Frazier offers an endlessly varied Mid-Year Best of 2016 list that spans genres and generations.

Chicago, “Wake Up Sunshine” from Chicago II (1970): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Wake Up Sunshine” from Chicago II (1970): Saturdays in the Park

This is one Chicago deep cut I never get tired of – and the band seems to feel the same: “Wake Up Sunshine” remains an enduring concert chestnut, too.

The Beatles, “Please Mister Postman” from With the Beatles (1963): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Please Mister Postman” from With the Beatles (1963): Deep Beatles

“Please Mister Postman” illustrates how the Beatles adapted other musical forms to create their own sound, both honoring their forebears and adding another dimension.

Toto, “Africa” from Toto IV (1982): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Africa” from Toto IV (1982): Toto Tuesdays

“Africa,” the last song on ‘Toto IV,’ represents an end in many respects for the band.

Henry McCullough dies; played guitar with Paul McCartney and Wings, Joe Cocker, Spooky Tooth

Henry McCullough dies; played guitar with Paul McCartney and Wings, Joe Cocker, Spooky Tooth

Ex-Wings guitarist Henry McCullough suffered a devastating heart attack in 2012 and then endured a lengthy period of partial recovery.

The Beatles, “Chains” from Please Please Me (1963): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Chains” from Please Please Me (1963): Deep Beatles

This King and Goffin track typifies the Beatles’ early era, a time when the band was forming their own identity.