Remembering Toronto (the band!)
In the process of doing research for another post yesterday, I stumbled upon some information about a band that I'd never heard of. Clueless as this may be, until last night I was unaware of the existence of Toronto (the band that is). Now, to be fair, I wasn't old enough to be listening to music when Toronto were at the height of their popularity -- but, nevertheless, for someone who has a thing for 80s nostalgia, this discovery came as a pleasant little surprise.
Formed in 1978 by singer Holly Woods and guitarist Bria Allen (the rest of the line-up changed over the years), Toronto actually produced a number of legitimate hits over their approximately five year career with Solid Gold Records. In fact, their first three albums went platinum. Their most popular single remains "Your Daddy Don't Know," which I recognized immediately upon playing last night despite not ever connecting it to the band in question. In fact the New Pornographers actually covered the song in 2003 for the movie Fubar: The Album.
But Toronto's most popular song (by a landslide) is one that's rarely associated with them. When writing tracks for the their 1982 album, Get It On Credit, Allen, Sheron Alton (the other guitarist in the band) and production assistant Jim Vallance wrote "What About Love?" But, when it came time for the record company to finalize the track list, it was somehow left off the album.
Three years later the song was offered to Heart, and they proceeded to turn it into a mega-hit. Although it was later added as a bonus track on the re-issue of Get It On Credit, the song will, no doubt, be forever affiliated with Heart rather than Toronto. And that's quite a shame. Although I'm not much of a fan of sweeping 80s rock ballads, Toronto's version of the song is every bit the equal of the more popular Heart version.
Perhaps the origin of this song is more widely known than I think. But, my sense is that this isn't the case. So while I'm certainly no Alan Cross, I thought this little bit of Toronto music history was worth sharing.
Check out Toronto's "What About Love?" and "Your Daddy Don't Know" below.