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Articles Home » 1989 Articles » Lukather, Steve - 1989 Lukather
Lukather, Steve - 1989 Lukather

ARTIST: Lukather, Steve
ALBUM: Lukather
SERIAL: 465657 2
YEAR: 1989


LINEUP: Steve Lukather - guitars, lead vocals

Guests: Steve Stevens, Danny Kortchmar, Mike Landau - guitars * Edward Van Halen, Neil Stubenhaus, Will Lee, John Pierce, Randy Jackson, Lee Sklar - bass * C.J. Vanston - keyboards * Jan Hammer, Eric Rehl, Randy Goodrum, Kim Bullard, Jai Winding - synths * Lenny Castro - percussion * Carlos Vega, Prairie Prince, Tommy Price, Jeff Porcaro, John Keane - drums * Richard Marx - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Twist The Knife * 02 Swear Your Love * 03 Fall Into Velvet * 04 Drive A Crooked Road * 05 Got My Way * 06 Darkest Night Of The Year * 07 Lonely Beat Of My Heart * 08 With A Second Chance * 09 Turns To Stone * 10 It Looks Like Rain * 11 Steppin' On Top Of Your World


Up until 1989, most of the top lead guitarists of established melodic rock bands had released solo material of their own. The two main exceptions being Eddie Van Halen and Steve Lukather from Toto. Eyeing a break after commitments with 'The Seventh One' had completed, Lukather thought it would be a good idea to strut his stuff away from a band situation. Certainly during his time with Toto, Steve proved that he could sing the hit songs (refer 'I Won't Hold You Back' and I'll Be Over You') as well as dominate on lead guitar. Having queued up a whole swag of material that never made it on Toto's earlier albums, this was an ideal opportunity to release them under his own name. In doing so, his self titled debut from 1989 features a who's who of the L.A session scene. The album was supposed to be an anti-thesis of the Toto sound up until that point, with Lukather infusing many of his early guitar influences into the material. Beck, Hendrix, Clapton, Harrison, Gilmour all get a look-in here.

The Songs
'Twist The Knife' opens the album, and is a Luke and Eddie Van Halen co-write. I did read somewhere that this song was a throwaway VH song from either their '5150' or 'OU812' sessions that was originally titled 'I Want Action'. It's interesting to see how it morphed into this song on this album. 'Swear Your Love' is noticeable for the familiar strains of Richard Marx piping through on the chorus. The song itself is a harder styled variation of AOR, chock full of atmospheric synths and a darker ambience, but melodic nonetheless. The album's shining moment without doubt is the nine minute epic 'Fall Into Velvet', featuring significant contributions from Jan Hammer and Steve Stevens. All three solo this song off the map, it's no wonder we need nearly ten minutes to get through it.. lol! The Luke/Danny Kortchmar co-write 'Drive A Crooked Road' is a sassy rocker that reminds me a lot of mid 80's Tubes material. 'Got My Way' is a smoother affair, with AOR ideals, a great chorus and an overall busy arrangement.

'Darkest Night Of The Year' has a vibe that sounds as if it was lifted from Toto's 'Isolation' session, an era from that band which I truly enjoyed, hence enjoying this one equally! Diane Warren's contribution can be found on the very AOR effort 'Lonely Beat Of My Heart', laced with keys and melodic guitars, it seems almost out of place! Nice track nonetheless. Changing shape altogether is the hi-tech 'With A Second Chance', the (dare-I-day-it) Miami Vice like feel fuses west coast and hi-tech wizardry to great effect. When Lukather pulls a ballad out of the hat, you can be sure it'll be worth hearing. Case in point 'Turns To Stone', a near perfect ballad that still hits the spot for me years later. Classic late night listening, and one of the highlights of this album for me. The pumping groove of 'It Looks Like Rain' is another winner, containing a cool groovy guitar riff and a chorus that keeps on giving. This song is an example of the famous Steinberg/Kelly collaboration with Luke! The album closes with another Tubes like affair - 'Steppin' On Top Of Your World'. This one didn't do a lot for me unfortunately, but having heard the other ten songs, I come away happy!

In Summary
The album clocks in just under one hour, and is a compulsory acquisition for both Toto fans and guitar technocrat types! 'Lukather' didn't see too much action in the popular charts at the time. Luke will have you believe that the US media and his strained relationship with his label was partly responsible, and when looking back on this timeframe, you would have to sympathize with him. Steve would go on to release four more solo albums between 1993 and 2008, the latest being 'Ever Changing Times' (2008), an album we have yet to review, but undoubtedly will get to soon.

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#1 | DEMONAOR on July 13 2008 08:31:01
Great album from a great song writer,singer and Guitar Ace.gunsgunsgunsgunsgunsgunsguns
#2 | george_the_jack on July 17 2008 00:06:33
What about 'Everchanging Times'? Anything?
#3 | gdazegod on July 17 2008 01:00:25
Are you volunteering GTJ?
#4 | gdazegod on July 17 2008 09:40:10
OK, I will review it. I have it already, just never got around to it, and seeing Luke is out on tour with it, seems appropriate.
#5 | Jez on July 18 2008 18:55:32
Brilliant solo album with one of the best line up of musos I have ever seen on one album. The cream of the crop in the songwriting department aswell, so standards are incredibly high throughout. Completely essential for all the Toto people out there.
#6 | eirrom on July 24 2008 20:56:21
Very good disc. Love his voice and his playing. As good if not better than anything Toto put out over the years.
#7 | dangerzone on August 08 2008 05:54:32
Picked this up based on the comments here and wasn't disappointed. Great album.
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