10 Classic Albums You Didn’t Know Feature Toto’s Steve Lukather

Over the course of nearly 50 years, Steve Lukather has proved himself guitar royalty. His work in the rock band Toto certainly hasn’t hurt that reputation, but it’s his endeavors behind the scenes that cemented his status.

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Lukather built a career early on as a session musician, becoming one of the most sought-after guitarists throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He has lent his skills to the greats and would soon become one himself. Below are 10 classic albums you may not have known feature the legend.

1. For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge – Van Halen (1991)

Lukather makes an appearance on the Sammy Hagar-fronted Van Halen album, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. He steps out from behind the six-string for a spell to take up a place behind the mic. His backing vocals can be heard on the track, “Top of the World.” He also appears on the band’s 1995 album, Balance, providing vocals.

2. Dancing on the Ceiling – Lionel Richie (1986)

Lukather’s guitar chops appear on Lionel Richie’s 1986 release, Dancing on the Ceiling, specifically on the classic song “Say You, Say Me.” The guitarist is in good company with Eric Clapton, Sheila E., Richard Marx, and even the band Alabama all make an appearance on the album.

3. The Wild Heart – Stevie Nicks (1983)

Lukather also lent his skills to Stevie Nicks’ 1983 record, The Wild Heart. He’s the guitarist heard on her hit “Stand Back.”

4. Oh Yes I Can – David Crosby (1989)

David Crosby’s 1989 release, Oh Yes I Can, finds Lukather showing off his stringed skills on the tracks “Melody” and “In the Wide Ruin.”

5. Vagabond Heart – Rod Stewart (1991)

Lukather lends his axe to Rod Stewart’s 1991 album, Vagabond Heart. His skills are featured on the anthemic hit “Rhythm of My Heart” and the bop-along banger “The Motown Song” with The Temptations.

6. Physical – Olivia Newton-John (1981)

The guitarist can be heard on Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 classic record, Physical. His fiery guitar solo amps up the title track while his skills on the acoustic guitar flutter throughout the song, “Carried Away.” Lukather also co-penned the track “Take a Chance” which appeared on the album’s 2021 deluxe edition.

He can also be heard on several other of Newton-John’s releases like 1978’s Totally Hot and Soul Kiss from 1985.

7. I Am – Earth, Wind & Fire (1979)

Earth, Wind & Fire’s acclaimed 1979 album, I Am, features Lukather’s guitar chops throughout. He would also appear on the group’s album Faces the following year.

8. Wet – Barbra Streisand (1979)

Lukather has appeared on many a Barbra Streisand album, but most notably on her 1979 release, Wet. His guitar stylings can be heard throughout. He can also be found on her 1978 album, Songbird, and 1984’s Emotion.

9. We’ve Got Tonight – Kenny Rogers (1983)

Kenny Rogers is another artist to whom Lukather has lent his playing. His guitar chops can be heard on Roger’s We’ve Got Tonight from 1983, specifically on the track “All My Life.”

10. Wild Things Run Fast – Joni Mitchell (1982)

Joni Mitchell’s acclaimed 1982 release, Wild Things Run Fast, features Lukather on several songs, like the title track, “Chinese Café / Unchained Melody,” “Man to Man,” and “Love.” His playing can also be heard on Mitchell’s 1985 album, Dog Eat Dog.

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