4 Classic Songs by Various Artists Featuring Toto’s David Paich

Founding Toto keyboardist/singer David Paich celebrated his 70th birthday on June 25, 2024. Paich is incredibly gifted musician, songwriter, arranger who’s responsible for composing and co-writing many of his band’s best-known songs, including “Africa,” “Rosanna,” and “Hold the Line.”

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Beyond his work with Toto, Paich has collaborated with a variety of other famous artists, starting several years before he co-founded his own famous group in 1977.

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David retired as a full-time touring member of Toto in 2005 because of health issues, but he still occasionally performs with the band. Paich also continues to contribute to Toto’s recording projects. In 2022, he released his debut solo album, Forgotten Toys.

In honor of Paich’s big birthday, here are four famous songs by other well-known artists on which he’s featured:

[RELATED: Rosanna Arquette, a High School Sweetheart, and the Women Who May Have Inspired Toto’s 1982 Hit “Rosanna”]

“Lowdown” – Boz Scaggs (1976)

Paich was a major contributor to Boz Scaggs’ 1976 breakthrough album, Silk Degrees. He co-wrote five of the album’s 10 songs with Scaggs, solely composed another tune, and played various keyboards on every track.

Among the songs Paich co-wrote was the record’s, and Scaggs’, biggest hit, the funky, soulful “Lowdown.” The tune reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also won a Grammy in 1977 in the Best Rhythm & Blues Song category.

“Got to Be Real” – Cheryl Lynn (1978)

Paich co-wrote R&B singer Cheryl Lynn’s classic 1978 disco hit “Got to Be Real” with Lynn and composer/producer David Foster. The song is featured on Lynn’s 1978 self-titled debut album, which David co-produced with his father, Marty Paich.

Paich’s dad was a respected jazz pianist, composer, arranger, producer, and conductor. David also played keyboards on every song on the Cheryl Lynn album.

“Got to Be Real” reached No. 12 on the Hot 100 and topped the Billboard R&B singles chart for the first week of 1979. In a 2015 interview with Songfacts, Paich said the track was one the songs he most proud of producing.

“The Girl Is Mine” – Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney (1982)

Paich played keyboards or synthesizers on four tracks on Michael Jackson’s 1982 Thriller album, the best-selling album of all time. Among the songs featuring Paich is “The Girl Is Mine,” a duet between Jackson and Paul McCartney that was Thriller’s lead single.

The light pop tune featured Jackson and McCartney playfully bickering about who had dibs on a particular lady friend.

The single was released a little over a month before Thriller. It peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Billboard R&B chart for three weeks.

Paich played acoustic piano on the song and also collaborated with producer Quincy Jones on the track’s rhythm arrangement.

In the 2015 Songfacts interview, Paich said working on “The Girl Is Mine” was “a magic moment in the studio. … [I]t was like, ‘I’ve died and gone to producer’s heaven and artist’s heaven.”

“All She Wants to Do Is Dance” – Don Henley (1984)

Paich played keyboards on four tracks featured on Eagles co-founder Don Henley’s second solo album, Building the Perfect Beast. David’s contributions included playing synthesizer on Henley’s hit single “All She Wants to Do Is Dance.”

The upbeat, funky rock song, which was written by veteran session musician Danny Kortchmar, reached No. 9 on the Hot 100.

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