Toto's next studio album, Through the Looking Glass, consisted of covers of classic tracks by artists like Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, and Steely Dan.
I'll tell you how that happened. We were all off doing our own stuff, and I was always on the road doing one thing or another, and we reached the point where we were looking at our 25th anniversary, but we didn't have any product. Our manager called us and said "You guys have to do something so you can capitalize on this," but we knew we didn't have enough time to spend another eight or nine months on a record, or we'd be looking at our 27th anniversary instead.
So I think Dave or somebody suggested doing some covers — doing something real quick, a tribute to the music that influenced us, and going out on the road to have some laughs. Simon's studio is in his house, so we just set up in his living room — he engineered — and we put together Through the Looking Glass. All bands do cover records anyway. We got a great deal from EMI to do a one-off thing, which we thought would be a great change of pace, but once again a label refused to release us in the f---ing States, so we had to go through that whole thing again. I don't know what it is about us.
But it was just a fun record. Some people dug it, and some people went after us.
By covering critical favorites like Elvis Costello, you were basically daring your critics to re-air all those old grudges.
The Elvis thing was a piss-take, because we knew he hated us. We thought it would be fun — he writes great songs. But yeah, we did it on purpose. Willfully baiting them. F--- you guys! We'll do whatever the f--- we wanna do. But still, it was an interim record, and a lot of that stuff was very tongue-in-cheek, and I don't think a lot of people got the sarcasm.