Africa (Toto song)

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"Africa"
Single by Toto
from the album Toto IV
B-side "Good for You"
"We Made It" (Europe)
"Africa" (live) (1990 re-release)
Released May 10, 1982
Format 7", CD
Recorded October 25, 1981
Genre Soft rock[1]
Length 4:55
Label Columbia
Writer(s) David Paich, Jeff Porcaro
Producer(s) Toto
Toto singles chronology
"Make Believe"
(1982)
"Africa"
(1982)
"I Won't Hold You Back"
(1982)
Audio sample
file info · help

Africa is a hit single by rock band Toto, and is one of the band's most recognizable songs. It was included on their 1982 album Toto IV, and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1983 and number three on the UK Singles Chart the same month. The song was written by the band's keyboardist/vocalist David Paich and drummer Jeff Porcaro.

Africa continues to be played at all of Toto's live concerts. It was also sung by Paich at the 2009 Millennium Development Goals Awards Ceremony.[2][dead link]

Background[edit]

The initial idea for the song came from David Paich. Jeff Porcaro explains the idea behind the song: "... a white boy is trying to write a song on Africa, but since he's never been there, he can only tell what he's seen on TV or remembers in the past."[3][dead link]

David Paich said: "At the beginning of the '80s I watched a late night documentary on TV about all the terrible death and suffering of the people in Africa. It both moved and appalled me and the pictures just wouldn't leave my head. I tried to imagine how I'd feel about if I was there and what I'd do."[4][dead link]

Musically the song took quite some time to assemble, as Paich and Porcaro explain:

"On 'Africa' you hear a combination of marimba with GS 1. The kalimba is all done with the GS 1; it's six tracks of GS 1 playing different rhythms. I wrote the song on CS-80, so that plays the main part of the entire tune."[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Steve Barron.[6] In the video, a researcher in a library (portrayed by band member David Paich) tries to match a scrap of a picture to the book from which it was torn out. As he continues his search, a black female librarian working at a desk takes occasional notice of him, while a native in the surrounding jungle begins to close in on the library. When the researcher finds a book entitled Africa, the native throws a spear, toppling stacks of books. Africa falls open to the page from which the scrap was torn, but a lantern lands on it and sets it on fire, after which the librarian's eyeglasses are shown falling to the floor. The scenes are intercut with shots of a spinning globe and the band performing atop a stack of hardcover books.

This video also features Mike Porcaro on bass, replacing David Hungate who had already left Toto before the video was made.

Use in commercials[edit]

In late summer of 2014 Foster Farms debuted a commercial featuring a choir of chickens clucking the music of Toto's Africa.[7]

Personnel[edit]

Guest musicians[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

It also reached number 1 on the New Zealand iTunes Charts on 15 May 2013.[citation needed]

Versions and Samples[edit]

Covers[edit]

Samples[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Explore: Soft Rock | Top Songs". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 12 November 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "David Paich to perform at United Nations M.D.G. Awards". Totonetwork.com. Retrieved 2012-06-27. 
  3. ^ "Official TOTO Website - Encyclopedia". www.toto99.com. 2007-04-18. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  4. ^ "Official TOTO Website - Releases". www.toto99.com. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  5. ^ Keyboard, 09/1995
  6. ^ "Toto - "Africa"". mvdbase.com. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  7. ^ "Foster Farms TV Commercial, 'Africa'". iSpot.tv. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Steffen Hung. "Toto - Africa". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  10. ^ "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". everyHit.com. 2000-03-16. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  11. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Toto – Africa". Music Canada. 
  12. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Toto – Africa". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. 
  13. ^ "British single certifications – Toto – Africa". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Africa in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  14. ^ "American single certifications – Toto – Africa". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  15. ^ Glasba za dobro jutro: Perpetuum Jazzile, Africa. Delo, 7 August 2013, Accessed on 17 September 2013.
  16. ^ Billboard.com Canadian Hot 100 - Karl Wolf artist page
  17. ^ http://www.thesouthafrican.com/top-ten-south-african-adverts-from-our-younger-days Retrieved 19 May 2014

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]