is a Africa hit single by rock band Toto, and is one of the band's most recognizable songs. It was included on their 1982 album , and reached number one on the Toto IV chart in February 1983 and number three on the Billboard Hot 100 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 ]
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 ]
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."
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. In the video, a researcher in a library (portrayed by band member [6 ] 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 ]
Australian Kent Music Report
[8 ] 5
Austrian Top 40
[9 ] 7
Belgian Singles Chart
RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 8
RPM Top Singles 1
Dutch Singles Chart
[9 ] 2
Finnish Singles Chart
French Singles Chart
German Singles Chart
[9 ] 14
Irish Singles Chart
Italian Singles Chart
New Zealand Singles Chart
[9 ] 5
Polish Singles Chart
South African Singles Chart
Spanish Radio Chart
Swiss Singles Chart
[9 ] 6
U.K. Singles Chart
[10 ] 3
Billboard Hot 100 1
Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 3
Year-end charts [ edit ]
Belgian VRT Top 30
Dutch Top 40
German Media Control Chart
Australian Kent Music Report
RPM Top Singles 16
Italian Singles Chart
UK Singles Chart
Billboard Hot 100 24
Sales and certifications [ edit ]
It also reached number 1 on the New Zealand iTunes Charts on 15 May 2013.
Versions and Samples [ edit ]
Maurizio Vandelli, an Italian singer, released an Italo Disco version under the alias Key Of Dreams 1983:
The Shadows, an instrumental version on their album XXV 1999:
Kiss Destination, a pop/R&B duo from Japan, on their 1999 album, Gravity. It was also released as a single that year as well. 2008:
Chris de Burgh on his covers album Footsteps 2008:
Lowry in the Engine Room Recordings' compilation album Guilt by Association Vol. 2 2009:
Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra on their 2009 release, The Dreaming EP 2009:
Perpetuum Jazzile, a cappella group from Slovenia, on their album , with more than 15 million YouTube views Africa [16 ] 2009:
Jeffster! a fictional cover band from the show , in the episode " Chuck Chuck Versus the Best Friend". 2011:
Relient K, an alternative Christian rock band, on their cover album, Is for Karaoke 2012:
Quietdrive, an alternative rock band, on their covers album "Your Record/Our Spin" 2012: Progressive metal band
Chaos Divine released a cover version as a single with two original b-sides. 2012:
Low covered the song  as part of The A.V. Club's Undercover project. 2014: Metal Artist 331Erock covered it as part of his "Meets Metal" songs on YouTube
Samples [ edit ]
trance DJ and producer Louie DeVito sampled "Africa" in his song, "2 Take Me Away". American Pop singer
JoJo sampled "Africa" in her song " Anything",which served as the third single from her 2006 sophomore studio album, . The High Road American Pop/R&B singer
Jason Derülo sampled "Africa" in his song " Fight for You" from his 2011 sophomore studio album, . Future History American rapper
Wiz Khalifa sampled "Africa" in his song "Huey Newton". American rapper
Ja Rule sampled "Africa" in his song "Reign". American rapper
Nas sampled "Africa" in his song "New World". American rapper
Xzibit sampled "Africa" in his song "Heart Of Man", which is featured on his 2002 album . Man vs. Machine American
a cappella group Straight No Chaser sampled "Africa" in their cover of " The Twelve Days of Christmas". Australian
progressive metal band Chaos Divine recorded a cover of "Africa" as a single in 2012. Lebanese/Canadian Pop/R&B singer
Karl Wolf sampled "Africa" in his own remake also called " Africa", with added lyrics and musical composition and arrangement. The Karl Wolf song also featured a rap section by the Canadian-Bahamian rapper Culture. The track served as the first single from his 2007 sophomore studio album, and reached number 2 on the Billboard Bite the Bullet Canadian Hot 100. [17 ] The song was featured in Season 2 of the TV show
in the episode titled, "Chuck Versus the Best Friend." Chuck The song was featured twice in the
episode, " Family Guy Internal Affairs".
Betty White, Danny Pudi and Donald Glover performed a version of the song in the episode Community Anthropology 101. The song was featured in
during the 2-part Africa Special when it was played on a megaphone by Jeremy Clarkson as the trio search for the source of the Top Gear (series 19) River Nile American rapper
Rich Homie Quan sampled "Africa" in his song "Reloaded" The song was used in an advert for
Castle Lager in South Africa in the late 1990s. [18 ]
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ "Explore: Soft Rock | Top Songs". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 12 November 2011 . Retrieved 8 September 2014.
^ "David Paich to perform at United Nations M.D.G. Awards". Totonetwork.com . Retrieved 2012-06-27.
^ "Official TOTO Website - Encyclopedia". www.toto99.com. 2007-04-18 . Retrieved 2011-11-03.
^ "Official TOTO Website - Releases". www.toto99.com . Retrieved 2011-11-03.
^ Keyboard, 09/1995
^ "Toto - "Africa. mvdbase.com "" . Retrieved 2011-11-03.
^ "Foster Farms TV Commercial, 'Africa. iSpot.tv '" . Retrieved 8 September 2014.
^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
^ a b c d e Steffen Hung. "Toto - Africa". swedishcharts.com . Retrieved 2011-11-03.
^ "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". everyHit.com. 2000-03-16 . Retrieved 2011-11-03.
^ "Canadian single certifications – Toto – Africa". Music Canada.
^ "Italian single certifications – Toto – Africa" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Select Online in the field Scegli la sezione . Select Week -- and Year ---- . Enter Toto in the field Artista . Click Avvia la ricerca
^ "New Zealand single certifications – Toto – Africa". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand.
^ "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
^ "American single certifications – Toto – Africa". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced , then click Format , then select Single , then click SEARCH
^ Glasba za dobro jutro: Perpetuum Jazzile, Africa. Delo, 7 August 2013, Accessed on 17 September 2013.
^ Billboard.com Canadian Hot 100 - Karl Wolf artist page
^ http://www.thesouthafrican.com/top-ten-south-african-adverts-from-our-younger-days Retrieved 19 May 2014
Further reading [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]