Africa (Toto song)
|Single by Toto|
|from the album Toto IV|
|B-side||"Good for You" (US)
"We Made It" (international)
"Africa" (live) (1990 re-release)
|Released||May 10, 1982|
|Recorded||October 25, 1981|
|Writer(s)||David Paich, Jeff Porcaro|
|Toto singles chronology|
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.
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."
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."
The music video was directed by Steve Barron. 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 (Jenny Douglas-McRae) 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 inter-cut with shots of a spinning globe and the band performing atop a stack of hardcover books. On the top of the stack of the books, in which the band performs on, is the book Africa.
In popular culture
"Africa" has also been adopted by the New England Revolution, an American professional association football club, as their anthem. It is played every match day and sung by the supporters. In late summer of 2014 Foster Farms debuted a commercial featuring a choir of chickens clucking the music of Toto's Africa.
"Africa" is the unofficial anthem of Lawrence University's annual Great Midwest Trivia Contest.
- Steve Lukather – backing vocals, guitar
- Bobby Kimball – backing vocal
- David Hungate – bass
- Jeff Porcaro – drums, percussion
- Steve Porcaro – synthesizer
- David Paich – lead and backing vocals, piano, synthesizer
- Jim Horn – recorders
- Lenny Castro – congas, percussion
- Joe Porcaro – marimbas, percussion
- Timothy B. Schmitt – backing vocal
Charts and certifications
Sales and certifications
It also reached number 1 on the New Zealand iTunes Charts on 15 May 2013.
Versions and Samples
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2013)|
- 1983: The Shadows, an instrumental version on their album XXV
- 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 Africa, with more than 15 million YouTube views
- 2009: Jeffster! a fictional cover band from the show Chuck, in the episode "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.
- Italian-American 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, Bite the Bullet, and reached number 2 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100.
- The song was featured in the Chuck season 2 episode "Chuck Versus the Best Friend."
- The song was featured in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" as part of the "Emotion 98.3" playlist.
- The song was featured twice in the Family Guy episode "Internal Affairs".
- Betty White, Danny Pudi and Donald Glover performed a version of the song in the Community episode "Anthropology 101".
- The song was featured in Top Gear (series 19) during the 2-part Africa special when it was played on a megaphone by Jeremy Clarkson as the trio searched for the source of the Nile River.
- American rapper Rich Homie Quan sampled "Africa" in his song "Reloaded".
- The song was used in an advertisement for Castle Lager in South Africa in the late 1990s.
- Africa (Rose Laurens song) (another international hit also in 1983)
- Africa (Karl Wolf song)
- List of RPM number-one singles of 1983
- List of Hot 100 number-one singles of 1983 (U.S.)
- "Explore: Soft Rock | Top Songs". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 12 November 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- "Official TOTO Website - Encyclopedia". www.toto99.com. 2007-04-18. Retrieved 2011-11-03.[dead link]
- "Official TOTO Website - Releases". www.toto99.com. Retrieved 2011-11-03.[dead link]
- Keyboard, 09/1995
- "Toto - "Africa"". mvdbase.com. Retrieved 2011-11-03.
- "David Paich to perform at United Nations M.D.G. Awards". Totonetwork.com. Retrieved 2012-06-27.[dead link]
- "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.
- 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 Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
- "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