Bless the Rivers down in Africa
May 29, 2018 7:26 AM   Subscribe

A 14-year-old from Cleveland had a simple dream -- persuade Weezer to cover Toto's "Africa." Today, the band granted Mary's wish. Enjoy. (For added enjoyment, have this video playing muted while you listen. Yes.)
posted by rewil (46 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
 


Their next album should be all Toto covers.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:52 AM on May 29, 2018 [10 favorites]


This is a great appetizer for the upcoming Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross and Michael McDonald show at the Hollywood Bowl in June. Truly we are at the pinnacle of a smooth music renaissance. Koko would be proud. Thanks, Hollywood Steve!
posted by davejay at 7:53 AM on May 29, 2018 [10 favorites]


and quite honestly if Weezer opens for that show as a surprise guest doing Toto covers, my joy would be entirely unironic
posted by davejay at 7:55 AM on May 29, 2018 [11 favorites]


It is truly the Summer of Yacht Rock! Boat drinks for everyone!
posted by joelhunt at 8:02 AM on May 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


my joy would be entirely unironic

Ringo had Steve Lukather in his All-Starr Band a couple years back. Each of the All-Starrs get their own solo bit in the show, and -- bless him -- Steve played 'Africa'. My joy was thoroughly, completely unironic.

posted by Capt. Renault at 8:04 AM on May 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


Oh, okay, so this is why a few of my Facebook friends are joking about Weezer covering "Rosanna."

I feel so old...
posted by Naberius at 8:12 AM on May 29, 2018


BRB, going to start a campaign for Camila Cabello to cover Tom Waits's "Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis."
posted by delfin at 8:17 AM on May 29, 2018 [7 favorites]


My simple dream was to hear the song in Irish. Now I can die a happy man.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:19 AM on May 29, 2018 [24 favorites]


I completely and unironically love this song and just bought that shit and the original.
posted by darkstar at 8:20 AM on May 29, 2018 [13 favorites]


I shared this in our office slack #music channel and my co-worker next to me jumped up and cheered for joy. So his day and mine have both been made better. It's a good cover.
posted by Fizz at 8:26 AM on May 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


They'd actually covered "Rosanna" last week and posted it. So they were apparently toying with Mary before giving her what she was hoping for all along. This is fun.
posted by azpenguin at 8:26 AM on May 29, 2018 [7 favorites]


Oh, okay, so this is why a few of my Facebook friends are joking about Weezer covering "Rosanna."

They did.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:27 AM on May 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


ricochet biscuit, thanks for the link. That was a spectacular cover.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 8:28 AM on May 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


It is indeed joyous. Or as they say in the old country, mighty.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:34 AM on May 29, 2018


It's WEIRD how this is SO Toto and also SO Weezer, I'm happy.
posted by Twinge at 8:39 AM on May 29, 2018 [7 favorites]


Loved both covers, but the best part of Rosanna is Jeff Porcaro's half-time shuffle drum groove. Weezer just didn't get it quite right, so it left me wanting.
posted by rocket88 at 8:41 AM on May 29, 2018 [1 favorite]



My simple dream was to hear the song in Irish. Now I can die a happy man.


This really puts my 9th grade Latin class's cover of Milli Vanilli's "Blame It On The Rain" (in Latin) to shame.
posted by thivaia at 8:43 AM on May 29, 2018 [4 favorites]


It makes me very old that I think this would have been way better before their synth era - the Pinkerton phase vocal tear would have made it amazing - but I'm nonetheless delighted.
posted by ominous_paws at 8:47 AM on May 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


When I was young, "Africa" was music for old people. Now that I am old, "Africa" is music for young people. GODDAMMIT.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:55 AM on May 29, 2018 [37 favorites]


When I was young, "Africa" was music for old people. Now that I am old, "Africa" is music for young people. GODDAMMIT.

There was a point where the up escalator and the down escalator crossed. If you had listened to the the song on May 29, 2003 at about a quarter past three in the afternoon, you would have really enjoyed it, is what I am saying.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:02 AM on May 29, 2018 [33 favorites]


Wow, ricochet...that Gaelic version is spine chilling.

Does anyone know if it’s possible to buy a copy of this cover?
posted by darkstar at 9:05 AM on May 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Weezer is still together? I thought they broke up after Pinkerton.
posted by Panjandrum at 9:19 AM on May 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


OK, I was skeptical about that video accompaniment, but dang, you weren't kidding.
posted by schroedinger at 9:23 AM on May 29, 2018


Perpetuum Jazzile's a cappella cover of "Africa" is my go-to. The Gaelic cover is a cover of their version.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:32 AM on May 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Loved both covers, but the best part of Rosanna is Jeff Porcaro's half-time shuffle drum groove. Weezer just didn't get it quite right, so it left me wanting.

Despite not being an amazing drummer, Pat has A Sound, and he does it on both songs. Even though he does play the Purdie shuffle on "Rosanna," he sure still sounds like Pat.

Also, Christ, could "Africa" be a little more distorted? It's like the Raw Power remaster up in there.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:36 AM on May 29, 2018


Those rainstorms, though.
posted by greermahoney at 9:43 AM on May 29, 2018 [6 favorites]


I know surprisingly few people who would know of both bands, but I'm gonna forward this along anyway. Can't wait to have a listen when I get home tonight.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 9:48 AM on May 29, 2018


Melodic.

But would *this version* make Patton Oswald want to kill himself?
posted by Faintdreams at 9:50 AM on May 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Those rainstorms, though.

previously ...

Toto always sucked ...

Except one night, maybe 1982, I'm driving home through west coast rain, coming down off strong acid (not a good idea to be driving on acid, I admit, but I was young and silly then) and the car only had AM radio ... and on comes this Grammy Award winning song by Toto that I fucking hated ...

And I loved it, so flowing and exquisitely arranged, and exactly what my half-melting consciousness needed at that moment in space-time.

But Toto still suck.

posted by philip-random at 10:26 AM on May 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Thank you—I also completely and I ironically love the original, and this cover made me very happy.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:12 AM on May 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


In other uplifting Weezer-related content this might be a good thread to remind folks that Nerf Herder made a song about touring with Weezer in 1997 and it's tops.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:13 AM on May 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


I like some Weezer stuff and I like Africa, but wow, I do not like that cover. The chorus sounds like two different songs are being played at once.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:48 PM on May 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


It's been a year or longer since I've checked in at MeFi. And this. It's fate. Thanks.
posted by Doohickie at 5:24 PM on May 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


And that Gaelic version.



Damn.



<3
posted by Doohickie at 5:27 PM on May 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


So Fall 1982 was my second year at college and one of the perks of our student apartment complex was this newfangled thing "cable tv".

In between watching Hawaii Five-0 episodes we would occasionally flip through the 20 or so available channels. One channel, every time we would flip past it--EVERY time, I'm not joking--it was playing either this thing with a bunch of guys dancing around on a giant-sized book with the title "Africa" or this other one with a bunch of guys hanging around on a sailing ship and singing.

Every time we came across one of those--or say the hillbillies prancing around in overalls and playing accordions or the disembodied singing ghost of Phil C--we would just hurry up and skip onwards to the next channel.

You know how sometimes when they are starting up a new TV channel and in the meanwhile before they actually get it up and running they fill the airtime with like videos of goldfish in an aquarium or a fireplace with burning wood or maybe some generic pop music along with random landscape videos or whatever.

Or maybe they had some 'real' programs at certain times of day, but just used this type of filler stuff for the rest of the day.

So every time we flipped past this channel, we would sort of wonder outloud to ourselves--Hey, what's up with this weird channel? How come they are still playing these guys singing on the sailing ship over and over again? Kind of offbeat filler material, isn't it? It's kind of intriguing filler in its own way, but couldn't possibly be a real program, right? Wonder when the real programming is going to start?

After a few seconds we would flip onward, so we never caught on that there were programs, VJs, etc. Just these same few odd music selections with vaguely related videos that played over and over and over.

When our roommate from California moved in, he was appalled at our lack of sophistication re: cable tv & music videos, and that is when we got started watching each of these and these at least 400 times each. These VJs ring a lot of bells as well.

And that was my introduction to MTV. I guess even then I was more on the trailing than the leading edge of the pop culture revolution . . .
posted by flug at 8:01 PM on May 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Oh jeez. My comment should say UNironically, not "I ironically."
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:20 PM on May 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


So some folks on the Red Sox subreddit have been cutting together Red Sox grand slams with Toto's Africa (reddit links), and they've now played it mid-inning at Fenway a few times, and I don't understand why this song is suddenly inescapable but I guess I'm OK with it? The Community version will always be my favorite.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:09 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


ooh ooh do "Hold the Line" next
posted by sydnius at 7:25 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


My simple dream was to hear the song in Irish.

It's only covered in human languages? rIgh.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:39 AM on May 30, 2018


ooh ooh do "Hold the Line" next

Most of the covers I found were straight-up rock covers of the original arrangement, because it rocks. This one has a nice accordion part.

And the best name for a Toto cover band: Dorothy's Dog.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:34 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]




And that Gaelic version.



Damn.


I have actually listened to it and watched the video a lot more times since I posted it here than I did before, when I just had it filed away as a curiosity. I watched it back to back today with a scruffy Toto doing the song live and with minimal energy in 1982; it’s anazing how the original artist doesn’t hold a candle to a couple hundred fresh-scrubbed teenagers 35 years later doing a joyous and faithful rendition. Most of these kids’ grandparents would have been the ones buying the album when it came out. Now there’s a thought.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:27 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


So, my boyfriend had heard this cover talked about on wherever it is that he hangs out online, and I said yea, there was a metafilter post about it too, so we listened. and we were puzzled. Usually covers that get a lot of attention make radical changes to the source material? or at least, in the genres we generally listen to (punk and industrial) they do. Anyway, then youtube decided to play us this, and all was well.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:59 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


This is still my favourite (and safest!) cover of 'Africa'.
posted by MarchHare at 8:21 PM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


And now, live (it is still not good, and also Rivers appears to be reading the lyrics from a laptop, karaoke-style).
posted by uncleozzy at 4:46 AM on June 14, 2018


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