Song Sunday: Africa (Toto)

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Discogs Toto Africa Image
Image Credit: Discogs

The blog continues to evolve and Song Saturday has changed to Song Sunday. ~Vic

“It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you…”

Changing things a bit. I’ve got Music Mondays and I’ve had Tune Tuesdays (I may return to that) that showcase music by release date, in five year increments (if I can). Early on, I listed number ones, only. There was also my jump into the 30-Day Song Challenge back in December 2018. Now, I’m stretching Saturday out a bit for some music, too…an idea I got from the Nostalgic Italian. I might even stretch it to Sunday, if I take a notion to. It just depends upon my mood. All blogs evolve and, I’m always looking for new and different things.

This is a song on my playlist on my phone. I have a lot of music on my phone…things that I love to hear when I go out for my afternoon and evening walks or, just sitting in my Adirondack chair, watching the sunset. ~Vic

This song came out in the US in October 1982 and is the tenth track from the album Toto IV. Written by David Paich and Jeff Porcaro, it made it to number one for one week in February 1983.

From Mix Online:

Paich recalls writing Africa on his living room piano.

“Over many years, I had been taken by the UNICEF ads with the pictures of Africa and the starving children. I had always wanted to do something to connect with that and bring more attention to the continent. I wanted to go there, too, so, I sort of invented a song that put me in Africa. I was hearing the melody in my head and, I sat down and played the music in about 10 minutes. And, then, the chorus came out. I sang the chorus out as you hear it. It was like God channeling it. I thought, ‘I’m talented but, I’m not that talented. Something just happened here!'”

Paich, then, proceeded to work on the lyrics for another six months. He brought the skeleton to drummer Jeff Porcaro with the idea of having percussion being an integral part of the composition.

“Jeff got out African sticks with bottle caps that his dad (Joe Porcaro) and Emil Richards (both percussionists) used on National Geographic films. He brought in a marimba and a wooden xylophone kind of thing. This was pre-synthesizer. We didn’t have samples back then. You’re hearing bass marimba, that other instrument and you’re hearing, probably, one of the first loops that was ever done.”

Sadly, Jeff Porcaro passed away nearly ten years later.


13 thoughts on “Song Sunday: Africa (Toto)

    Dayphoto said:
    April 5, 2020 at 11:02 AM

    One of my most favorite of all times songs!

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 5, 2020 at 3:03 PM

      It is a fantastic song. It takes me back to a time when I was visiting a friend and he was trying to teach me to drive a manual transmission.

        Dayphoto said:
        April 5, 2020 at 5:55 PM

        STICK SHIFT! That is how I learned and how all our kids and now grandkids are learning. The grands think the automatic way is the best. 🙂

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          April 6, 2020 at 4:07 AM

          Eh. I prefer stick, any day, everyday. My 2008 Frontier is a stick.

            Dayphoto said:
            April 6, 2020 at 12:11 PM

            They are getting harder and harder to come by.

              The Hinoeuma responded:
              April 6, 2020 at 3:52 PM

              That’s because newer generations aren’t being taught to drive. Many Gen Z types don’t even want their licenses. And, the curious thing is, manual transmissions are easier to work on than automatics. Ask any good mechanic.

              Most manuals, now, are being relegated to the high end sports cars. I wonder if you can still order a manual from the factory. I would think that would still be an option. I remember when manual was the standard and you had to order automatic.

    badfinger20 said:
    April 5, 2020 at 12:42 PM

    I heard this song way too much at the time but…I did appreciate it more when I heard it live during the Ringo and his All Stars… Steve Lukather played it and it was great. It was good hearing a fresh take of it.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 5, 2020 at 3:06 PM

      Got a video?

      This song also has special meaning…and I forgot to list that in the post. It always takes me back to a visit with a friend. He was trying to teach me to drive his manual transmission truck. We tried to date but, it didn’t work with the distance. He eventually went into the Navy and made a career. He and his wife, and three kids, live up in Virginia Beach.

        badfinger20 said:
        April 5, 2020 at 3:10 PM

        I was there…Ringo’s birthday

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 6, 2020 at 3:34 AM

      I just found out that Timothy B. Schmit played on Africa, too…12 string acoustic. This is the kind of layered music I love.

    bereavedandbeingasingleparent said:
    April 11, 2020 at 12:57 PM

    So lucky to see Toto when they supported Tina Turner.

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