An anthemic rock song that celebrates the beauty and diversity of the African continent.

Toto’s 1982 hit song “Africa” has become a beloved classic over the decades, with its iconic keyboard riff and catchy chorus still resonating with listeners today. The song tells the story of a man’s journey to Africa, where he experiences the beauty and mystery of the continent, but also feels the pain and suffering of its people. It’s a song that speaks to the universal human experience of searching for something more in life, while also recognizing the challenges and difficulties that come with that journey.

One of the most memorable aspects of “Africa” is its distinctive keyboard riff, played by David Paich on a Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer. Paich has said that he was inspired by the sounds of marimbas and steel drums when he wrote the riff, which is instantly recognizable to fans of the song. The melody is accompanied by a driving rhythm section, including Jeff Porcaro’s drumbeat and Steve Porcaro’s electronic percussion, giving the song a pulsing energy that propels it forward.

Lyrically, “Africa” is a song about the search for meaning and purpose in life. The narrator sings about his journey to a place “where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow,” and the feeling of being lost and alone in a strange and unfamiliar land. But he also sees the beauty and mystery of Africa, and recognizes that it has a power and magic all its own. The song’s chorus, with its repeated refrain of “I bless the rains down in Africa,” has become an iconic anthem of hope and renewal, capturing the essence of the song’s message.

Over the years, “Africa” has become one of Toto’s most enduring songs, and has been covered by numerous artists and featured in countless films, TV shows, and advertisements. It’s a testament to the power of music to connect people across generations and cultures, and to the enduring appeal of a great song. As long as people continue to search for meaning and purpose in their lives, “Africa” will remain a beloved classic that speaks to the heart and soul of the human experience.

Fun Fact

The song’s lyrics were written by David Paich, who had never been to Africa. He was inspired to write the song after seeing a National Geographic documentary about the continent.

In 2018, the band Weezer released a cover version of the song, which became a massive hit and brought the song back to the forefront of popular culture. Toto later returned the favor by covering Weezer’s hit song “Hash Pipe” in a live performance.

About the Band

Toto is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1977. The band’s lineup has changed several times over the years, but its core members have included David Paich, Steve Lukather, Bobby Kimball, Jeff Porcaro, and Steve Porcaro.

Toto is known for their eclectic mix of musical styles, which includes elements of pop, rock, soul, funk, progressive rock, hard rock, R&B, blues, and jazz. The band has released 14 studio albums, which have sold over 40 million copies worldwide. Toto has won seven Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for Toto IV (1982). The band is still touring and recording today, and they continue to be one of the most popular and successful rock bands in the world.

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