For months now, a teenage Weezer fan in Cleveland has been running a viral campaign attempting to convince Weezer to cover “Africa,” a deeply cheesy and kind of excellent sweeping pop song by Toto, which went to #1 in 1982. There’s a Twitter account dedicated to it and everything. The fan, whose name is Mary, says that the whole campaign started as a joke but “now it’s my thing.” Well, Weezer have now responded to that request — sort of. They’ve covered another Toto song. A song that isn’t “Africa.”
Nobody seems to much remember Toto’s single “Rosanna” today the same way that they remember “Africa” — possibly because “Rosanna” was not featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. But “Rosanna,” like “Africa,” was a big hit. It was the first single from Toto IV, the same album that produced “Africa.” “Rosanna” didn’t make it to #1 on the Hot 100, but it did stay at #2 for five weeks in a row. (The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me?” and Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” kept it out of the top spot.) It won the Record Of The Year Grammy. The Art Of Noise sampled it.
Weezer’s cover is a chunky piano-led rocker, and it embraces all the grand and cheesy hooks of the original. There’s no wink in Rivers Cuomo’s voice — there’s never any wink in his voice — and the band even nails all the synth-horn flourishes. It’s immediately my favorite Weezer song in a while. Below, check out both the new cover and the Toto original.
— weezer cover africa by toto (@weezerafrica) May 24, 2018
Weezer’s “Rosanna” cover is out now at iTunes.