For the past few months, one particular Weezer fan, an Ohio teenager named Mary, has been running a viral campaign attempting to convince Weezer to cover Toto’s massive 1982 cheese-pop hit “Africa.” Last week, Weezer responded to that campaign in a way that was part fan-service and part troll move. They covered a different Toto song, the 1982 #2 hit “Rosanna.” That seemed like it might be the end of it. But no: Today: Weezer have given the people what they want. They have released their “Africa” cover.
“Africa” is, of course, a singular song, a group of scrubby and anonymous prog veterans and session-musician virtuosos rising up to make something both ridiculous and sublime. Songwriters David Paich and Jeff Porcaro had never been to Africa when they wrote “Africa,” and the lyrics are pure nonsense, but the music captures that moment when lush, synthy soft-rock was at its cultural zenith. It sounds like money.
Weezer have never been a band immune to silly stunts, and it seems only right that they have covered the song in an absolutely straight-faced way, nailing all the expensive sound effects and keeping the production lush and layered, though not as lush and layered as it was on the original. Rivers Cuomo sings that cover like he means it. Check it out below, and watch the video for the original.
Weezer’s “Africa” is out now at iTunes.