Toto’s Africa

As mentioned in a previous past, I love all the songs on Toto’s fourth album, but I decided to use the hit song ‘Africa’ because I believe it really stands out, not just on the album but on the radio as well. To me it’s a real masterpiece and it is complex, but not complicated to the listener. It’s a unique song with the whole mix of rhythm, tone colours and keyboard sound, melodies and lyrics, but the depth of the song can be heard in the details:

Great intro with the iconic beat, then ‘call and answer’ keyboard melodies.

Great vocal melody and lyrics… flows like a story drawing the listener in…(I love the imagery: ‘She’s coming in, 12:30 flight, the moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation…’

Great simple drum fill leading into chorus…

Great vocal harmonies in the chorus, and I love the chord progression with the lulling rhythm (and the bass).

Great lead-off after climax of each chorus, that gives a bit of a ‘breather’ (note bass solo right at the end.)

Great layering (e.g.pan-flute sound in descending motif comes in on second verse, distorted guitar comes towards the end to thicken the sound, ) and ‘unlayering’ or stripping down to trail off in the ending.

Great guitarist, because he knows when to play, and when not to play. (I wanted to do a different song with a guitar solo off the album as many demonstrate how Steve Lukather can just ‘hit the right notes’ , but Africa is such a great song I had to choose it.)

I feel I could listen to this song a hundred times before I get to the bottom of it…



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