July 10, 2009

Variations on Africa

Over the past year or so, it seems that this great song from the 80's group, Toto, has resurfaced several times in some form or another. Perhaps many of you heard a re-work of this song back during Christmas with the viral YouTube video, "12 Days of Christmas". If you're not really in the holiday spirit, you can advance this first video to 1:45 just to hear Toto's tune set to the lyrics of drummer's drumming, pipers piping and maids-a-milking.

You can hear their acapella version of "Africa" on their MySpace page.

This next acapella choir was introduced to me just a few days ago. This group is amazing. From the unsuspecting beat boxer doing drum fills, to the lead melody line, to the phenomal SFX of rain and thunder at the beginning, you'll really enjoy this.

Andy McKee is an incredible guitarist who does things with his guitar that I didn't even know were possible! Here's his instrumental version of "Africa":

And this guitarist, Jimmie Inch, is equally talented - able to lay down 3 separate tracks with three separate guitar parts and three separate vocals. Amazing!

I also found a few cultural shout-outs to this great song. Here's one from Scrubs and one from Chuck (2 shows of which I've never even watched, btw).

Then you have the Africa re-mix (and there are many)...this one's gotta good beat & you can dance to it. Unfortunately, once you've heard the first 25 second loop, there's nothing new.

So what about the original? Before we get to THE original, here's SOME of the original band performing in 2003 in Amsterdam. Believe it or not (I didn't) the lead singer here is the same guy from the 80's.

And now - the #1 version (Billboard, February 1983) we all know & love. You know a song is great when a cheesy video like this can't even mess it up.

Ok, confession time. Here's my misunderstood lyric: "There's nothing that a hundred men on Mars could ever do."

The real lyric: "There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do..."

Read the rest of the lyrics here.

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