Toto’s “Africa” is literally about white people not understanding Africa. That fact alone is all kinds of great. That should give you all the context you need to take in the video for Africa properly.
“Africa” begins with a man sitting in what I guess is a library. This is the most intense music video about studying that you’ve ever seen. Our stalwart researcher must learn all there is to know about Africa. What part of Africa? Quiet fool! It’s just Africa. It’s all just one place. Wait, were you not aware that this entire thing is about Africa? Well, that’s okay, because they’re going to remind you again.
The “Africa” video also features some of the worst lip-synching I have ever seen. It’s all so blasé. I can’t really blame David Paich though. This is Toto we’re talking about. Ho hum Africa, studying, terrific. The librarian on hand doesn’t particularly seem to care for him. Who can blame her?
But then it’s revealed that the band is playing on a gigantic stack of books! Or, they’re really tiny and playing on a regular stack of books. It doesn’t matter because it’s stupid and great.
Even with the inclusion of giant books/tiny people, the whole thing just kind of drifts along. Until an African native with a spear shows up. He starts a fire that destroys the library of all things AFRICA and chases the librarian off. UMMMMMMMMMM, I may need to excuse myself because this getting uncomfortable. LET’S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE. How about the drummer’s stupid setup?
It’s not quite Journey’s steel drums, but it’s pretty damn goofy. Bonus points for the gong. Speaking of goofy, check out the keyboardist.
If you want to go to an 80s party, here’s your costume. Isn’t that one of Keri Russell’s wigs on The Americans?
The “Africa” video is a really goofy, low energy affair compared to most of the Flashback Friday fare to this point. It means well enough, although the inclusion of an African native wrecking a library is pretttttty iffy. I don’t think they thought that one through. But hey, it was the 80s. Nobody really thought anything through.
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