Less than a week after appearing to give the finger to a Twitter fanpage petitioning for Weezer to cover of ‘Africa’, the band have finally succumbed and put up a recording of Toto’s 1980s anthem.
This is going to require a bit of back story.
Last December, a 14-year-old from Cleveland, USA named Mary set up a Twitter account called ‘Weezer cover Africa by Toto’, with the handle @weezerafrica.
She set to work, tweeting Weezer’s drummer, Pat Wilson, as well as their mercurial frontman, Rivers Cuomo, with a pretty simple message: it’s time to bless the rains by covering Africa by Toto.
And while Wilson responded – “I was sitting at home and I got the alert on my phone from Patrick Wilson and it was just honestly amazing,” Mary told Noisey – and plenty of people got behind the movement, the teen wasn’t all that confident her self-described “absurd joke” would come off.
Then, last week, some six months after Mary’s campaign began, it looked to be ending in tears, as Weezer posted a Toto cover – just not the one to which the Twitter account is dedicated.
— weezer cover africa by toto (@weezerafrica) May 24, 2018
Now, if you’ll allow a brief moment’s editorialising, I would argue ‘Rosanna’ is objectively better than ‘Africa’. When the chorus kicks in – “Meet you all the way” – it’s everything an 80s pop hit should be, to say nothing of the synth solo and that half-time shuffle.
If you need more evidence of its superiority, how about the fact it spent five weeks at No. 2 on the US charts, stuck behind quintessential 80s tracks ‘Don’t You Want Me’ by The Human League and ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor.
Plus, that film clip!
But the Twitter account wasn’t called ‘Weezer cover Rosanna by Toto’, so there was understandable concern that this was Weezer’s way of teasing the account – close, but no cigar!
However, on May 29, the lads revealed themselves to be proper top blokes by finally – finally – making a 14-year-old fan’s dream come true.
— weezer cover africa by toto (@weezerafrica) May 29, 2018
What’s more, the ‘album art’ for the tune is even a tweet sent from the ‘Weezer cover Africa by Toto’ to Rivers.
As for what Toto made of it all, they gave Weezer a big ol’ thumbs up.
— TOTO (@toto99com) May 29, 2018
Of course, as evidence that no good deed goes unpunished, the band are now being flooded by fans who want to hear other covers of their favourite songs.
Maybe we should just let Mary have this one, and be content with what we’ve been given – a pair of Toto covers and one from The Band seems like a pretty decent outcome.