Okay… so here’s the thing… Confession time…
I kinda love “Africa” by Toto (atrocious music video notwithstanding). And for that matter, if atrocious music videos are the litmus test for any song’s worth, then we would all be obligated to hate most of Rush’s catalogue. And we all know that Rush is awesome.
Yet, for as much as I semi-secretly love “Africa”, I’m not yet sure if it’s quite good enough for me to forgive Toto for writing, recording, and performing “Rosanna“.
In the interest of fairness and full disclosure, I’ll admit that when I was younger, a foolish misunderstanding of the title led me to believe that somebody had intentionally written an deliberately weak soft-rock love song about Roseanne Barr.
This obviously cast an already bad song in an even more decisively negative light.
Fortunately, in spite of the bad taste left in my ear by “Rosanna” and the psychological scarring left by my unfortunate misunderstanding of it, I still find that “Africa” lands squarely on the happier side of my bipolar relationship with the 1980’s passing World Music fixation.
That said, two questions nag me:
Is “Africa” an adequate penance for “Rosanna”? And why am I not listening to it right now?