Despite some critical backlash, it’s official, Weezer‘s cover of the song “Africa” is a hit. The song is topping charts and setting multiple records for the band. Music fans are going Weezer Africa crazy and might make Africa the band’s most popular song of all time.
Africa Is Breaking Records for Weezer
Weezer has had a string of huge hits since they formed in 1992. Some of their most popular songs include “Pork and Beans“, “Beverly Hills”, “Buddy Holly”, “Undone – The Sweater Song”, “Say It Ain’t So”, “Hash Pipe” and “Island in the Sun”.
But their cover of Africa is so popular that it now might be their biggest song ever released.
- Hot 100: Africa is currently peaked #57 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
- Rock Airplay: Weezer topped the chart at #1 on August 18, 2018, on Billboard’s Rock Airplay chart for the first time with its cover of Toto’s “Africa.” The band previously peaked at a #3 with “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” in January 2010. Africa is also the first cover song to ever reach #1 in the Rock Airplay ranking.
- Alternative Songs: Africa is Weezer’s first #1 song on the Alternative Songs list since 2008. It reached #1 on August 11, 2018. It’s also the first cover song to top the list since 311’s remake of The Cure’s “Love Song” in 2004.
- Digital Song Sales: Africa is Weezer’s 2nd most purchased digital song to chart. On June 16, 2018, it reached #5 on the Digital Song Sales list. It’s only bested by “Beverly Hills” which peaked at #1 in April 2005.
- Adult Top 40: At #6, “Africa” becomes Weezer’s most popular song on the Adult Top 40 list. Previously, the band also reached #8 with “Beverly Hills” in November 2005.
- Hot Rock Songs: Africa peaked at #7 on August 11, 2018, on the Hot Rock Songs chart.
- Radio Songs: Weezer has had two songs rank on the all-format Radio Songs chart before; “Beverly Hills” reached #17 in October 2005 and “Buddy Holly” #18 in 1995. Currently peaked at #33 on August 25, 2018, “Africa” is now the band’s 3rd song to break the top 40.
Even though Weezer’s fans love Africa and it keeps setting records, not everyone likes the song. The website Real Clear Life declared Weezer’s version of Africa the worst pop recording of all time. And Consequence Of Sound suggests that Weezer Africa is just a rock n’ roll gimmick.
How Weezer Africa Happened
Weezer didn’t exactly choose to cover the song, Africa. Their fans made that decision for them. It all started with a tweet from a 14-year-old fan named Mary in Ohio. She created a Twitter account solely devoted to getting the band to cover the 1983 chart-topping classic Africa by Toto. She started it all with a simple tweet.
@Weezer cover africa by toto please
— weezer cover africa by toto (@weezerafrica) December 5, 2017
After a few months, the hashtag #WeezerCoverAfrica started to gain traction on Twitter. Eventually, Rivers Cuomo from Weezer saw the tweet and even liked it. Then David Paich, the keyboardist from the band Toto, tweeted his support for the idea.
@RiversCuomo David Paich from Toto is on board. Where do you stand? #WeezerCoverAfrica pic.twitter.com/lplP7ciY0D
— weezer cover africa by toto (@weezerafrica) December 9, 2017
Weezer then surprised the Internet and posted this YouTube video with the audio of their cover of “Africa” and a screenshot of the tweet from @weezerafrica as the cover art.
Fans Love Weezer’s Version Of Africa
Weezer’s cover of “Africa” is so popular that the band is now being invited to talk shows to perform it. In June 2018, Weezer was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and played “Africa” to a huge outdoor audience.
Toto Returns The Favor
Weezer’s cover of “Africa” has generated a lot of new attention for the band, Toto. Toto is so happy with all of the new attention that they decided to return the favor and cover Weezer’s song “Hash Pipe”.
Weezer should have made it their own. Their cover of Africa sounds just like Toto. Weezer should have added a Weezer twist to the song.