Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bad 80's - Africa

There is a sense of innocense of wonder about those first true music videos in the early 80's that I happen to find very nostalgic. It's clear that artists were fumbling into the new medium, trying to marry their music with moving images while also attempting to tell a story.

One needs to look no further than Toto's Africa  as one of the greatest evidence  of that awkward transition from radio to video. If we ignore the the band's appearance, which screams early 80's Middle Earth festival, the video starts routinely enough: there seems to be a dude, looking for a certain book in an African library (maybe) while a female librarian works on. It makes sense, because I guess the song could be about a guy who is trying to track down a long lost love. I don't know why he would have to go to a tiny library, but this isn't the 80's.

From there, shit starts to get weird. I guess Toto must mean "creepy book demon," because the rest of the video unfolds kind of like a horror movie. After cavorting like miniature pixies atop a stack of books, the lead singer eventually finds that same book, cleverly labeled "Africa;" upon touching the book, the lead singer releases the rest of the demonic band from their leather-bound prison, who immediately go to work burning down the library and killing the poor innocent female librarian.

Thank jeebus for the Kindle and iBooks. I ain't releasing no Totos.

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