“Africa” by Toto (1982)

It completely makes sense (but is purely coincidental) that as I’m attempting to draw together a playlist for the “Yacht Soul” edition of the Jheri Curl Chronicles radio show (airing Wednesday at 10 PM on Radio Free Brooklyn in case you’re unfamiliar) that the next song up is Toto’s yacht rock classic about blessing the rains in the Motherland. Sure, Toto’s music is the epitome of limp, sterile ‘80s rock. But as you’ll find out over the course of this list, I like a lot of limp, sterile ‘80s rock.

It’s worth mentioning that I have never ironically loved this song. Also, this song is difficult as hell to karaoke. If you can get through the Kiliminjaro/Olympus/Serengeti line without tripping over it, I’ll give you a buck.

Excellent chorus (especially the repetition of the title line towards the end), excellent intro, excellent outro. Shame the single/video edit shortens the latter two dramatically.

And a belated shout out to Weezer (I’m updating this post a year after writing it originally) for their excellent cover.

NOT QUITE FIVE STARS…

“Adult Education” by Daryl Hall & John Oates (1983): Daryl & John recruit Nile Rodgers and Bob Clearmountain to help out with this aggressive rock/funk jam. It features a wackadoodle series of school metaphors and a sea of robo-porn “oh yeah”s. And then there’s the video. Only in the ’80s could this series of events be pulled off and sound as great as it does.

“Adventure Of A Lifetime” by Coldplay (2015): When you first heard Coldplay, you figured these dudes were Radiohead-lite. I bet you didn’t expect them to royally (and masterfully) rip off Chic, did you? “Adventure Of A Lifetime” finds Chris Martin and co. indulging their danceable side, with bass and guitar straight outta “I Want Your Love”. It’s a loving tribute, and one of the most upbeat pure pop songs made in the last decade.

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