82 hit songs from 1982 we'd rather hear than Toto's 'Africa'

Weezer performing Toto's 'Africa' on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'

Weezer performing Toto's 'Africa' on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' YouTube


You hear it more often than many of today’s biggest pop hits. You hear it more often than you did when it was a hit in 1982. You can even hear Weezer performing it, if you’re not careful.

I’m talking, of course, about Toto’s “Africa,” whose resurgence has been one of the strangest pop culture stories in recent memory.

This is not the place to argue the merits or faults of Toto. (Though I should mention that the same year they released “Africa” they played on a far superior album.) This is not the place to question why Americans born after the Reagan Administration find some examples of ’80s kitsch more resonant than others. (Or why they/you are so painfully earnest about it.)

And this is certainly not the place to mention the fact that for a year I lived one apartment away from a couple who soundtracked their moments of intimacy with “Africa” on repeat, the rippling keyboards of Steve Porcaro incompletely concealing their awkward millennial sex noises.

This is the place to say: Enough. And to suggest: Why not be bold and work one of these 82 other 36-year-old songs into your cultural milieu?

Some of these songs are acknowledged classics. Some of these songs are unjustly forgotten curios. Some of these songs probably aren’t very good. Some of these songs are by A Flock of Seagulls.

But all of these songs charted on the Billboard Hot 100 the same year that “Africa” first appeared there, in 1982. And all of these songs would be more welcome to our ears in 2018 than another spin of “Africa.”

P.S. Don’t get any funny ideas, Rivers Cuomo.

Olivia Newton-John – “Make a Move on Me”

Aretha Franklin – “Jump to It”

Cheap Trick – “If You Want My Love”

Steel Breeze – “You Don’t Want Me Anymore”

Scandal – “Goodbye to You”

Vangelis – “Chariots of Fire”

The Go-Gos – “Vacation”

Jerry Reed – “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)”

Prince – “1999”

Stevie Wonder – “That Girl”

Sylvia – “Nobody”

A Flock of Seagulls – “I Ran (So Far Away)

A Flock of Seagulls – “Space Age Love Song”

A Flock of Seagulls – “Wishing (I Had a Photograph of You)”

Men at Work – “Who Can It Be Now?’

ABC – “The Look of Love”

Kim Wilde – “Kids in America”

Ray Parker Jr. – “The Other Woman”

Rush – “New World Man”

Juice Newton – “Love’s Been a Little Bit Hard on Me”

Dionne Warwick – “Heartbreaker”

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – “I Love Rock n Roll”

Tom Tom Club – “Genius of Love”

The Time – “Cool”

Mike Post – “Theme from Magnum P.I.

Walter Murphy – “Theme from E.T.

Bill Conti – “Theme from Dynasty”

Gap Band – “You Dropped a Bomb on Me”

Junior – “Mama Used to Say”

Donna Summer – “Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)”

Gary U.S. Bonds – “Out of Work”

Huey Lewis and the News – “Do You Believe in Love”

The J. Geils Band – “Freeze Frame”

The Motels – “Only the Lonely”

Shalamar – “A Night to Remember”

Marvin Gaye – “Sexual Healing”

Fleetwood Mac – “Hold Me”

The Waitresses – “I Know What Boys Like”

The Monroes – “What Do All the People Know”

Psychedelic Furs – “Love My Way”

Buckner and Garcia – “Pac Man Fever”

The Pointer Sisters – “I’m So Excited”

Kenny Rogers – “Love Will Turn You Around”

Marshall Crenshaw – “Someday Someway”

Evelyn “Champagne” King – “Love Come Down”

Yaz – “Situation”

John Anderson – “Wild and Blue”

Peter Gabriel – “Shock the Monkey”

Diana Ross – “Muscles”

Billy Squier – “Everybody Wants You”

Janet Jackson – “Young Love”

Pia Zadora – “The Clapping Song”

Pat Benatar – “Shadows of the Night”

Luther Vandross – “Bad Boy/Havin’ a Party”

Frida – “I Know There’s Something Going On”

Judas Priest – “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’”

Adam Ant – “Goody Two Shoes”

Culture Club – “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”

Musical Youth – “Pass the Dutchie”

The Pretenders – “Back on the Chain Gang”

Melissa Manchester – “You Should Hear How She Talks About You”

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five – "The Message"

Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force – "Planet Rock"

The Human League – "Don't You Want Me"

Soft Cell – "Tainted Love"

Oak Ridge Boys – “Bobbie Sue”

T.G. Sheppard – “Only One You”

Meco – “Pop Goes the Movies Part 1”

Supertramp – “It’s Raining Again”

Kool & the Gang – “Get Down on It”

Stacy Lattisaw – "Attack of the Name Game"

Rick Springfield – “Don’t Talk to Strangers”

The Rolling Stones – “Hang Fire”

The Cars – “Since You’re Gone”

Deniece Williams – “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle”

Dazz Band – “Let It Whip”

.38 Special – “Caught Up in You”

Haircut One Hundred – “Love Plus One”

George Benson – “Turn Your Love Around”

Jackson Browne – “Somebody’s Baby”

Donald Fagen – “I.G.Y.”

Toto – “Rosanna”