Weezer’s cover of “Africa” launches at No. 9 on the survey dated June 9, while “Rosanna” starts at No. 29. The originals hit Nos. 1 and 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983 and 1982, respectively.
Why two Toto covers? In late 2017, a Twitter account imploring Weezer to cover “Africa” launched, scoring media attention in the process. However, Weezer had largely ignored the account until May 24, when, instead of covering “Africa,” the band tossed up a fairly faithful rendition of “Rosanna.”
Weezer’s trolling of “Africa”-yearning fans was short-lived, though, as the band released its tried-and-true take on “Africa” on May 29.
With just three days of digital sales and streaming, plus six days of radio airplay, in the tracking week, “Africa” arrives straight in the top 10 of Hot Rock Songs, which blends streaming, radio airplay and sales data. Weezer earns its best start on the chart (which began in 2009), fueled by 2.6 million U. S. streams and 17,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen Music.
“Africa” is Weezer’s second Hot Rock Songs top 10 and first since 2010, when “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” peaked at No. 3 that January. The No. 3 bow of “Africa” on both Rock Digital Song Sales and Alternative Digital Song Sales brings the band’s best rank on the tallies, besting the No. 8 peak of “Thank God for Girls” on each ranking in 2015.
Weezer’s “Rosanna,” meanwhile, begins with 681,000 streams and 4,000 sold. It debuts at Nos. 13 and 15, on Alternative Digital Song Sales and Rock Digital Song Sales, respectively.
“Africa” is now being promoted to alternative radio as a result of its meme-driven success. It follows a pair of singles that the band released from last year’s Pacific Daydream album, most recently “Happy Hour,” which peaked at No. 9 on the Alternative Songs airplay chart in January, marking the band’s 14th top 10, dating to its first (“Undone – The Sweater Song”) in 1994.