With the release of Document in 1987, R.E.M. fulfilled its contract with I.R.S. Records. Frustrated that its records did not see satisfactory overseas distribution, in early 1988 the band told I.R.S. head Jay Boberg that it was leaving the label. Guitarist Peter Buck also explained that his group felt it was being pressured to sell well by I.R.S., yet felt I.R.S.'s distributor MCA Records did not consider the ensemble a priority. R.E.M.'s management then approached any record companies that expressed interest in the band. Though other labels offered more money, R.E.M. ultimately signed a deal with Warner Bros. Records—reportedly between $6 million and $12 million—due to the company's assurance of total creative freedom. In light of its move to a major label, the band became defensive in interviews about accusations from some fans who claimed it was selling out.
Goodshirt are an alternative/pop/rock band from Auckland, New Zealand. Its members are Gareth Thomas, brothers Murray and Rodney Fisher and drummer Mike Beehre.
Goodshirt first came to prominence in 2000 with the independent release "Green". After a string of further singles, the band's debut album Good was released in August 2001.
A few more singles were released off the album (through their own label 'Cement' - licensed to EMI New Zealand). One of these, "Sophie", reached number one on the New Zealand singles chart in 2002. Following this success the album was released in Australia, Canada and Japan.
A second album, Fiji Baby, was released at the beginning of 2004. Its notable singles include "Fiji Baby", "Buck It Up" and "Lucy".
The band went on hiatus in 2005, but in early 2012 they began playing again with support gigs for Hall & Oates and Icehouse as part of the A Day on the Green festival. In May 2012 Goodshirt released the new EP Skinny Mirror and including the singles "So Charming" and "In Over Our Heads".
The initial idea for the song came from David Paich. Jeff Porcaro explains the idea behind the song: "a boy is trying to write a song on Africa, but since he's never been there, he can only tell what he's seen on TV or remembers in the past."
David Paich said: "At the beginning of the '80s I watched a late night documentary on TV about all the terrible death and suffering of the people in Africa. It both moved and appalled me and the pictures just wouldn't leave my head. I tried to imagine how I'd feel about if I was there and what I'd do."
Musically the song took quite some time to assemble, as Paich and Porcaro explain:
Africa and De viris illustribus were partially inspired by Petrarch's visit to Rome in 1337. According to Bergin and Wilson (p. ix). It seems very likely that the inspirational vision of the Eternal City must have been the immediate spur to the design of the Africa and probably De viris illustribus as well. After returning from his grand tour, the first sections of Africa were written in the valley of Vaucluse. Petrarch recalls
The fact that he abandoned it early on is not entirely correct since it was far along when he received two invitations (from Rome and from Paris) in September 1340 each asking him to accept the crown as poet laureate. A preliminary form of the poem was completed in time for the laurel coronation April 8, 1341 (Easter Sunday).
Africa is a 1930 Walter Lantz cartoon short featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Oswald was riding through the Egyptian desert on his camel. The camel, though looking real on the exterior, is actually mechanical because of the two ball-shaped pistons inside which Oswald manipulates with his feet like bike pedals. One day, a lion was running toward them. To defend himself, Oswald brought out a rifle but it malfunctioned. As a final resort, Oswald fired the ball pistons from the camel like a cannon and aimed into the lion's mouth. Terrified by its lumpy back, the lion runs away in panic.
Nearby where he is, Oswald saw an oasis and a palace. Upon seeing the apes dance and play instruments, the curious rabbit decides to join the fun. As he entered the palace, Oswald was greeted by the queen. The queen asked him who he is, and Oswald introduced himself in a song as well as giving advice for a possibly better lifestyle. Pleased by his visit, the queen asked Oswald if he would like to be her king. Oswald was at first uncertain, knowing he never met a queen, but immediately accepted. It turns out momentarily that the queen still has a king who shows up then throws Oswald out of the palace and into a pond full of crocodiles. Luckily, Oswald escapes unscathed and runs off into the desert.