Thursday, January 17, 2013

Falco--Rock Me Amadeus" (1985)

    Johann Hölzel was born in Vienna in 1957. He quit school at the age of 16, and after serving the Austrian army at the age of 17, moved to Germany to make a go of it as a musician. The pianist/guitarist spent time in various groups there and in Austria, along the way picking up the name "Falco" in honor of a famous East German skier.
     His first chart success was 1982's, "Der Kommissar" (which means the inspector) and loosely inspired a song of the same name which became a one off hit for the British rock band, "After the Fire" in that same year. I say loosely because although it was the same musically, the lyrically were very different, which most would never pick up on since Falco's version was entirely in German. After a second album, he began experimenting with singing in English.
     The result of this was the song, "Rock Me Amadeus" in 1985. Inspired by the 1984 movie, "Amadeus", it became the first number 1 song on the American charts by a German speaking artist. The song was spoken in German and English, but there is not a full English version, and it's album version (which clocks in at 8 minutes) is a mini-biography of the great composer.
     As opposed to many who think the song was a one-hit wonder, he actually had another top 20 single with,"Vienna Calling" (#18) later that year. Although it was the last of his success here in the states, he continued to do well in Europe up to his death in 1998 from injuries caused by a car accident in the Dominican Republic.


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