Falco – Rock Me Amadeus – 1985

Rock Me Amadeus” is a song recorded by Austrian musician Falco, for his 3rd studio album Falco 3 (1985). The single was made available for physical sale in 1985 in German-speaking Europe, through A&M. “Rock Me Amadeus” was written by Falco along with Dutch music producers Bolland & Bolland. To date, the single is the only German language song to peak at #1 of the Billboard Hot 100, which it did in 1986.

It was Falco’s only #1 hit in both the United States and the United Kingdom, despite the artist’s popularity in his native Austria and much of Europe.

Originally recorded in German, the song is about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his popularity and his debts. The song was inspired by the movie Amadeus. For the US release, the song was remixed with an English background overlay. There was never a full English version.

Voiceover facts1756: Salzburg, January 27th, Wolfgang Amadeus is born.1761: At the age of five Amadeus begins composing.1773: He writes his first piano concerto.1782: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart marries Constanze Weber.1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart becomes a Freemason.1791: Mozart composes The Magic Flute.On December 5th of that same year, Mozart dies. (Requiem) 1985: Austrian rock singer Falco records… “Rock Me Amadeus”!

The song was released in Europe in 1985 in its original, German-language version. For the international markets (United States, UK, Japan etc.), several different single and extended mixes were produced by Rob Bolland; none of them were solely an English-language version, but the international single versions reduced the German lyrics. However, the video, which featured the original European version, was used worldwide.

The song’s music video mixes elements of Mozart’s time with 1980s contemporary society. Falco is shown in a 20th-century-style dinner jacket, walking past people in 18th-century formal wear. Later, he is shown dressed as Mozart, with wild colored hair, being held on the shoulders of men dressed in modern motorcycle-riding attire. At the end, the two crowds mix.

In the UK, where his “Der Kommissar” failed to make the charts, the song hit #1 in 1986, becoming the first single by an Austrian act to achieve this distinction. “Vienna Calling” hit #10 and three subsequent singles briefly charted.

In Canada, the song reached #1 in 1986. (There, “Der Kommissar” had reached #11 in January 1983, and “Vienna Calling” would hit #8 in April 1986.)

“Rock Me Amadeus” would later be ranked #87 in VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s and #44 in VH1‘s 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders.

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