Rock Me Amadeus

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"Rock Me Amadeus"
Single by Falco
from the album Falco 3
ReleasedJune 16, 1985 (1985-06-16) (German)
March 28, 1986 (Worldwide)
Format7"
Recorded1985
GenreNeue Deutsche Welle[1]
New Wave
Length3:11
LabelA&M
Writer(s)Falco, Rob Bolland, Ferdi Bolland
Falco singles chronology
"Junge Römer (Young Romans)""Rock Me Amadeus"
(1986)
"Vienna Calling"
 
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"Rock Me Amadeus"
Single by Falco
from the album Falco 3
ReleasedJune 16, 1985 (1985-06-16) (German)
March 28, 1986 (Worldwide)
Format7"
Recorded1985
GenreNeue Deutsche Welle[1]
New Wave
Length3:11
LabelA&M
Writer(s)Falco, Rob Bolland, Ferdi Bolland
Falco singles chronology
"Junge Römer (Young Romans)""Rock Me Amadeus"
(1986)
"Vienna Calling"

"Rock Me Amadeus" is a 1985 song by Austrian pop musician Falco from his album Falco 3. It topped the singles charts on both sides of the Atlantic. It was Falco's only number one hit in both the United States and the United Kingdom, despite his popularity in Germany, his native Austria, and much of Europe. The song was written by Falco and Dutch music producers Bolland & Bolland.

Contents

History

With "Rock Me Amadeus", Falco became the first German-speaking artist to be credited with a No. 1 single in all mainstream US pop singles charts: the Billboard Hot 100 and Cashbox Top 100 Singles. The single hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on 29 March 1986.[2] Falco is erroneously often considered a one-hit wonder for this song in the United States. However, Falco had already had a minor US hit in 1982 with "Der Kommissar" (a hit the following year there for After the Fire), "Sound of Musik" which reached No. 13, and his follow-up single from Falco 3, "Vienna Calling", which reached No. 18 on the Hot 100.

In the United Kingdom, the song hit number one on 10 May 1986, becoming the first single by an Austrian act to achieve this distinction. In the UK, where his "Der Kommissar" failed to make the charts, Falco is also often regarded as a one-hit wonder, despite the fact that "Vienna Calling" hit number ten and three subsequent singles briefly charted.

In Canada, the song reached No. 1 on 1 February 1986. (There, "Der Kommissar" had reached No. 11 in January 1983, and "Vienna Calling" would hit No. 8 in April 1986.)

"Rock Me Amadeus" would later be ranked No. 87 in VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s and No. 44 in VH1's 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders.

Production

Originally recorded in German, the song is about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his popularity and his debts. A longer version (eight minutes), named the "Salieri Mix", appeared on the initial US release of the album Falco 3. 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 facts

1756: Salzburg, January 27, Wolfgang Amadeus is born.
1761: At the age of 5 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 5 that same year, Mozart dies.
1985: Austrian rock singer Falco records "Rock Me Amadeus"

Official versions and remixes

The song was released in Europe in 1985 in its original, German-language version. For the international markets (USA, UK, Japan etc.), several different single and extended mixes were produced; 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.

  1. Original Version (a.k.a. The Gold Mix) (3:21)
  2. Extended Version (7:07)
  3. Salieri Version (8:21) (on the international versions of Falco 3 this mix is denoted wrongly as "Solieri Version")
  4. Short Salieri Version (4:50)
  5. Edited Salieri Version (4:08)
  6. Extended Salieri Version (8:34)
  7. American Edit (3:10)
  8. American Edit (5:55) (from the maxi single b/w two mixes of "Vienna Calling")
  9. Canadian Edit (4:02)
  10. Canadian/American Edit (3:59)
  11. Extended American Edit (6:10)
  12. Club Mix 1991 (6:47)
  13. Radio Remix 1991 (4:30)
  14. Instrumental Remix 1991 (1:29)
  15. Live Version 1986 from the album Live Forever (6:04)
  16. Symphonic Remix 2008 from the album Symphonic (4:52)
  17. Live Symphonic Version 1994 from the DVD Symphonic (4:12)
  18. Falco Biography Mix 2010 from the 25th Anniversary Edition of Falco 3 (download only) (8:48)

Music video

The song's music video mixes elements of Mozart's time with modern times. Falco is shown in a modern dinner jacket, walking past people in eighteenth-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.

There is a minute longer much more sexualized version, starting with the refrain 'sugar sweet', with extra footage spliced throughout including of a similar black carriage riding at night with the driver covered in lights, escorted by police motorcycles, scantily clad girls; in black pleather riding outside it, and modernized bright neon fashions inside, resembling the earlier century formal wear. A different crowd in the more classic Mozart formal wear excessively fraternizing at a party. This version also contains red line art of Falco, guitar riff clips, and a long car scene driving away at the end, to a saxophone solo over the added refrain.

Covers and samples

Live cover performances

Sampling

Parodies and references

The song has been lampooned and paid tribute to by many:

References

External links

Preceded by
"When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going" by Billy Ocean
Canadian RPM number-one single
February 1, 1986
Succeeded by
"I Miss You" by Klymaxx
Preceded by
"West End Girls" by Pet Shop Boys
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart number-one single
21 March 1986 – 18 April 1986
Succeeded by
"Harlem Shuffle" by The Rolling Stones
Preceded by
"These Dreams" by Heart
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
March 29, 1986 – April 12, 1986
Succeeded by
"Kiss" by Prince and the Revolution
Preceded by
"A Different Corner" by George Michael
UK number-one single
10 May 1986
Succeeded by
"The Chicken Song" by Spitting Image