Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Falco - "Rock Me Amadeus"

Rock Me Amadeus - Falco 3

(Debuted February 8, 1986, Peaked #1, 17 Weeks on the Chart)

The first time I heard "Rock Me Amadeus" was early in 1986, the week it debuted on Casey Kasem's American Top 40 radio program. I listened to that show weekly (on WTNY from Watertown, New York) because it was one of the few places I could hear certain material on the radio. Normally, the station (which was AM; an FM sister station called T93 would debut later in 1986) leaned toward adult contemporary material, while MTV was still staying away from most of the R&B material the show would play.

I remember the first time I heard it because it immediately jumped out at my radio and caught my ear. I obviously wasn't the only one who took notice, as it rose fairly quickly and was the #1 song that March. As it turned out, there were a few different versions of the song; the one I heard on Kasem's show wasn't the same one in the MTV video, and neither matched the one the station played in its normal hours. It sounded different than anything I'd ever heard before.

"Rock Me Amadeus" was the biggest American hit from Falco, which was a stage name for the Austrian artist Johann Holzel. Although he enjoyed three Hot 100 singles (including the original German-language version of "Der Kommisar"), Falco is often misidentified as a One-Hit Wonder due to the fact that this elegy to fellow Austrian Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was such a big hit.

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