Falco's real name was Johann Holzel. He was born in Vienna, Austria in 1957. He was a long time established artist in German speaking territories before this was released, but it was his first song to be a huge international hit. In most countries it was also his only hit, but he continued to have success in mainland Europe after this song.
The song is about the classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). Mozart was a child prodigy who performed his first musical tour at the age of five. His last three years were his most successful and he had an extremely excessive lifestyle. The basic concept is the suggestion that Mozart was the rock'n'roll rebel of his day. Some of the lyrics in "Rock Me Amadeus" reflect this. Here's an English translation:
He was the first punk ever to set foot on this earth He was a genius from the day of his birth He could play the piano like a ring and a bell And everybody screamed: Come on, rock me Amadeus
With a bottle of wine in one hand and a woman in the other His mind was on rock and roll and having fun Because he lived so fast he had to die so young But he made his mark in history Still everybody says: Rock me Amadeus
Like Falco, Mozart was also from Austria. He teamed up with brothers Rob and Ferdi Bolland to write a song about Mozart because they felt he was Austria's son. The Bollands also wrote and recorded "In The Army Now," later a #2 hit in the UK for Status Quo, and "Love House," a Top 40 hit in the UK and Germany for Samantha Fox.
The video for the song features Falco dressed as Mozart and wearing a rainbow colored powdered wig. He passes through an 18th Century audience in a opera house and feels more at home among 20th century leather clad bikers.
A spoof of this song was featured in an episode of The Simpsons entitled "A Fish Called Selma." The family go to see a musical production of The Planet Of The Apes called Stop The Planet Of The Apes I Want To Get Off!. The song that spoofs "Rock Me Amadeus" is called "Dr. Zaius."
Falco ended up a tax exile. He died in a car crash in February 1998 at age 40.
Suggestion credit: Adam - Dewsbury, England, for all above
Dave from Wheaton, IlActually, Falco had another top 40 hit, with 'Vienna Calling'. So, he was a 2-hit wonder in the States.
Adrian from Johor Bahru, MalaysiaIt is a sad thing that both Falco and Mozart died early.
Adrian from Johor Bahru, MalaysiaThis song was a hit when Halley's Comet was visible in the skies in 1986.
Terry from Fairmont, WvI have two questions. Is the orchestral part of "Rock me Amadeus" one of Amadeus's pieces and what's it's name?
Sabrina from Corvallis, OrAbsolutely LOVED the song Rock Me Amadeus back and the day, and still do...though I have to confess I thought the female backup singers were singing something considerably naughtier when they sang Ooh! Rock me Amadeus! LOL
Jade from Washington D.c., Dc When I was in 9th grade, the funniest thing happened during History class. Our teacher was standing in front of the class, talking about a bunch of things that nobody, not even her assistant teacher, cared about at all. She was just boring us to death with her absolutely meaningless statements about, "The composers of the Enlightenment." My friend Vicky decided to pull on a hilarious prank on her. Our teacher was entirely unsuspecting of that. Therefore, Vicky raised her hand politely. Our teacher allowed her to speak up. Then Vicky asked her, "Isn't there a song? It's an 80s song." I started laughing. I had tried to hold my laugher in, but I just couldn't! Soon enough, everyone else in the classroom, other than our twig in the mud teacher, was laughing out loud. Even the assistant teacher was laughing about it! By then, Vicky felt encouraged. She started reciting the lyrics in English from memory. Then she started doing impersonations of Falco. Finally, our teacher glared at Vicky and me. I ended her perfrormance by imitating the sound of a tire screeching. Then I shouted, "CRASH!" Our teacher didn't yell at us or punish us in any type of way. She just glared at us. Then she went back to what she had been talking about before. She acted as if nothing ever happened! Vicky and I got away with it completely! However, we learned that our teacher at the time was one of most irritable people alive! I'm a huge Falco fan now!
Thomas from Neuenrade, GermanyThe song "Rock me Amadeus" was not released in 1986. The song reached the top 10 in germany on 16.06.1985 and was the number 1 from 18.07.1985 until 08.08.1985. The UK Version was performed in 1986. But non the less. One of the best songs in the 80´s. Greatings from germany. (thomas malzer)
Madison from Norway, MeOne of my favorite songs. I never get tired of hearing it.
Matthew from Milford, Ma...This is referring to Mozart? Yeah, I love "The Magic Flute"... I have it on CD.
AnonymousThe "English lyrics" mentioned in the songfacts have no relationship to the German lyrics at all! The real translation would go like this- 1st verse: he was a punker and he lived in the biggest city, it was in Vienna where he did everything, he had debts because he drank, but all the women loved him, and all of them shouted "come and rock me Amadeus", he was a superstar, he was popular, he was so exalted, because he had flair, he was a virtuoso, was a rock idol, and everyone shouted "come and rock me Amadeus". . . 2nd verse: It was in 1780 and it was in Vienna, no plastic money anymore, the banks were against him, where his debts came from was well-known by everyone- he was a ladies' man, ladies loved his punk, he was a superstar, he was so popular, he was so exalted, that was exactly his flair, he was a virtuoso, was a rock idol, and everyone still shouts today "come and rock me Amadeus"
--an American Falco fan who speaks German
Celeste from Cobourg, CanadaNobody likes to be known for only one song. He was an amazing musician and an even more amazing person. I'm surprised that Falco's label didn't go after the creators of the Simpsons for their Dr Zaius bit.
Luke from Manchester, EnglandPlease learn to spell
Joe from West Palm Beach, FlFalco wrote some great songs. My favorite is the Kommissar and Junge Römer. Unfortunately as with many success and fame got to him and fell into depression. But just like W.A.Mozart he will be remembered as a talented Austrian musician who made it to the top of the game.....and fell.
Mjn Seifer from Not Listed For Personal Reason, EnglandThis site has solved a mystery I never new. "What the hell is an "Amadeus" anyway?!"
You may think i'm thick but I honestly didn't know (I though Amadeus was a snake in a book/anisoap I read/watch)
Jesse from Haddam, Ct I must say this is the best song to listen to when ur depressed. see it makes you feel better and even teaches you sum German. 'Er war ein punker', wow, what powerful lyrics
Peter from Mistelbach, AustriaRock me Amadeus is a good Falco song, but he did a lot other good. Maybe even better. like "Junge RÃ¶mer" or "Out of the dark". "Out of the dark" was released after Falco died and there's a line where sings: Do I have to die, to be able to live.
Howard from St. Louis Park, MnThere was a parody titled "Rock Me Jerry Lewis" by Mike Elliot and Bud LaTour (aka Tri-Fi). It was one of the most requested songs on The Dr. Demento Show.
Eric from Cincinnati, OhI have been a big Falco fan since "Falco 3" came out, and have a decent collection of many of his earlier and later works as well. Although I never met him, Hans Hoelzel was a friend of my friend, and she told me enough to fill in the blanks from the official biography. He was a tragic figure, as so many in the music business are. He was a perfectionist, possessing great musical talent but always demanding more of himself. Successful in the music business, he was very unlucky in the arena of love. Alcohol frequently (and drugs occasionally) fueled his episodic depression. He died in the Dominican Republic on February 6, 1998 in a motor vehicle accident. He pulled out directly in front of a bus travelling at 65mph (100kph) on a clear day, suggesting to some who knew him and his state of mind that it was no "accident," but suicide. Rest in peace, "Emotional Man."
Limmt from Colmar, FranceI discovered Falco only 5 monthes ago but I'm totally fan, I love all the song he's done. "Because he lived so fast he had to die so young.", that's what hapened of Falco too.
RIP Falco, We'll never forgot you.
Sebastian from Providence, RiThe best part is when Falco says: 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart becomes a free mason.
Dee from Indianapolis, InI've always enjoyed this song, but you never hear the longer version with Mozarts history in it very often. I remember this along with "Tarzen Boy" by Baltimora getting lots of radio play around the same time. Both artist are dead now, which makes me sad to think once an artist is gone so is any new music thast they may have graced us with.
Craig from Madison, WiThis song came out soon after the Academy Award Winning film "Amadeus." The combination of the song and the movie made a strange phenomenon of people mistakenly calling Mozart "Amadeus," as in "My all time fave composer is Amadeus." It would be like saying the best presidents of the 20th century were Delano and Fitzgerald and the much derided Milhouse. The film chose the middle name because it is latin for "Beloved of God."
Russian from Riverside, AzI was in Russia at that time. First time I heard his "Rock me Amadeus" I got hooked. My brother listening to my tapes became his fan even bigger.I like almost everything what I've heard. Just recently read his short biography and it gave me a little bit better understanding why I like him that much. Just two people left big scars in my soul: Falco and Freddy Mercury. Both dead, both hard to compare, both rebels. RIP Falco.
Shell from Riverdale, GaI was in the Army in 1982 and stationed in Germany. One of my squadmates burst into our room and began raving about some singer he'd just seen on a German "American Bandstand"-type TV show (I think it was called "Tommy's Pop Show"). Joedy said, "You gotta hear the song and see this guy! He's a jerk, but a cool jerk! And the song is great!" Well, soon enough we saw the video in a club in Hertie Square (where all the GI bars were) and it was Falco doing "Der Kommisar". Joedy was right, he was acting a jerk, but a cool jerk. I've been a fan of Falco's ever since and still have some of the cassette tapes of his work I bought back then. RIP Falco, and thanks.