Rock Me Amadeus

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"Rock Me Amadeus"
Single by Falco
from the album Falco 3
Released 16 June 1985 (Germany)
28 March 1986 (Worldwide)
Format 7"
Recorded 1985
Genre Neue Deutsche Welle[1]
Length 3:21
Label A&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.

History[edit]

With "Rock Me Amadeus", Falco became the first German-speaking artist to be credited with a number-one single in all mainstream US pop singles charts : the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box Top 100 Singles. The single hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on 29 March 1986.[2] 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 number 13, and his follow-up single from Falco 3, "Vienna Calling", which reached number 18 on the Hot 100.

In the United Kingdom, where his "Der Kommissar" failed to make the charts, the song hit number one on 10 May 1986, becoming the first single by an Austrian act to achieve this distinction. "Vienna Calling" hit number 10 and three subsequent singles briefly charted.

In Canada, the song reached number one on 1 February 1986. (There, "Der Kommissar" had reached number 11 in January 1983, and "Vienna Calling" would hit number 8 in April 1986.)

"Rock Me Amadeus" would later be ranked number 87 in VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s and number 44 in VH1's 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders.

Chart performance[edit]

Production[edit]

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[edit]

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. Special Salieri Version (3:59)
  6. American Edit (3:10)
  7. Canadian Edit (4:02)
  8. Canadian/American Edit (3:59)
  9. Extended American Edit (6:10)
  10. Club Mix 1991 (6:47)
  11. Radio Remix 1991 (4:30)
  12. Instrumental Remix 1991 (1:29)
  13. Live Version 1986 from the album Live Forever (6:04)
  14. Symphonic Remix 2008 from the album Symphonic (4:52)
  15. Live Symphonic Version 1994 from the DVD Symphonic (4:12)
  16. Falco Biography Mix 2010 from the 25th Anniversary Edition of Falco 3 (download only) (8:48)

Music video[edit]

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 were 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[edit]

Live cover performances[edit]

  • The folk rock group Girlyman performs the song live fairly regularly, with Nate doing the German parts and the other band members and audience supplying the oh's.
  • German band Münchener Freiheit performed the song at the 2007 Muenster Eurocityfest.
  • Cantopop artist Anthony Wong covered the song with Chinese lyrics written by Albert Leung.

Sampling[edit]

Parodies and references[edit]

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

  • "Weird Al" Yankovic included it in his medley "Polka Party!" on the album of that name.[39]
  • A Muppet Babies episode used a parody of the song called "Amadogus", based on one of the character's ancestors.
  • The WMMS "Buzzard Morning Zoo Crew" created a parody of the song called "Rock Me, Mr. Leonard", a reference to a frequent call-in character.[40]
  • In 1986, an instrumental rendition of the song is heard in the 2nd act of the Ancient Rome stage of Konami's Rock 'N Rage released for arcades.
  • LaTour, under the name Bud Latour, along with fellow Phoenix, Arizona disc jockey Mike Elliot, did a parody version called "Rock Me Jerry Lewis" in 1986.
  • A parody version of this song titled "Amateur" was released in 2004 by Mexican band Molotov on their 2004 cover album, Con Todo Respeto. In their version the song starts with a melody of "Aber bitte mit Sahne" by Udo Jürgens, a famous Austrian singer.[41]
  • A pastiche of the song is featured in the Simpsons episode, "A Fish Called Selma": Troy McClure performs the part of the human in a musical adaptation of Planet of the Apes. "Amadeus" becomes "Dr. Zaius".[42]
  • Jewish parody band Shlock Rock parodied the song as "Achashverosh".
  • Louisiana band Atchafalaya recorded a parody in 1986 called "Watch Out Armadillos".
  • The song is also featured in the movie Adventureland. The song is played frequently over the amusement park speakers, much to the annoyance of the characters.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Petarded", Brian asks Lois if Peter's stupidity bothers her, to which Lois responds that she just represses the thought. The camera then zooms into her brain and shows a tumor with the face of Peter singing, "I'm a tumor; I'm a tumor" to the tune of "Rock Me Amadeus".
  • Momus's 2001 album Folktronic contains a song entitled "Folk Me Amadeus".
  • Adam Sandler sings along to this song in his truck in the feature film Bedtime Stories.
  • Selina Griffiths performed a portion of the song in the comedy Benidorm at Neptune's Bar on the karaoke stage. The character Pauline is an alcoholic, who treats the song very seriously and performs it very seriously.
  • Robbie Williams screams "Rock me, Amadeus!" during the instrumental of his 1999 hit "It's Only Us".
  • In 2014, South African rapper Snotkop recorded a cover/parody called Rock My Amadeus on his album Soos 'n Boss.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (German) "NDW Neue Deutsche Welle". Springbock.de. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "March 29, 1986 – The Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989, part 2". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Falco – Rock Me Amadeus – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Ultratop.be – Falco – Rock Me Amadeus" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  6. ^ (Dutch) "Rock Me Amadeus – FALCO". Top 30. Retrieved 25 April 2014. "Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 2" 
  7. ^ CHART NUMBER 1516 – Saturday, January 11, 1986 at the Wayback Machine (archived 29 July 2007). CHUM. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  8. ^ Lwin, Nanda (2000). Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide. Mississsauga, Ont.: Music Data Canada. 
  9. ^ "RPM Top Singles." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  10. ^ (French) "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste". InfoDisc. Select "Falco" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Falco – Rock Me Amadeus". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  13. ^ a b (Italian) "I singoli più venduti del 1985". Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Falco – Rock Me Amadeus" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Falco – Rock Me Amadeus". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  16. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Falco – Rock Me Amadeus". VG-lista. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  17. ^ (Polish) "ROCK ME AMADEUS (IHN LIEBTEN ALLE FRAUEN) – Falco". LP3. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (F)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  19. ^ (Spanish) Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Falco – Rock Me Amadeus". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  21. ^ "Falco – Rock Me Amadeus – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  22. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  23. ^ a b c "Falco 3 – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  24. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending MARCH 29, 1986 at the Wayback Machine (archived 2 October 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  25. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Falco - Rock Me Amadeus Canadian/American '86-Mix search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  26. ^ (Dutch) "Dutchcharts.nl – Falco – Rock me Amadeus (Canadian/American '86 Mix)". Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  27. ^ (German) "Jahreshitparade 1985". Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  28. ^ (German) "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1985". Hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  29. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  30. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten 1986". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  31. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 45, No. 14, December 27, 1986". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  32. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1986". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  33. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1986". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  34. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1986 at the Wayback Machine (archived 2 October 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  35. ^ (Dutch) "Single Top 100 over 1986" (PDF). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  36. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1986". Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  37. ^ "Tech N9ne's I'm a Playa sample of Falco's Rock Me Amadeus". WhoSampled. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  38. ^ "Bloodhound Gang's Mope sample of Falco's Rock Me Amadeus (Salieri Mix)". WhoSampled. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  39. ^ ""Weird Al" Yankovic's Polka Party! sample of Falco's Rock Me Amadeus". WhoSampled. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  40. ^ "WMMS The Buzzard Morning Zoo – Greatest Hits (Volume 1) (Vinyl, LP)". Discogs. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  41. ^ "Molotov's Amateur cover of Falco's Rock Me Amadeus". WhoSampled. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  42. ^ "The Simpsons and Troy McClure feat. Jeff Goldblum, Bart Simpson and Homer Simpson's A Fish Called Selma (Medley) cover of Falco's Rock Me Amadeus". WhoSampled. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  43. ^ "Soon 'n Boss – Snotkop". Musica.co.za. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 

External links[edit]