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)
|Genre||Neue Deutsche Welle|
|Writer(s)||Falco, Rob Bolland, Ferdi Bolland|
|Falco singles chronology|
"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.
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. 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, 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 No. 10 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.)
Canadian/American '86 mix
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.
- 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.
- Original Version (a.k.a. The Gold Mix) (3:21)
- Extended Version (7:07)
- Salieri Version (8:21) (on the international versions of Falco 3 this mix is denoted wrongly as "Solieri Version")
- Short Salieri Version (4:50)
- Edited Salieri Version (4:08)
- Extended Salieri Version (8:34)
- American Edit (3:10)
- Canadian Edit (4:02)
- Canadian/American Edit (3:59)
- Extended American Edit (6:10)
- Club Mix 1991 (6:47)
- Radio Remix 1991 (4:30)
- Instrumental Remix 1991 (1:29)
- Live Version 1986 from the album Live Forever (6:04)
- Symphonic Remix 2008 from the album Symphonic (4:52)
- Live Symphonic Version 1994 from the DVD Symphonic (4:12)
- Falco Biography Mix 2010 from the 25th Anniversary Edition of Falco 3 (download only) (8:48)
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
- The song was covered in 1998 by German industrial metal rock band Megaherz. They released "Rock Me Amadeus" in 1998 from their album Kopfschuss. Megaherz infused the song with heavy metal riffs and industrial-trip rock beats in their version.
- German hard rock/gothic metal band Umbra et Imago released a cover of the song on their 2000 album Mea Culpa.
- German rapper Fler sampled the song on his 2005 single "NDW 2005" from his debut album Neue Deutsche Welle.
- Norwegian experimental black/thrash metal band Sturmgeist released a cover of the song on their 2006 album, Über.
- German punk rock band Die Toten Hosen released a cover of the song on their 2012 bonus CD Die Geister, die wir riefen.
Live cover performances
- 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.
- Rapper Tech N9ne made a song titled "I'm A Playa" set to the same tune, except with a more Dirty South/Mid West/crunk style beat.
- The Bloodhound Gang sampled "Rock Me Amadeus" throughout their song "Mope" on the 1999 album, Hooray for Boobies.
- Radio station WSKZ (Chattanooga, Tennessee) played a version on that station's morning zoo called "Rock Me Donny Osmond" which sampled music from the original by Falco.
- During their Vienna concert on their 2010 Tour, the band U2 played "Rock Me Amadeus", as did Robbie Williams at his Vienna concert a few years ago.
Parodies and references
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.
- A Muppet Babies episode used a parody of the song called "Amadogus", based on one of the character's ancestors.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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.
- LaTour, under the name Bud Latour, along with Phoenix disc jockey Mike Elliot, did a parody called "Rock Me Jerry Lewis" in 1986.
- 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".
- Martina Oster, Waltraud Ernst, Marion Gerards (2008). LIT Verlag, ed. Performativität und Performance (in German). p. 129. ISBN 978-3-8258-0660-6.
- "Hot 100, Week of March 29, 1986". Billboard. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- bulion. "Forum - ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts - CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989, part 2". ARIA. Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Falco – Rock Me Amadeus – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Ultratop.be – Falco – Rock Me Amadeus" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Top Singles - Volume 43, No. 19, February 01 1986". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- Steve Hawtin et al. "Song artist 501 - Falco". Tsort.info. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste". Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc (in French). InfoDisc.fr. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013. You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Falco"
- "Falco - Rock Me Amadeus". Charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved 1 June 2013. Only one result when searching "Rock me Amadeus"
- "I singoli più venduti del 1985". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
18. Rock me Amadeus - Falco [#2, 1985/86]
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Falco – Rock Me Amadeus" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Charts.org.nz – Falco – Rock Me Amadeus". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Falco – Rock Me Amadeus". VG-lista. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "ROCK ME AMADEUS (IHN LIEBTEN ALLE FRAUEN) - Falco". Nowe Media, Polskie Radio S.A. LP3.polskieradio.pl. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (F)". Rock.co.za. John Samson. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Falco – Rock Me Amadeus". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Falco – Rock Me Amadeus – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Falco 3 awards at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Falco - Rock Me Amadeus Canadian/American '86-Mix search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Falco – Rock me Amadeus (Canadian/American '86 Mix)". Mega Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Tech N9ne's I'm a Playa sample of Falco's Rock Me Amadeus". WhoSampled.com. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "Bloodhound Gang's Mope sample of Falco's Rock Me Amadeus (Salieri Mix)". WhoSampled.com. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- ""Weird Al" Yankovic's Polka Party! sample of Falco's Rock Me Amadeus". WhoSampled.com. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "Molotov's Amateur cover of Falco's Rock Me Amadeus". WhoSampled.com. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "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.com. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco at songfacts.com
- Music video for Rock Me Amadeus
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
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