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.
- 1 History
- 2 Chart performance
- 3 Production
- 4 Official versions and remixes
- 5 Music video
- 6 Covers and samples
- 7 Live cover performances
- 8 Sampling
- 9 Parodies and references
- 10 References
- 11 External links
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. (Prior to Falco, "99 Luftballons" by Nena got to #1 on Cashbox, but peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100) 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 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.)
Canadian/American '86 mix
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)
- Special Salieri Version (3:59)
- 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 1980s contemporary society. Falco is shown in a 20th-century-style 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 1980s-style 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 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 bright neon fashions inside, resembling earlier-century formal wear. A different crowd in a more Mozart-era formal attire was 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.
- German heavy/power metal band Edguy has released a cover version of the song on their tenth album Space Police: Defenders of the Crown.
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/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:
- An episode in the Cartoon Network series Regular Show is named "Steak Me Amadeus".
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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".
- Kid Rock's 1999 song "Cowboy" includes the lyric "Cause chaos, rock like Amadeus."
- In 2014, South African rapper Snotkop recorded a cover/parody called Rock My Amadeus on his album Soos 'n Boss.
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- "Tech N9ne's I'm a Playa sample of Falco's Rock Me Amadeus". WhoSampled. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "Bloodhound Gang's Mope sample of Falco's Rock Me Amadeus (Salieri Mix)". WhoSampled. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- ""Weird Al" Yankovic's Polka Party! sample of Falco's Rock Me Amadeus". WhoSampled. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "WMMS The Buzzard Morning Zoo – Greatest Hits (Volume 1) (Vinyl, LP)". Discogs. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Molotov's Amateur cover of Falco's Rock Me Amadeus". WhoSampled. 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. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Kid Rock – Cowboy Lyrics". MetroLyrics. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
- "Soon 'n Boss – Snotkop". Musica.co.za. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
- "Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco at songfacts.com
- Music video for Rock Me Amadeus on YouTube (not viewable in US)
- Music video on YouTube (viewable in US)
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics