Synopsis of Pop Music

“Come on, rock me Amadeus...”

Pop tunes from the 1980’s might not have been the most cerebral or worldly entries the Big Book of Music’s ever seen, but they offered a bit of international culture from time to time. From Austria, for instance, came Falco. Since most of his lyrics were in German, we in America got acquainted with an exotic Eastern Bloc tongue, and thanks to his “Rock Me Amadeus” hit, we also gleaned an appreciation for the classics. See that? Maybe 80’s-reared Gen X-ers are smarter than we thought. Forget museums—just go buy one of those 80’s compilation tapes and let the knowledge seep right into your brain.

Falco was born as Johann Holzel in Vienna, a musical prodigy who graduated from the Vienna Conservatoire. From Vienna he moved to West Berlin and sang in a jazz rock band, then back to Vienna for a little punk, in a band called Drahdiwaberl. In 1982, it was solo time, and from his debut LP Einzelhaft came “Der Kommisar,” his techno-pop-rap hit—and the rapping in German, no less. The song was re-recorded by After the Fire, becoming a stateside hit in 1983, but Falco's original gave the Austrian the start of his international fame. His follow-up “Jeanny” chronicled the life of a prostitute and was promptly banned from European radio.

In 1985, Falco’s hit “Rock Me Amadeus” crossed the Atlantic, and the album from whence it came, Falco 3, made it into the American Top-10. His more rock-ish “Vienna Calling” came next, then “The Sound of Musik,” which was an attack on the Austrian president at the time, Kurt Waldheim.

For tax purposes, and so that he could build his own recording studio, he moved to the Dominican Republic, and tragically died in a car accident there, in February of 1998. Its link to the culture of Western Europe lost, the 80's will remember him fondly.

Artist Release History

1982 - Eizelhaft
1984 - Young Romans
1984 - Junge Roemer
1986 - Emotional
1986 - Falco 3
1988 - Wiener Blut
1990 - Data-De-Groove
1998 - Nachtflug
1998 - Meine Schonsten Erfolge

Pop Sub Categories


Essential Music Albums

Falco: Greatest Hits (Buddha)

Band Members

Falco vocals

Other Pop Music Links