Falco – Rock Me Amadeus
On May 15, 1985, a song was released that would really mark the 80s. Soon after Forman’s eight-time Oscar winner film, Mozart’s spirit is brought back to life by one of the most original and brilliant characters of the 80s, Falco. In several European countries Falco was already superfamous because in 1982 he had a resounding success with “Der Kommissar“. Three years later, with “Rock me Amadeus” he broke all records, becoming the first artist to reach number one both in England and in the United States with a song in German. Obviously he reached number one in a lot of other countries.
The song is a masterpiece, and plays on a thin wire that we can follow together. Falco created it with the Dutch producers Rob and Ferdi Bolland, sometimes called “Bolland & Bolland”, who created an impressive number of versions and mixes of this song for various markets and for radio, discos, singles and albums of the various countries.
Apparently, the text celebrates Mozart, beginning with the description “He was a punk”. Then Falco talks about Mozart’s passions and weaknesses, his debts, his passion for women, all largely justified by his success and how the crowd hailed him in ecstasy. The video is strange: at first Falco descends elegantly from a carriage of Mozart’s time, and enters a room where he begins to sing surrounded by an audience from Mozart’s period, in dresses and wigs of the eighteenth century.
Then Falco becomes Amadeus, but everything else comes back to contemporary: Amadeus descends from a Harley Davidson escorted by a group of bikers, and begins to perform in a modern venue surrounded by leather jackets and studs. And the protagonist is always out of his time: we can’t tell if it’s aboout Falco in the eighteenth century or Mozart in the eighties, the video shows both.
Falco was at ease in Mozart’s clothes, and in an interview he stated that Mozart had appeared to him in a dream and inspired the refrain of this song. And in fact it becomes clear that the line between Mozart and Falco is getting thinner and thinner: both Austrians and early music geniuses, both innovators and rebels (Falco started his career in a messy punk and rebel group called Drahdiwaberl), both absolute idols of the audience, both in a sense beyond their own time, both living the messy life of musical geniuses.
Mozart had a short life, and died at the age of 35. Falco died at 40 in an accident in the Dominican Republic. Mozart was the first great composer to have posthumous glory, usually the fame of an artist in the eighteenth century ended with him and his repertoire. Mozart was not rich in life, but he was a huge posthumous success. Falco’s fame, in the wake of his great successes, has come to us. He was so beloved that in Vienna there is arestaurant who everyday still has a table reserved for him. And at Falco’s funeral, his coffin was brought by the same group of bikers that we see in this video.
Falco on Wikipedia