Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.
This issue we will cover "Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco. The song was first released in late 1985 in German-speaking Europe, but would crossover and find great international success including reaching #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in March of 1986. Falco was the first German-speaking artist to reach #1 on the U.S. pop charts (Nena's "99 Luftballons" peaked at #2). "Rock Me Amadeus" also made it to #1 in nine other countries including Falco's home country of Austria. I still remember noticing this song back then because it was so different from everything else and the chorus was just so catchy.
The music video for "Rock Me Amadeus" was directed by two of Falco's fellow Austrians, Hannes Rossacher and Rudi Dolezal. The duo had previously directed the music video for "Time Is On My Side" by The Rolling Stones in 1982 and worked on Falco's videos for his earlier work. They would later direct videos for Freddie Mercury and Queen as well as Falco's second U.S. hit "Vienna Calling". They continued to direct through the decades to follow.
Since the song is referencing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the memorable video mixes elements of Mozart's time in the late 1700s with some contemporary 1980s culture of that time. Falco is first shown in a 20th-century-style dinner jacket but he walking past people in 18th-century formal wear. Later, he is shown dressed as Mozart, with wild multi-colored hair, being held on the shoulders of men dressed in modern motorcycle attire. At the end of the video, the two crowds mix together. Here is the music video for "Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco...
Falco would not have any other hits in the U.S. after the mid-80s though he remained very popular in his native Austria. He died in 1998 after a fatal car crash in the Dominican Republic, but "Rock Me Amadeus" will live on forever as one of the iconic songs of the '80s decade.
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!