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Tribute: Falco


In 1985, Falco, alterego of Johann "Hans" Holzel, recorded "Rock Me Amadeus," inspired by the Oscar-winning film Amadeus. The song became a worldwide hit in 1986 and reached #1 in the US, Austria, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, the UK, Italy, Japan, Russia, Sweden, South Africa, and New Zealand. Falco was the first - and to date, only - artist to achieve a #1 song in the U.S. with a song in German. He was also the only internationally successful pop artist ever to come out of Austria.

Johann Hölzel was born 19 February 1957. His mother was carrying triplets; Hans was the sole infant to survive. He was born in Vienna and studied at the Vienna Music Conservatory. He played in the bands Spinning Wheel, Hallucination Company, and Drahdiwaberl. In 1978, while with the Hallucination Company, Hölzel adopted the name Falco, from the East German ski jumper, Falko Weisspflog. Falco would stand out from the other members in the band. While the others had long hair and dressed in tatters, Falco graced the stage in a suit and sunglasses.


Falco's first hit was "Der Kommissar" from the 1982 album, Einzelhaft (Solitary Confinement). An English cover by After the Fire became a Top 5 hit in the United States a year later. (The video would later be dubbed "The Worst Video of All Time" by MTV.) Falco's 1985 release, Falco 3 spawned three international hits: "Rock Me Amadeus," "Vienna Calling" (#18 on the US charts), and "Jeanny." "Jeanny" was considered controversial and was banned by some radio stations. Althought the lyrics are vague, many have interpreted the song to be from the point of view of a rapist and/or serial killer considering his next victim.

In 1987, he sang a duet with Brigitte Nielsen, "Body Next to Body," which reached #6 in Falco's native Austria. He also composed a song for Cindy Crawford and Tatjana Patitz titled "Tanja P. not Cindy C.," which appeared on the album Data de Groove.


On 6 February 1998, Falco, driving his Mitsubishi Pajero, collided with a bus while attempting to merge onto a highway in Puerto Plata, the Dominican Republic. Falco was the only injury; he died at Pureto Plata Hospital from severe head injuries. He was 40. Falco was buried in the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) in Vienna, Austria.

Falco's funeral procession

"Falco's last show"

Falco's casket is being carried by members of the rock group, The Outsiders.

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Falco's resting place space saver Falco's resting place

For a larger view of this amazing tribute, click here.

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A street named for Falco

A street in Vienna was named in Falco's honor, 5., Falcostiege.

Selected Singles

"Rock Me Amadeus"

"Vienna Calling"


"Der Kommissar"

"Junge Roemer"

"The Sound of Musik"

"Coming Home (Jeanny Part 2)"


"Out of the Dark"

The Complete Albums

Einzelhaft (1982) (translated: Solitary Confinement)

Junge Roemer (1984) (translated: Young Romans)

Falco 3 (1985)

Emotional (1986)

Wiener Blut (1988) (translated: Viennese Blood)

Data de Groove (1990)

The Remix Hit Collection (1991)

Nachtflug (1992) (translated: Night Flight)

Gretest Hits (1996)

Greatest Hits Vol. II (1997)

Best Of (1998)

Out of the Dark (Into the Light) (1998)

The Hit Singles (1998)

The Final Curtain - The Ultimate Best Of (1999)

Verdammt Wir Leben Noch (1999) (translates roughly to "Condemned, We Live Still")

Live Forever (live album, released 1999)

Hoch wie nie (Best Of) (2007; translates very roughly to "Higher Than Ever")

Einzelhaft (25th Anniversary Edition) (2007)

Falco Symphonic (Wiener Neustadt 1994)

(live album with the Wiener Neustadt Orchestra, performed in 1994. Released in 2008.)

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