Falco (Johann Hölzel), Austrian pop-star whose albums became #1 multiple times on the charts in both Europe
and North America
during the 1980s
Falco (February 19, 1957 - February 6, 1998) was the stage name of the classical music prodigy turned Austrian rock star, Johann Hölzel (also Hans Hölzel).
He was born in Vienna and studied at the Vienna Music Conservatory.
Before becoming an international popstar, he was bass-player in the Austrian hard-rock band Drahdiwaberl. As a solo artist, Falco had taken an interest in the sounds and rhythms of rap music, and was one of the first Europeans to incorporate rap stylings into pop and rock music. He was best known internationally for the rap-styled Rock Me Amadeus (inspired in part by the Oscar-winning film Amadeus) from his album Falco 3, which became a worldwide hit in 1986 and reached Number 1 on the US charts, arguably the first rap song to achieve this feat. ("Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice from 1991 is usually cited as the first true rap record to top the Billboard Hot 100.)
Other well-known international hits include Der Kommissar (a partial rap song about drug consumption) from the 1982 album Einzelhaft and Vienna Calling from Falco 3. An English cover version of Der Kommissar by After the Fire became a Top 5 hit in the United States. The song Jeanny became somewhat of a controversy when it was released in Germany and the Netherlands. Because it was told from the point of view of a rapist, several DJs and radio stations refused to play it.
He died of severe head injuries received following his SUV's collision with a bus near the resort of Puerto Plata, in the Dominican Republic at age 40.
Tributes to Falco
In 2000, the musical Falco Meets Amadeus was produced and staged in Germany.
Also in 2000, the American comic rock group, The Bloodhound Gang dedicated their song, "Mope" to him. The spoken intro jokingly refers to Falco as "a gang bangin' thug" and "money makin' playa". The beginning of the song samples from "Rock Me Amadeus." While the tribute may have been less than 100% sincere, there is no denying that Falco's combination of pop melody with rap-styled vocal delivery has proven highly influential in recent years.
- Einzelhaft (1982)
- Junge Römer (1984)
- Falco 3 (1985)
- Wiener Blut (1988)
- Data de Groove (1990)
- The Remix Hit Collection (1991)
- Nachtflug (1992)
- Out Of The Dark (1998)
- Verdammt wir leben noch (2000)
Last updated: 05-07-2005 17:39:03
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46