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Ambros, Danzer, Fendrich: Austria 3 (Imst 2006)

Austropop has been a name for pop music from Austria that has been in use since the late 1960s .

At the beginning, especially pop music with texts in the Austrian dialect was called Austropop. In the meantime, it is generally understood to mean pop music from Austria, whereby the language of the lyrics is irrelevant.

Austropop includes popular, and accordingly commercially successful, music of various genres from the pop music spectrum from rock to hip-hop to the alternative scene . There are overlaps with new folk music or alpine rock , i.e. a mixture of alpine folk music and rock music . Schlager, including popular hits , is usually not counted as part of Austropop .

The best-known representatives of Austropop include Falco , Wolfgang Ambros , Georg Danzer , Rainhard Fendrich , the EAV , STS , Ludwig Hirsch , Peter Cornelius and Opus .


Johann Nepomuk Nestroy (1839)


The origins of Austropop can be traced back to the 19th century with the satirical theater . The pioneers were Johann Nestroy and Ferdinand Raimund , who are sometimes named as forefathers in the tradition of singing, which is often politically and socially critical and performed in dialect . While Raimund's work was based on the Biedermeier period, Nestroy's pieces already addressed the social upheavals of the Vormärz .

Further influences come from the Wienerlied area . A famous representative of this genre, especially as an actor, but also as an interpreter, was Hans Moser , who worked as a folk actor between the end of the 19th and mid-20th centuries. The best known song he sang is Die Phylloxera .

In the post-war period, the lyricist Erich Meder and the composer Hans Lang wrote very successful hits with texts in dialect, which were mostly sung by Maria Andergast . Well-known titles are z. B. A fesche Katz , Bauernsamba or Tramhapertes Menscherl . In the 1950s, the Austrian- Swiss duo Pirron and Knapp celebrated their success with cabaret music . As with Moser, her texts were written in dialect and presented with humor.

In the 1950s and 1960s - shortly before the dialect wave - the hit became an increasingly popular musical genre. Musicians like Udo Jürgens or Peter Alexander celebrated great successes in Austria and Germany with their mixture of pop music, Schlager and chanson . As pop interpreters, however, they are usually not counted as part of Austropop.

The dialect wave of the 1970s

The emergence of Austropop was accompanied by a number of artists who sang in their dialect, initially primarily Viennese . As early as the 1960s, the Worried Men Skiffle Group had presented Glaubst i bin bled, a remarkable hit for the time.

Wilfried (2008)

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a number of musicians created songs in their dialect in addition to songs in Standard German. Among the first nationally popular recordings were The Worried Men Skiffle Group with their legendary appearance on the show Wünsch Dir Was on October 8, 1970 and their environmentally critical text Der Mensch is a Sau , in keeping with the spirit of the 1960s with subtitles "Pig" for viewers and viewers in other German-speaking broadcasting areas, the FRG and Switzerland. It appeared Marianne Mendts Wia a Glock'n (1970; text: Gerhard Bronner ) and Wolfgang Ambros ' Da Hofa (1971; text: joesi prokopetz ), but also the Chanson related songs by songwriters like André Heller ( Let A zigeina mecht i , 1970), Arik Brauer (about Sie hab'n a house builds and Sein Köpferl in the sand / “Behind mine, front of mine” ) - the album went gold twice - or Georg Danzer and the Madcaps ( I man I dram 1970), the as a reason for Austropop. Georg Danzer, who had previously written individual dialect songs, achieved another notable success with the single Der Tschik in 1972. His breakthrough came a little later with Jö schau (1975). The early Austropop remained experimental with songs like Alle Menschen san ma zwider by Kurt Sowinetz (1972), a text version of Beethoven's Ninth , today's European anthem, or the musical Der Watzmann ruft (Ambros, diving , Prokopetz, 1974). With Wilfried's first hit , Ziwui ziwui 1972, and Bilgeri & Köhlmeiers Oho Vorarlberg 1973, Austropop got beyond the Viennese scene. Based on the success of these songs, the dialect was established in popular music across the country.

From 1969 onwards , the show Showchance, created by the Austrian broadcasting company ORF , contributed to the popularity of these young musicians . Planned as a platform for new pop interpreters, the career of singer and guitarist Peter Cornelius developed from this action . Like Ambros from time to time, he was said to have a musical affinity with Danzer, whose texts, however, were much more serious than those of Cornelius. Ludwig Hirsch presented himself extremely poetically , whose song Come, Big Black Bird in 1978 was not allowed to be played on the radio after 10 p.m.

Regardless of the " Schnulzenerlaß " from ORF general manager Gerd Bacher , which was directed against German-language popular music , Austropop was strongly promoted by individual radio producers such as Evamaria Kaiser and André Heller in the early days of the ORF radio station Ö3, which was founded in 1967  . The development of this trend was partly due to the dominance of English-language music in pop culture , which prompted lyricists and interpreters to present their texts in German or in their respective dialect. The language then also formed the greatest hurdle for many of the artists who often hindered international success beyond the German-speaking area .

From German to English, from dialect to New Wave

Kurt Hauenstein (2008)

Austropop experienced two high points: The first was between 1973 and 1976, when Wolfgang Ambros and Georg Danzer had their great successes, which are still in great demand today.

In addition to the dialect, the English language became more popular in music at the end of the 1970s. Austropop thus developed into a more diverse genre. The most successful band that sang in English was Kurt Hauenstein's Supermax , which landed an international number one hit with their hit Lovemachine . Among other things, Supermax was the first band to appear in South Africa under exposure to apartheid with a band consisting of whites and blacks in front of an equally mixed audience. Further to be mentioned for this period would be Waterloo & Robinson or Goldie Ens .

First general uncertainty (2008)

The Neue Deutsche Welle of the 1980s was also the trailblazer for success for many Austrian bands. Minisex in particular was featured in the charts several times with German-language texts. The great successes of the First General Uncertainty , which also became known in other European countries with humorous, often political texts , also fall during this period .

Rainhard Fendrich (2006)

The dialect wave subsided increasingly. In 1981, after a long time with Strada del Sole by Rainhard Fendrich, a song in dialect was at the top of the hit list. At that time, Wolfgang Ambros and Georg Danzer were more successful with their albums than with singles and from that point on they no longer had a big hit.

Willi Resetarits alias Dr. Kurt Ostbahn (2009)

In Vienna, the band Kurt Ostbahn & die Chefpartie formed around the former singer of the political rock band Butterflies , Willi Resetarits , another band that initially played famous blues , rock , folk and rhythm and blues pieces in Viennese style translated, but then also specially wrote lyrics. Since it was founded, it has been number one in the album charts three times. In 2003 the group was disbanded because of the death of the writer and idea generator Günter Brödl . The last album for the time being, which also featured new hits, was released in 2005.

World success in the 1980s

Opus (2007)
Falco (1986)

With the emerging new wave scene, more new artists came to popularity. At the beginning of the 1980s celebrated Falco, who with many of his songs captured the German-speaking countries, as the first German rapper called ( the Commissioner ), international success. To this day he is, alongside Hauenstein / Supermax, the most important Austrian pop musician internationally. Shortly before that, Reinhold Bilgeri had climbed to the top of the Brazilian charts with Video Life . In 1984 the band Opus had another international hit with Live Is Life . A year later it was again Falco who led the charts in numerous countries with Rock Me Amadeus . After Anton Karas, he was the second Austrian to have a number one hit in the USA . In the German-speaking area, the first general uncertainty with bank robberies, Prince Charming (1985) and Fata Morgana (1987) achieved success. In the summer of 1984 the three Steirer Schiffkowitz (real name Helmut Röhrling), Günter Timischl and Gert Steinbäcker , who formed the pop / rock band STS in the second half of the 1970s, were number 1 with the song " Fürstenfeld " Hit parade.

From 1990 to 2009

Hubert von Goisern (2009)

From 1990 on, Austropop was initially quieter. The EAV and Rainhard Fendrich reached a few chart positions. Hubert von Goisern made his debut in 1992 with his Original Alpinkatzen . Many of the well-known songs by this musician are traditional songs, reinterpreted. With the alpine rock a new genre emerged, the first hit was the Hiatamadl von Goiserns. This music is less “Austrian” in the true sense than it is cross-border alpine. Over time, the genre of modern popular music has been carried over to many other areas. The groups more oriented towards folk music include the Ausseer Hardbradler , the Seer - later commercially very successful - or Attwenger with more experimental approaches to adapting currents such as rap and drums'n'bass. New folk music , which can be seen as a European offshoot of world music , has established itself as an umbrella term for this style .

From the mid-1990s, Austrian musicians from the field of pop music were hardly played by the domestic radio stations, especially the Ö3 broadcaster, which had dominated for decades. The reason given was that there was a lack of promising artists. With Blond by Rainhard Fendrich in 1997 there was the last number one hit in the Viennese dialect, which falls under the term pop music. At the end of the 1990s, Danzer, Fendrich and Ambros founded the Austria 3 project for a charity project and toured the German-speaking countries, but also gave concerts in other countries.

In the field of hip-hop and electronic music , some Austrian musicians and formations were able to gain an international foothold, but these are usually not counted as Austropop . At the beginning of the 2000s, interpreters like Marque or Tamee Harrison , some of them internationally, were able to achieve a certain degree of awareness at times. Zabine , former Alpinkatzen singer, created a mixture of folk music and electronic music.

The most successful musician in recent years is Christina Stürmer , the runner-up in the first season of the ORF casting show Starmania (2002/2003), which reached the top of the charts in Austria as well as in Germany and Switzerland. In addition, formations such as SheSays , Zweifrau and Luttenberger * Klug gained greater national recognition.

Young bands offer radio stations such as FM4 with the FM4 Soundpark and Ö3 with the Ö3 Soundcheck , the opportunity to present themselves to a wider public. In order to build on the success of Christina Stürmer, Ö3, part of the ORF, which produced the Starmania casting shows, started the campaign Die Neue Österreicher in 2007 to promote young bands and musicians; partly those who had previously started at Starmania. However, the respective dialect was rarely used by these bands, mostly in standard German or English.

Return of the dialect in the mainstream

In 2010 there were several Austrian hits in the charts that were sung in dialect and achieved high placements. These included Vo Mello to ge Schoppornou from the Holstuonarmusigbigbandclub and Oida taunz! by Trackshittaz . A few months later Hubert von Goisern reached number one in the Austrian charts with his song Brenna tuat's guat . Well-known bands that had major successes not only in Austria but also in Germany from 2013 onwards are Bilderbuch , Wanda and Granada . These bands have a style that is more indie rock and mostly sing in Austrian Standard German with a strong Austrian accent, but some passages entirely in dialect .

Austria's new popular artists since the 2010s are Andreas Gabalier , who established his own style of music with folk rock'n'roll , a mixture of folk music and rock 'n' roll .

In 2014 Thomas Neuwirth won the Eurovision Song Contest as drag queen Conchita Wurst with the song Rise Like a Phoenix . Neuwirth is currently appearing in the two fictional characters Conchita and WURST, as Conchita he sings " glamorous divas - ballads " and since 2019 he has also been doing electro pop as WURST .

Artists (selection)



  • Harry Fuchs: Austropop - history, framework and relevance of a national popular music culture . GRIN, ISBN 3-638-67608-0 .
  • Rudi Dolezal: World famous in Austria - 50 years of Austropop . Hoanzl, ISBN 3-902568-25-9 .
  • Rudi Dolezal, Joesi Prokopetz: Austropop - The book . Bosworth, ISBN 978-3-86543-420-3 .
  • Best of Austropop . 100 must-have hits - lyrics and chords. Bosworth, ISBN 978-3-86543-324-4 .
  • Walter Groebchen (Ed.): Home game. A chronicle of Austropop. Hannibal-Verlag, Andrä-Wörden 1995.
  • Robert Harauer: Adieu, Austropop ?. The dwindling chances of Austrian pop music on the music market . ISBN 3-9501162-3-0 .
  • Wolfgang Zink: Austro-Rock-Lexicon. With over 1000 bands and solo artists. Self-published in 1989.
  • Gröbchen / Mießgang / Stöger / Obkircher: WienPop - Five decades of music history told by 130 protagonists. Falter Verlag 2013, ISBN 978-3-85439-473-0 .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Harry Fuchs: Austropop. About the rise and fall of a trademark . In: Walter Gröbchen (Ed.): Home game. A chronicle of Austropop . Hannibal-Verlag, Andrä-Wörden 1995, pp. 73-79.
  2. Rudi Dolezal with Joesi Prokopetz: Austropop - The book. World famous in Austria . Bosworth Music, Berlin 2009.
  3. ^ Walter Groebchen: Part Two. The seventies or Austropop, Arena and alternatives . In: Walter Gröbchen et al .: Wienpop. Five decades of music history told by 130 protagonists . Falter-Verlag, Vienna 2013, pp. 84–175.
  4. Maria Andergast: A fesche Katz  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ; Bauernsamba  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ; Hitchhikers human  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  @1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  @1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  5. More and more dialect songs in our hit parades: "Sing ma wieda Weanerisch ...!" In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna September 1, 1970, p. 6 ( - the open online archive - digitized).
  6. Georg Friesenbichler: Our wild years: the seventies in Austria . Böhlau Verlag, Vienna 2008, ISBN 978-3-205-78151-6 , p. 22 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  7. Déjà-Vu, 9-part television program on the topic of "45 Years of Television in Austria" in the summer of 2000 and the following summer. Script: Teddy Podgorski jun .; Moderation: Teddy Podgorski sen. Private collection of the Austrian Advertising Museum.
  8. "I'm both Conchita and WURST." December 6, 2019, accessed April 29, 2020 .