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Falco and Ursela Monn , 1986 at the film premiere of Money or Liver! in food

Falco ( real name Johann "Hans" Hölzel ; born February 19, 1957 in Vienna ; † February 6, 1998 near Puerto Plata , Dominican Republic ) was an Austrian musician . His title Rock Me Amadeus reached the top of the US Billboard charts as the only German-language song to date .

Origin and childhood

Johann Hölzel was born on February 19, 1957 as the son of Maria (née Saurer) and Alois Hölzel in Vienna . He was the only survivor of triplets . His mother had the other two children in the third month of pregnancy loss after a hemorrhage in the women's hospital Gersthof was admitted. Hölzel grew up as an only child in simple circumstances in the 5th Viennese district Margareten in the Ziegelofengasse . His father Alois (* April 29, 1928; † August 19, 2019) came from Lower Austria and worked as a foreman in a machine factory, his mother Maria (* November 15, 1926; † April 13, 2014) came from Bad Tatzmannsdorf in Burgenland and At the time of his birth, was the branch manager of the Habsburg laundry in Vienna's 14th district of Penzing . In 1959 she took over a grocery store on Ziegelofengasse to supplement the family's income.

A pronounced musical talent was shown early on. In this way, Hölzel quickly learned by heart hits that were played on the radio. For his fourth birthday he was given a baby grand piano and a year later a record player , on which he preferred to listen to Elvis Presley , Cliff Richard and the Beatles . At the age of five, he was given an absolute pitch during an audition at the Vienna Music Academy .

Youth and education

In 1963 Hölzel was enrolled in the Piarists' private Roman Catholic school . From 1967 he attended the Rainer high school in Margareten. A little later, the father left the family, so that the boy grew up under the care of his mother, grandmother and a neighbor. During this phase his close relationship with his mother developed, which lasted until his death. In 1973 Hölzel left school after accumulating a number of absent hours. At the urging of his mother, he began an apprenticeship as an office clerk at the pension insurance institute for the commercial economy (today the social insurance institution for the commercial economy ), which he broke off after a short time. With friends he founded the band Umspannwerk. At the age of 17 he volunteered for an eight-month military service with the armed forces .

During this time he initially played the electric guitar , but then switched to his favorite instrument , the electric bass . He then enrolled at the Vienna Conservatory of Music , but dropped out after a semester to become “a real musician”.

Musical career

Beginnings (1977–1980)

Johann Hölzel moved to West Berlin for a few months , where he played as a jazz bassist through various clubs and came into contact with the music scene. In an Austrian hotel he saw on January 1, 1978, the " New Year's " the Four Hills Tournament , in which it called the "hawk" DDR - ski jumper Falko Weißpflog impressed. Hölzel decided to name himself after the athlete. In order to achieve better international marketability, he changed the spelling of the name to Falco . At first he was announced at some appearances as Falco Gottehrer or Falco striker , but these surnames fell away after a short time. During this time he also changed his real name to the more international Hoelzel .

Back in Vienna, Falco joined the First Wiener Musiktheater (later Hallucination Company ), an avant-garde rock theater. With this group he achieved initial successes, which were initially limited to the Viennese scene. In the course of the year he switched to the political anarcho band Drahdiwaberl (at the same time he played in his own band Spinning Wheel from 1978 ). As a bass player and occasional singer, Falco also showed his exalted side in addition to his musical talent: when the "Chaotenband" performed, he protected his designer clothes from damage with plastic covers. His self-written piece Ganz Wien , which the band only intended as a solo break filler, was performed by Falco in 1980 as a singer. The song, which addressed drug consumption in the Viennese scene, became an underground hit in the Austrian capital; the radio boycotted it.

In May 1979 Falco produced his first single with the titles Chance to Dance and Summer , which were only released 28 years later in the form of a promotional CD as part of an advertising campaign for Vienna's shopping streets. This CD contains the two original recordings as well as a remix with additional guitar parts as well as an interview with the producer of the record, René Reitz.

The first albums (1981–1984)

The Viennese record entrepreneur Markus Spiegel recognized Falco's talent at a concert by the band Drahdiwaberl and signed a contract with him for three solo LPs; the band was also signed.

“When I saw Falco for the first time with his number Ganz Wien at a Drahdiwaberl concert in the Sofiensaal in Vienna , it was clear to me that I wanted to sign him as a solo artist. Falco made an extremely charismatic impression on me. "

The band's studio album Psychoterror first appeared in mid-1981 , on which the number Ganz Wien can be found. In autumn the English version That Scene , Falco's debut single, was released, which was even played on the radio and reached number 11 on the Ö3 hit parade . Further releases of this song, now in German again, followed on his debut album and the back of the third single, Maschine brennt .

Markus Spiegel brought Falco together with the music producer and sound mixer Robert Ponger , who had composed a song for Reinhold Bilgeri in the summer of 1981 , but he didn't like it - in contrast to Falco, who wrote a text for it. Together they produced the title Der Kommissar , which quickly became a club hit. The Commissioner was published in autumn 1981 and in 1982 brought Falco top positions across Europe. The single also achieved considerable success overseas: In Canada , Falco received gold for the single, in the USA it made it to number 72 with the title.Falco was only the second artist after the Kraftwerk group with their title Autobahn to do a German Text hit the US charts. The song also led the charts in Guatemala . In total, The Commissioner was sold around seven million times worldwide, 750,000 times in France alone . The title was the world's first commercially successful rap song by a white man.

With the production of the music videos for the singles, a collaboration between Falco and the directors Hannes Rossacher and Rudi Dolezal ( DoRo production ) was established, which would last until his death. In the same year, the accompanying album " Einzelhaft" was released , which made it to the top of the Austrian charts and sold around three quarters of a million times worldwide.

The second album, Junge Roemer , which was also produced by Robert Ponger, was released in 1984. Although the album was later regarded as Falco's most successful record, the sales figures remained well below the high expectations that the predecessor had aroused: the solitary confinement was 120,000 times Record sold in Germany, in Austria Falco received a gold record for the sales figures achieved . In order to increase record sales, Falco re-recorded the song Can it be love in a duet with Désirée Nosbusch , but this was not very successful either. Junge Roemer was the first album to be fully made into a film; The film was shot in different parts of the United States, including at the Chelsea Hotel . There was no answer to the Austrian Model Brigitta Cimarolli rotated. It was broadcast under the title Falco - Heroes of Today in 1984 in the ORF series Heroes of Today .

International breakthrough (1985–1987)

After the commercial failure with Junge Roemer , Falco left Robert Ponger and switched to the Dutch producer duo Rob and Ferdi Bolland in 1985 . First he produced the album Falco 3 with the two brothers . Influenced by Milos Forman's film Amadeus and numerous new Mozart biographies, Rock Me Amadeus , Falco's biggest hit, was created. After the title already numerous top positions reached in Europe, the song of the US rose in early 1986, week after week in the top ten Billboard - Charts to finally reach at March 20, 1986 for three weeks # 1, which previously no other German-language title had succeeded. At the same time, the album Falco 3 reached number 3 on the Billboard 200 . Rock Me Amadeus was also listed in 1st place in Great Britain a few weeks later . Falco had become a world star. But the unexpected success also had its downsides for Falco, because the bar was set very high, and he had doubts whether he could build on this success again or whether he would have reached the top of his fame.

Album cover for the LP Falco 3

In German-speaking countries there was a heated controversy about his song Jeanny . After the title was released as the third single after Rock Me Amadeus and Vienna Calling and the accompanying video ran on television, a dispute broke out over the content. Many broadcasters refused to play it because, in their opinion , Jeanny not only described an act of violence, but even glorified it. The boycotts could not diminish the success; rather, sales were increased in this way (→ Streisand effect ): At the beginning of 1986, Jeanny took first place in Germany for eight weeks and became the best-selling single of the year with sales of 2.5 million pieces.

After his tour in the summer of 1986, Falco completed work on the fourth album Emotional , which was released in the fall of the same year. This album includes the singles The Sound of Musik (with which Falco addressed the controversial election of the Austrian Federal President Waldheim ), Coming Home (Jeanny Part 2, One year later) and Emotional . After the release of this album, Falco went on a world tour that took him from Austria to Germany and Switzerland to Japan .

The six concerts in Japan were supposed to be the "test run" for appearances in the USA, which were planned between January and March 1987. After the immense success of Rock Me Amadeus and other good placements worldwide, Falco was given the opportunity to establish itself as a world star on a permanent basis. But the trip to Japan and Falco's personal attitude thwarted this request. Plagued by homesickness, Falco made the decision to end the world star ambitions, as they would have required longer stays abroad. In a later interview he said, “I would have had many opportunities to go to America. I didn't do it because the nicest thing about the American flag is the red, white and red stripes. "

Setbacks (1988–1991)

In 1987 Falco made little musical talk. After the exhausting Japan tour, he was physically and mentally in bad shape and as a result largely withdrew from the public. After only the title track of his last album was released in spring with Emotional (which only proved to be moderately successful in the charts), he began working on new musical material in the second half of the year. The recordings for his fifth album, which he wanted to produce with Gunther Mende and Candy de Rouge , took a long time and were finally discontinued after the record company criticized the quality of the few tracks recorded to date. The only new release was the single Body Next to Body , recorded with Brigitte Nielsen and produced by Giorgio Moroder , which, however, could not build on the successes of the two previous years.

In 1988, after a quarrel with the Bolland brothers, a collaboration with the two Dutch hit suppliers took place again. With their help, the recordings for the new album were resumed and brought to an end. In autumn of that year the record Wiener Blut was finally released . Although this came in the top 10 in Germany and reached second place in Austria, it was not granted any lasting commercial success; the sales figures lagged significantly behind those of the predecessor Emotional . From the planned European tour, only the opening concert took place in Oldenburg , the remaining appearances were canceled due to insufficient demand.

After the failure of Wiener Blut , Falco once again ended the collaboration with the Bolland brothers. With Robert Ponger, who had already produced Falco's first two albums, he recorded the album Data de Groove in 1990 . The record and the single of the same name made it into the Austrian charts (number 11 for albums, number 12 for singles), but outside of his home country Falco could not record any noteworthy notices. Data de Groove thus marked Falco's commercial low.

In a conversation in 1991 with an editor of the Rennbahn-Express , Falco said: “'Data de Groove' was an introverted, very private album. People don't want to attend university on my semester until they understand. I will no longer produce texts such as B. 'The mega the score the mono de chrome'. I wanna do better I feel stronger now than what I did five years ago. It was a mess at that time, but today I'm working on my career like never before. "

Comeback (1992-1994)

Falco with manager Claudia Wohlfromm (1997)

In autumn 1992 the album Nachtflug was released , which sold significantly better than Data de Groove . The single Titanic was also able to build on its old successes - at least in Austria.

Shortly before the release of the album Nachtflug , Falco gave an interview in which he also spoke about the subject of the song Titanic : “I asked 200 friends what they think of when they hear the word 'decadence'. Everyone said something different, but it always had something to do with me. According to the Duden, it means “downfall”, and then it was clear to me: The Titanic […] will probably not be able to follow successes like Rock Me Amadeus , but I do believe that it will be a strong sign of life. […] The Titanic is definitely dealing critically with society, which believes that its wings will grow when you fall, and I mean, we belong to this society too! "

Motivated by the success of the album Nachtflug , Falco went on a European tour again in May 1993. As part of this tour, he performed a month later at the Vienna Danube Island Festival in front of around 150,000 visitors. Although a violent thunderstorm wet the audience and part of the stage technology failed, the concert was initially continued, but later ended prematurely due to the amount of rain and the defective technology. In September of that year, Falco was a guest at Opus' Jubilee concert in the Orpheum in Graz to celebrate the band's 20th anniversary. He sang the Opus hit Flyin 'High with Opus singer Herwig Rüdisser .

Change of style (1995–1997)

Falco's villa in Gars am Kamp , Hornerstrasse 214

In 1995 Falco released the single Mutter, der Mann mit der Koks ist da , a techno version of an old Berlin street hit from the 1920s. For this he chose the pseudonym T >> MA in order to avoid the expected success pressure of a new Falco single. Six months later the title stormed the charts and unexpectedly gave Falco a new hit.

In the summer of 1996 the dance number Naked (under Falco feat. T >> MB) was released, which should sound out the prospects of success of the planned new album Egoisten (the original title of Out of the Dark ). While the single reached number 4 in Austria, not even 50,000 copies were sold in Germany. This failure led Falco to discard his ideas for the new album and its release was postponed indefinitely. Naked was the last release in Falco's lifetime.

On February 19, 1997, Falco celebrated his 40th birthday with a big party, at which he played some of his big hits in front of the assembled guests and gave a preview of the new album. Also present was Niki Lauda , a longtime companion Falco, who later became a Boeing 737-800 on the name Falco baptized.

On New Years Eve 1997 Falco had his last official live appearance in the Excalibur City . At the beginning of 1998, after the Christmas party with his mother, Falco flew back to his adopted Caribbean home, the Dominican Republic.


Falco's grave in Vienna's central cemetery in 2006

On February 6, 1998, Falco died in a car accident on the road between the towns of Villa Montellano and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic . On the exit from the parking lot of the "Turist Disco" a bus rammed his SUV - Falco was immediately dead. During the autopsy, he was found to have a blood alcohol level of 1.5 ‰ and large amounts of cocaine and THC . In the aftermath, it was rumored that Falco had killed himself . This was primarily due to the appropriately interpreted line of text “Do I have to die to live?” From the title Out of the Dark ; However, the song was written a few years before Falco's death and was not written by him, but by Torsten Börger.

After his body had been transferred to Austria, Falco was buried in the presence of over 4000 fans in the Vienna Central Cemetery in an honorary grave (group 40, number 64 ). His coffin was carried to the grave by members of the Viennese motorcycle rockers "Outsider Austria" (they had played in the 1985 video for Rock Me Amadeus ). Even years after Falco's death, his grave is a place of pilgrimage for his fans, some of whom - among other things, in a glass shrine at the foot of the grave - deposit flowers and light candles.

Posthumous effect

Lush Sux : Falco in Mozart's outfit as an homage to his hit Rock Me Amadeus . Graffito at the Falco staircase next to subway station Kettenbrückengasse .

A few weeks after Falco's death, the album Out of the Dark (Into the Light) was released and became a huge commercial success. The album debuted at number 1 in Austria and stayed in the charts for three months; in Germany it stayed in the Top 100 for almost a year. The album was sold two million times in Germany and Austria alone, the single of the same name over 3.5 million times. Other posthumous releases followed, including the album Damn, We're Still Living with previously unreleased tracks.

In 2000, the multimedia show F @ lco - A Cyber ​​Show by Jehoschua Sobol with André Eisermann , Hansi Lang , Roman Gregory , Georgij Makazaria von Stahlhammer , directed by Paulus Manker and under the musical direction of Falco's bandleader Thomas Rabitsch, premiered in Vienna's Ronacher , in which Falco's life was paraphrased as a struggle against a powerful superego . The stage was built into the auditorium in the form of the @ symbol and presented the figure of Falco with the help of lasers , 3D animations and a water screen in the style of an interactive rock concert .

On September 24, 2000, the musical Falco meets Amadeus (FMA) was premiered in the Berlin Theater des Westens . On April 6, 2006 the musical made its debut in the Düsseldorf Capitol Theater.

In 2007, on the occasion of Falco's 50th birthday, the double CD and the DVD of the same name, Hoch like never were released, which achieved double platinum status in a very short time and took first place in the Austrian annual charts.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Falco's death almost a year later, on February 1, 2008, a CD and a DVD with the title Symphonic were released , which were recorded from his only concert with an orchestra in 1994 in Wiener Neustadt . In addition, another limited edition of the CD Hoch was released as never before .

In addition, the biopic Falco was released on February 7, 2008 - Damn, we're still alive! in Austrian cinemas. The 28-year-old Austrian musician Manuel Rubey , front man of the pop group Mondscheiner , was engaged as the main actor .

On December 4, 2009 the album The Spirit Never Dies was released with some previously unreleased titles. In Austria the record reached platinum status, in Germany the album was awarded a gold record for over 100,000 units sold .

On August 15, 2014, the Viennese rapper Nazar released the single Zwischen Zeit und Raum , which he produced with Thomas Rabitsch. For this, Falco's song The Queen of Eschnapur from 1999 was integrated again and combined with Nazar's rap to form a new song.

In February 2017, for his 60th birthday, the double CD Falco 60 was released , which contains his hits and two remixes ( Der Kommissar and Vienna Calling ).

Private life

Falco's personal life has often been the focus of the press. Media interest also aroused the pregnancy of his girlfriend Isabella Vitkovic, who gave birth to her daughter Katharina Bianca on March 13, 1986 in the presence of Falco. Two years later, on June 17, 1988, Falco married Vitkovic in Las Vegas ; the marriage lasted barely a year. The contact with his daughter continued. In the fall of 1993, a paternity test showed that Falco was not Katharina Bianca's biological father. Katharina Bianca described Falco in her book Falco was my father , published in 2008, as a loving, ambitious father. She still doubts the correctness of the paternity test to this day.

In the 1990s, Falco's alleged drug problems were raised in the media. Falco retired to the Dominican Republic , where he wanted to work on his new album. Falco added: “The question is not what am I doing here. The question is, what nonsense do I leave out at home while I'm here? ”Shortly before, Falco had met the Canadian model Caroline Perron , with whom he was later considering a second marriage. The relationship broke up shortly before his 40th birthday.

Falco's mother Maria Hölzel died on April 13, 2014 at the age of 87. She was buried in the grave of her son in the Vienna Central Cemetery.

Falco's father Alois Hölzel died on August 19, 2019 at the age of 91.


Falco statue in Gars am Kamp

In 1986 Falco was awarded the Golden Merit of the State of Vienna by the Mayor of Vienna, Helmut Zilk . 2003 near Falco's former residence in Margareten which to kettenbrückengasse leading Falco staircase named after him. Another name for a Viennese traffic area was Falcogasse in 2008 , which crosses the Trabrenngrund residential complex in Donaustadt , where Falco once lived with his mother. The street sign for the approximately 250-meter-long sidewalk was ceremonially unveiled in June 2009.

The Austrian Post honored Falco with a 6-schilling stamp issued on March 18, 1994.

In October 2011, a Falco statue was unveiled in the spa gardens of Gars am Kamp . The four-ton monument was created by the German master stonemason Alexander Hanel, the base is made of Norwegian Labrador granite.

Falco Square with the Falco monument by Katrin Plavčak

In June 2018 , the Falco sculpture “Is the comet coming or is it too late” by Katrin Plavčak was unveiled in Gansbach , Dunkelsteinerwald municipality . The starting point for the idea for the scene sculpture was a line of text from the song Nur mit dir from Falco's album Junge Roemer . The monument consists of a four-meter-high, black and silver-colored sculpture made of steel and a serpentinite from the Dunkelsteinerwald , which represents a comet . The memorial was erected on the new Falco-Platz by the municipality together with the state of Lower Austria and the Art in Public Space Initiative .

In February 2019 , a themed restaurant in honor of Falco was built on Schwarzenbergplatz in Vienna . The restaurant is decorated with gold records, private photos and the red uniform jacket with gold piping. About 20% of the music played is Falco songs.


Falco named himself after the GDR ski jumper Falko Weißpflog and was called up as Falco Gottehrer at performances by the Hallucination Company . After a while he shortened his pseudonym and finally called himself just Falco . He made several comments about his stage name.

“Well, I think if your name is Hans Hölzel and you want to start in the music business in 1981, then you can't win a prize with that. […] Falco was a good idea, wasn't it? A German name that fit in well with the landscape back then, in 1980, but still had [...] international character and I had no idea, really, from my head, how big the thing will be [...] "

- Falco : Conversation with the music journalist Norbert Ivanek (1993)

"If an intelligent media colleague [...] asks me, Falco, now tell us very clearly: how much of you is Falco and how much is Hans Hölzel? I have a schizoid attack [...] "

- Falco : Interview (1990)



Topic about Rock Me Amadeus audio sample ? / iAudio file / audio sample

Generally, Falco is assigned to rock-influenced pop music . His music was particularly influenced in the beginning by the age of the New Wave and the Neue Deutsche Welle . She mostly uses elements such as synthesizers , chants and beats in the range of 80 to 120 bpm. During his musical career, Falco changed musical styles several times. Shortly before the release of his penultimate album, Nachtflug , Falco said: “This is now my seventh LP and I am confident in style for the first time because I don't have one. I have my journalistic style of biting announcements, reducing, writing down, but musically I can adapt to any style. "

His first albums are strongly of the Berlin Trilogy of David Bowie with the albums Low , Lodger and Heroes ajar. His title No More School is an instrumental plagiarism to Speed ​​of Life from the album Low . Further similarities can be found between the songs Heroes and Heroes of Today or between Junge Roemer and Let's Dance , as well as between Sand am Himalaya from the Wiener Blut album and Bowie's Sound and Vision .

In addition, Falco performed musically as a singer with influences from hip-hop and funk, especially in his early days . In songs like Der Kommissar he developed his own rap style. This makes Falco one of the pioneers in this genre for the whole of Europe, especially for the German-speaking area.

With his second album, Junge Roemer , Falco went in the direction of pop-oriented funk . It was praised by music critics, but received little approval from the audience. In a later interview, Falco said: “Junge Roemer was an absolute flop - economically. But in terms of attitude, something really exorbitant. "

The next albums, Falco 3 and Emotional , are more poppy, with songs influenced by rock (America) and soul (Emotional) . The long player Wiener Blut , released in 1988, was intended to be a pure rock album. The title track originally comes from a recording session for Falco 3 and is very similar to the song Vienna Calling .

1990 Falco worked again for the album Data De Groove with Robert Ponger, who had already produced his debut album. He also wanted to connect musically to solitary confinement , but it is not very similar to it. The production of Pongers, which incorporated modern dance floor elements from the 1990s, was often criticized as being too experimental.

Two years later the album Nachtflug was released , again a production by Bolland & Bolland. Musically, Falco continued the line of Falco 3 and Emotional . The album can be assigned to pop-rock, with reggae and Latin-influenced songs such as yah-vibration or propaganda .

In 1995 and 1996 two new songs were introduced, Mutter der Mann mit dem Koks ist da and Naked , both of which go in the direction of Techno / Eurodance . These two songs were also part of the posthumously released album Out of the Dark (Into the Light) and set the musical direction on this. Falco about techno: "Of course, techno is not my music ... but anyone who understands techno as a momentary, temporary condition has unfortunately not understood it: Techno is the original youth culture of the 90s."


Falco's texts are characterized by multilingualism and language games in the tradition of the Viennese group ( above all : HC Artmann , Gerhard Rühm and Ernst Jandl ). He is considered to be the inventor of the so-called "Manhattan Schönbrunner German", in which Viennese dialect, standard German and English are mixed. In terms of content, the texts often deal with the topics of love, decadence, drug consumption and its consequences ( Ganz Wien , Der Kommissar ) and are often influenced by Viennese abuse . Falco said of the song Mother the Coke Man is There : “The song is basically about the same subject as the Commissioner, and it has turned out over the past few years that the same people feel called on to the scene over and over again make the whole thing a hit ” .

Often his lyrics were humorous or cynical, the song Titanic is an example :

"The Titanic sinks in a panic very allanig - but smart
with all the millions of cash and all the expensive laundry '
The Titanic sinks in a panic allanig - but good,
because whoever tries to save himself has the courage to go down
Decadence for you and me , decadence "

- Falco : Titanic

In the 1990s, Falco taught a class at Christian Ide Hintze's "School for Poetry". The name of the course was “Does Falco write texts? If yes how?".

Hip hop

With the development of his spoken chant, Falco is one of the first German-speaking rappers, and he is often referred to as "the first white rapper ". However, its pioneering role in the international hip-hop scene is very controversial . In 1982 Falco went to New York to gain a foothold there with his song Der Kommissar . The song was played especially often in New York clubs by hip-hop DJ Afrika Bambaataa . With him Falco planned a collaboration for the second album, which was not realized.

Several times, especially in the Austrian media, Falco was referred to as one of the founders of this genre, others refused to assign him this role in the music business. He himself said that he saw himself as a pop musician and not a hip hopper.

These took Falco in 1997 in an alternative radio station in the Austrian FM4 transmitted discussion with the Vienna rap crew blemish position. At the time he said that he did not distance himself from hip-hop, but had nothing to do with its socially critical statement.

"I lived hip-hop, but not in the American sense, but Viennese hip-hop."

- Falco : Tribe Vibes radio show

Music videos

Falco's music videos have been produced by the duo DoRo ("Torpedo Twins") since its second release, Der Kommissar . Probably the best known of his music videos was the one for the song Rock Me Amadeus , in which Falco appears as "Mozart-Punk". This clip arose from the idea of visually reprocessing the film Amadeus .

Influence and reception


Right at the beginning of his career, Falco's music met with massive criticism from the media. The Austrian radio station Ö3 did not want to play its first songs That Scene and Der Kommissar , which were published in 1981, on the grounds that a mentally disturbed person would sing. But then Ö3 also had to play his songs, but she commented, e.g. B. Junge Römer , which was published in 1984, as follows: “That was Falco, but now we play decent music.” After Falco had his first major successes, he often appeared on radio and television programs. His self-developed artificial language was described as arrogant. Some said he wanted to set himself apart from others with his own dialect.

After Falco's death several publications appeared around his person and his music; this commercialization was often criticized in public. The documentary film Hoch als nie and the book of the same name by DoRo as well as the posthumously published long player Symphonic by Thomas Rabitsch had to put up with criticism .

Musical influence

With his style of music, Falco is considered one of the pioneers in the field of German-speaking rap . In his song NDW 2005 , the German rapper Fler used the melody of the Falco song Rock Me Amadeus . In the accompanying video he is wearing a t-shirt with Falco's likeness. In addition, the song Jeanny is regarded as a melody model for the songs An Tage Like This by the German hip-hop group Fettes Brot and Neue Numma 1 by Fler from Berlin. Furthermore, the German rap crew Die Fantastischen Vier (Fanta4) gave Falco the musical honor on the album Fornika (2007). For the track Nikki was never weg they used the Rock-Me-Amadeus melody. Fanta4 member Smudo also expressed appreciation for Falco on several occasions. The US band Bloodhound Gang also used Rock Me Amadeus for the title Mope and pays homage to Falco in this song as "Father of German Rap".

Falco and Drahdiwaberl

After the whole of Vienna became a popular song at the Drahdiwaberl concerts, the band's debut album called Psychoterror , on which this song can be found, was produced. 1983 Falco recorded the song Die Galeere with his former band . In 1985 the Austrian Michael Patrik Simoner was discovered by the Drahdiwaberl bandleader Stefan Weber († 2018) as a Falco double and given a contract. After Falco's death he was the only Falco interpreter authorized by the Falco Foundation to perform with his shows Falco forever and A Tribute to Falco . In some cases he also worked with people who had already supported Falco artistically and organizationally.

Discography, chart positions and awards

Cover artwork for the best-of album High as never
Discography (studio albums only)
  • Golden Europe
    • 1982: Artist of the Year
    • 1986: Artist of the Year
  • Bravo Otto
    • 1985: best singer
    • 1986: best singer
  • echo
    • 1999: life's work
  • Amadeus Austrian Music Award
    • 2000: Life's work and as an artist pop / rock national
    • 2005: Music DVD of the year - "Live Donauinsel + Stadthalle Vienna"
    • 2007: Music DVD of the year - "Higher than ever"

With four number 1 hits - Der Kommissar , Rock Me Amadeus , Jeanny, Part I and Coming Home (Jeanny Part 2, One Year Later) - Falco has been one of the most successful artists in the German charts since 1980. In Austria he had between 1981 and 1986 three number 1 hits. In addition, eight of his singles were in the Austrian top 3, which is only exceeded by ABBA , The Beatles and Boney M.


In 1985, a character named "Falco Hoelzel" appeared in the science fiction series Perry Rhodan . It was incorporated into issue numbers 1263 and 1268 as a homage to the author Peter Griese . Falco was a reader of the series. The fictional character fell into the depths in volume 1263 without a parachute. (Falco sang in the machine is on fire : "Only those who fall eleven thousand meters without a parachute have the damage".)

Falco played himself in the films The Formula One Film and Money or Liver! from 1986, in which many of his songs from that time are played and Sound of Music is played in full as a concert appearance. In 1990 he also had a guest appearance in the 10th episode of the series Ein Schloß am Wörthersee .

Tribute to Falco by “The Bolland Project feat. Alida ”reached number 95 in the German charts in 1998.

Shortly after his death, the Viennese hip-hop group directed cosmetic defects to Falco, whom they knew personally, the track I met Falco and thought he was nice .

The Austrian band Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung faked numerous performers from Austria and southern Germany on their album Austropop in Tot-Weiß-Tot (under the pseudonym Klaus Eberhartinger & Die Gruftgranaten ) by rewriting well-known hits by these musicians. Falco wasn't spared either - his hit Rock Me Amadeus became Asks me when you have to go .

In 2003 the music producer Stevo Djuric Falco dedicated the track Macho Mozart with his dance music project "DJ Roy Davis" .

In 2004, for the Austrian preliminary decision for the Eurovision Song Contest, the title Sexuality , written by Falco but previously unpublished and sung by André Leherb , was submitted. He finished ninth and penultimate place.

At an auction in July 2004, Falco's old Mercedes ( 280 CE ), which he had bought in 1982, was auctioned for 50,000 euros.

In 2012 the dark metal band Eisregen released a cover version of Falco's hit Mutter, the man with the coke is here, on a compilation of their older songs .

In spring 2017, on the occasion of Falco's 60th birthday, Amalthea Verlag published the graphic novel Falco - The legend lives by Reinhard Trinkler .

One day before Falco's 60th birthday, on February 18, 2017, Falco - the musical - was premiered in the Admiralspalast in Berlin .


  • Peter Lanz: Falco. The authorized biography of the superstar . With illustrations; Original edition. Bastei-Verlag Lübbe, Munich / Bergisch Gladbach 1986, ISBN 3-404-61099-7 .
  • Gerd Michael Hamm: Falco . In: Pop Star Album . tape 9 . Bastei-Verlag Gustav H. Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1986, DNB  870670387 .
  • Maria Hölzel (Ed.): Privacy Falco . Ed. Falco / Schiller, Vienna 1998, ISBN 3-9500897-0-5 .
  • Peter Wagner: Falco - what remains .. Ideal, Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3-932912-09-8 .
  • Rudi Dolezal , Hannes Rossacher : Falco - higher than ever . Kremayr & Scheriau, Vienna 1998, ISBN 3-218-00656-2 .
  • Michaela Sand: Falco. 1957-1998 . University of Music and Performing Arts, diploma thesis, Graz 1999.
  • Christopher Dietz: The famous graves of Vienna. Falco, Klimt, Kraus, Moser, Mozart, Qualtinger, Schiele, Schubert, Strauss and others. v. a. Deuticke, Vienna a. a. 2000, ISBN 3-85223-452-2 .
  • Christian Ide Hintze (ed.): Viva la poesia. Poetry School - Nick Cave, Falco and Allen Ginsberg. Songs, pictures and anecdotes . Residenz-Verlag, Salzburg, Vienna a. a. 2002, ISBN 3-7017-1337-5 .
  • Ingeborg Schober: Pop Tragedies. The most spectacular falls from the Beach Boys to Nirvana . Ueberreuter, Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-8000-7004-9 .
  • Falco: Sing your hits. Falco . Bosworth, 2006, ISBN 3-86543-155-0 .
  • Peter Lanz: Falco. The biography . Ueberreuter, Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-8000-7281-1 .
  • Katharina Bianca Vitkovic, Martina Bauer: Falco was my father . Ueberreuter, Vienna 2008, ISBN 978-3-8000-7356-6 .
  • Falco: Falco. Lyrics complete . Ed .: Christian Ide Hintze. Residence, St. Pölten 2009, ISBN 978-3-7017-1529-9 .
  • Petra Reichel: Falco. Between man and fictional character . University of Music and Performing Arts, diploma thesis, Vienna 2009.
  • Horst Bork: Falco. The truth. How it really was - his manager tells . Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-89602-921-8 .
  • Christian Ide Hintze (Ed.): Falco's many languages . Residence, St. Pölten 2009, ISBN 978-3-7017-3183-1 .
  • Peter Lanz: Falco. The biography . Ueberreuter, Vienna 2013, ISBN 978-3-8000-7564-5 (This version contains a CD with the 13 greatest hits and a previously unpublished interview from 1993).
  • Reinhard Trinkler : Falco: The legend lives on . Amalthea Signum Verlag, Vienna 2017, ISBN 978-3-99050-078-1 .
  • Michael Huber: Falco. In: Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon . Online edition, Vienna 2002 ff., ISBN 3-7001-3077-5 ; Print edition: Volume 1, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-7001-3043-0 .

Web links

Wikiquote: Falco  - Quotes
Commons : Falco  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. billboard.com
  2. ^ "Falco" (Johann Hölzel) (1957-1998). kuo-bt.at, accessed on May 5, 2017 .
  3. a b c d childhood and adolescence. falco.at, accessed on May 5, 2017 .
  4. Michael Pilz: Falco - a pop icon haunts the cinemas. In: The world . June 3, 2008, accessed July 7, 2008 .
  5. Superstar Falco: His roots are in Margareten. meinviertel.at, February 7, 2017, accessed on May 5, 2017 .
  6. Death of Alois Hölzel. In: bestattung-thennemayer.at . Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  7. a b c d e f Falco (biography). laut.de, accessed on July 7, 2008 .
  8. He lives forever for his fans. (No longer available online.) Hit-Radio antenne Niedersachsen, formerly in the original ; Retrieved July 7, 2008 .  ( 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 / www.antenne.com  
  9. Falco - Pop around the clock - December 2002 / May 2003. In: 3sat.online. 3Sat, accessed July 7, 2008 (December 2008 / March 2004).
  10. ^ A b Peter Lanz / Sony BMG: Falco biography. (No longer available online.) Tyskopgaver, archived from the original on June 11, 2008 ; Retrieved July 7, 2008 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.tyskopgaver.dk
  11. ^ Peter Lanz: Falco biography. falco-cominghome.de, accessed on July 7, 2008 .
  12. Biography - Sections The course is set. & Hans Hölzel becomes Falco & The rise to pop star , falco.at, Falco private foundation
  13. Ö3-HITPARADE - September 20, 1981: 11 (new) , austriancharts.at/oe3_archiv
    Ö3-HITPARADE - September 27, 1981: 13 (11) , austriancharts.at/oe3_archiv
    Ö3-HITPARADE - October 4, 1981: 14 ( 13) , austriancharts.at/oe3_archiv
    Ö3-HITPARADE - October 11, 1981: 15 (14) , austriancharts.at/oe3_archiv
    Ö3-HITPARADE - October 18, 1981: 19 (15) , austriancharts.at/oe3_archiv
    Ö3-HITPARADE - October 25, 1981: 19 (19) 6 wks. austriancharts.at/oe3_archiv
    Ö3-HITPARADE - November 1, 1981: - , austriancharts.at/oe3_archiv
  14. ^ Falco - Johann Hölzel, Born: 2-19-1950, Died: 2-6-1998 ... in a car wreck. (No longer available online.) Discomuseum, archived from the original on May 9, 2008 ; Retrieved July 7, 2008 (English). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.discomuseum.com
  15. a b Falco at Allmusic (English). Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  16. The rise to a pop star. In: falco the official site. Estate administration, archived from the original on August 15, 2007 ; Retrieved July 7, 2008 .
  17. Brigitte made Falco sweat. Bravo / falcoextrablatt.falcoworld.net, archived from the original on November 16, 2004 ; Retrieved July 7, 2008 .
  18. Falco biography. (No longer available online.) Musik-base.de, formerly in the original ; Retrieved July 7, 2008 .  ( 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: Toter Link / www.musik-base.de   Falco biography on musikbase.de  ( 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: Toter Link / www.musik-base.de  
  19. ^ Falco - Artist Chart History. In: Billboard Music Charts - Latest Music News - Music Videos. billboard.com, accessed February 10, 2020 .
  20. Falco in the UK charts. Official Charts Company, accessed February 10, 2020 .
  21. See: Hans Mahr in the documentary Hoch als nie:Number one in the USA - 'Rock Me Amadeus' […], but the only one who was sad and was getting sadder and sadder was Hans […], he said : 'I won't be able to do that anymore' "!
  22. ^ Falco - 1957-1958. (No longer available online.) Geocities.co.jp, archived from the original on June 19, 2008 ; Retrieved July 7, 2008 (Japanese). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.geocities.co.jp
  23. Mark Pätzold: Falco, Jeanny and the madness. einestages.de, accessed on July 7, 2008 .
  24. See Wikipedia article: The Spirit Never Dies !
  25. a b setbacks. In: falco the official site. Estate administration, archived from the original on May 16, 2010 ; accessed on July 7, 2008 : "After this turning point, Falco decided in the summer of 1989 to establish" contact "with Robert Ponger [...] and recorded [... with him ...] the" futuristic-earthy "album Data de Groove ."
  26. Falco biography. (No longer available online.) In: Falco Calling. falcoworld.net, archived from the original on June 2, 2008 ; Retrieved July 7, 2008 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.falcoworld.net
  27. The accident. In: falco the official site. Estate administration, archived from the original on May 7, 2010 ; Retrieved July 7, 2008 .
  28. News press release: Falco's autopsy report notarized (March 18, 1998)
  29. The report. In: Junge Roemer. falco.at.tt, archived from the original on May 27, 2006 ; Retrieved July 7, 2008 .
  30. Remember Falco! In: 3sat.online. 3Sat, June 4, 2007, archived from the original on February 15, 2009 ; accessed on March 9, 2019 .
  31. ^ Art and culture in Vienna - Falco grave
  32. ^ F @ lco - a cyber show. castalbumdb.com, accessed July 7, 2008 .
  33. Austria Top 40 / Annual Charts 2007. austriancharts.at, accessed on February 10, 2020 .
  34. ^ Falco "The Spirit Never Dies" in the IFPI database DE AT CH
  35. Video premiere: Nazar feat. Falco on oe3.orf.at from August 15, 2014, accessed on August 18, 2014.
  36. Falco was there when his daughter was born . In: Bravo . No. 15 , April 3, 1986, ISSN  0406-9595 , pp. 5 .
  37. See: Katharina Bianca Vitkovic, Martina Bauer: Falco was my father . Ueberreuter, Vienna 2008, ISBN 3-8000-7356-0 .
  38. Karsten Kammholz: Paternity test: I am the daughter of pop star Falco. In: welt.de . January 28, 2008, accessed October 7, 2018 .
  39. Falco's last interview. falco.net, accessed July 7, 2008 .
  40. Grave stone Maria Hölzel ( Memento of the original from August 17, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on viennatouristguid.de  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.viennatouristguide.at
  41. Death of Alois Hölzel
  42. wien.at - Neue Straßenennamen, October 7, 2008, Falcogasse ( Memento of the original from March 27, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.wien.gv.at
  43. Tribute to Austria's pop genius: Vienna is getting a Falcogasse. In: Press Service Rathauskorrespondenz. City of Vienna, May 12, 2009, accessed on February 10, 2018 .
  44. ^ Austropop 3rd value Falco. In: Philately Shop. Austrian Post , archived from the original on January 21, 2012 ; Retrieved November 24, 2011 .
  45. orf.at: Monument unveiled: Falco immortal . Article dated October 8, 2011, accessed June 2, 2018.
  46. Exhibitions, museums, art in public space . Office of the Provincial Government of Lower Austria, May 30, 2018.
  47. NÖN: Dunkelsteinerwald: Gansbach: Memorial for Falco in Dunkelsteinerwald . Article dated May 3, 2018, accessed June 2, 2018.
  48. First Falco restaurant opened in Vienna. February 20, 2019, accessed February 20, 2019 .
  49. a b c Falco in a conversation with Norbert Ivanek 1993. To be found on the CD " Einzelhaft" (25th Anniversary Edition)
  50. a b c d e cf. Rudi Dolezal, Hannes Rossacher: Falco. Higher than ever. Kremayr & Scheriau, 1998, ISBN 3-218-00656-2 .
  51. Falco (1992). See documentation: Higher than ever!
  52. See chapter: Data de Groove in the documentary film Hoch als nie!
  53. a b Falco (1995). See documentation: Higher than ever!
  54. Ah, Amadeus! Tagesspiegel, June 5, 2008, accessed July 7, 2008 (portrait of Falco). The rise to a pop star. Estate administration, accessed on July 7, 2008 : "[...] It's not just his brilliant texts, a mixture of High German, Viennese and English, it's not just the artificial language he developed, but above all it's his own way of working sing, making him the first white rapper. [...] "
  55. a b c Falco in a discussion in the program Tribe Vibes on the alternative radio station FM4 (1997) ( archive on DE film )
  56. See: World famous in Austria - 50 years of Austropop . Episode 5 - World famous in the world - Falco!
  57. ^ Editor-in-chief Manfred Horak, 10th anniversary of Falco's death , www.kulturwoche.at, Vienna 2008.
  58. The galley in the Austrian charts. In: austriancharts.at - Austria Top 40 - Hit parade Austria. austriancharts.at, accessed on July 7, 2008 .
  59. ^ Falco Forever. (No longer available online.) Falco Fanclub Berlin, archived from the original on March 7, 2009 ; Retrieved July 7, 2008 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.falcofanclub-berlin.de
  60. Chart tracking - Falco. GfK, accessed on February 10, 2020 .
  61. Falco in the Austrian charts. In: austriancharts.at - Austria Top 40 - Hit parade Austria. austriancharts.at, accessed on July 7, 2008 .
  62. Perry Rhodan "The Buccaneers of Erendyra"
  63. Tribute to Falco in the German charts. GfK, accessed on February 10, 2020 .
  64. Amalthea - Falco. Retrieved May 25, 2017 .
  65. Fabian Peltsch: That was the premiere of the Falco musical in the Admiralspalast in Berliner Morgenpost on February 19, 2017, accessed on June 4, 2017
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on June 14, 2008 .