First Hit #1: March 29, 1986
It’s always a bit unexpected when a foreign song hits it big, just because people generally don’t know what the singer is on about. As someone who is not Austrian, I can’t tell you anything about Rock Me Amadeus lyrically. An english word might slip through the cracks, but the verses mean nothing to me, as one might expect.
But you can tell immediately why it’s a hit. It’s that distinct synth line combined with the repeated chants of Amadeus. Falco has, possibly unintentionally, made the catchiest song possible with one bloody word. The rise and fall of the Amadeuses, combined with a few ohs just to break things up a bit, somehow manages to create a chorus that will not leave your head, ever. I sometimes wake up humming “Amadeus, Amadeus” (or, its Simpsons equivalent, “Dr. Zaus, Dr. Zaus”), months after hearing the song. It’s that infectious. Falco’s hit transcends language, mostly because the word everyone remembers is a name.