Sunday, June 29, 2008

You all forgot "Vienna Calling"

Like association football fanatics the world over, I am anxiously awaiting the start of tonight's EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP final between SPAIN and GERMANY in VIENNA.
Inspired by the excellent FOOTBALL AND MUSIC Web site (you can find it here), I am sitting here, sipping coffee on a surprisingly cool morning while listening to Austria's greatest POP MUSIC export -- FALCO.
I am not sure why, but I am always crusading against the false labeling of musical acts as "ONE-HIT WONDERS." Let's consider the late Falco (killed in a 1998 car-bus collision in the Dominican Republic).
His 1985 chart-topping single, "Rock Me Amadeus," is routinely held up in America as an example of a one-hit wonder. Fine. His earlier entry into the charts, the original "Der Kommissar" in 1981, could only muster No. 72 on the U.S. charts (although it reached No. 11 in Canada, No. 7 in Australia and topped several European charts). If the story ended there, I would concede that Falco could be considered a one-hit wonder.
But what about "Vienna Calling?"
Falco's follow-up single for "Rock Me Amadeus" reached No. 18 on the American charts and was played on the radio quite a lot, as I remember.
So why is Falco tagged as a one-hit wonder? If it is because he only managed one No. 1 American hit, then thousands upon thousands of other musical artists deserve, but don't receive the same derisive billing.
I think it has more to do with memory and the unoriginality of the people who program 1980s music shows on American radio stations.
"Hello, whoa-oh, Vienna calling, calling, calling..."


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