Billboard #1s for the Week Ending February 22, 1986

This week’s Time Capsule!

Chart Title Act Weeks
Hot 100 How Will I Know? Whitney Houston 2
R & B Do Me Baby Meli’sa Morgan 2
Country There’s No Stopping Your Heart Marie Osmond 1
Adult Contemporary Sara Starship 1
Rock All the Kings Horses The Firm 1
Album Promise Sade 2

FalcoAmadeusThis week sees the most successful US hit by an Austrian musician blast into the Top 40. Hans Hötzel was born in Vienna in 1957. His interest in music materialized early, derailing his formal education, an internship, and a stint in the Army. He spent a few months in the Vienna Conservancy, but pop music beckoned and he dropped out. He lived briefly in West Berlin, exploring jazz-rock; he returned to Vienna and adopted the stage name Falco. After working with a couple of bands, he launched a solo career. His songs were very successful on the continent, but barely made a mark on the US or UK charts. The British band After the Fire had a Top 10 hit with a translation of his song Der Kommissar in 1983, but he wasn’t able to translate that into personal success, perhaps because he sang in German.

After seeing the film Amadeus, he was inspired to write his biggest hit. Rock Me Amadeus was rap-sung in German over a hard dance beat; the US version features an English overlay vocal. It entered the Hot 100 at #79 on February 8, 1986 and shot up the charts. This week it moved from #56 to #40. It surged to #29 the following week and spent three weeks at #1 a month later. He also took the song to the top of the British chart. It was mostly a novelty hit, and even singing in English didn’t give Falco much more of a US chart career. After one more Top 20 single, he disappeared, although he continued to chart successfully in Europe. He died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic just before his 41st birthday.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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