Blerd: Sir?
Gonzo: Heya
B: What’s happening?
G: Should be writing, looking up Springsteen guitar chords instead
B: Oh shit. Your birthday’s tomorrow.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
G: I only found out recently that Sasha Obama and the Deal sisters share mine.
B: Any big plans?
G: Getting slizzered at karaoke tomorrow, going to a ballgame on saturday (which Huey Lewis and the News are playing at after
B: Nice! sounds like a fun time
G: Yes! But enough about me.
Let’s talk about Falco!
I like his big album. I don’t even remember what it’s called though.
B: The one with “Rock Me Amadeus”?
G: That’s the one!
B: (like i have any recall of any other Falco albums)
G: Such a wonderfully bizarre yet I think sincere pop oddity.
B: it’s one of those songs i heard so much when it was popular, I can’t listen to it anymore
G: There’s also a decent cover of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” on there
B: REALLY? I’m not so sure i wanted to know that information
G: Too late! Other than that, I really couldn’t tell you much about that album.
Though one of my best friends is a big Falco fan.
B: I’m not sure i understand how anyone can be a big Falco fan.
G: I think said friend might look at Falco as an Austrian Bryan Ferry.
B: My mind is being blown right now. I’ve always just kinda had this idea of him as a novelty singer.
Zack: I think he was a pretty big deal in the homeland. 5 #1 hits it seems.
B: I guess not all his records sound like “Rock Me Amadeus”?
I do have a confession to make, though. I don’t think I have ever heard his version of “Der Kommissar”
G: Well friend, tonight’s your night.

G: Yeah, this video looks 1982.
B: From the album Einzelhaft!
G: It did well abroad: #1 in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain.
At least there’s a lot of variety going on here visually.
B: It’s what i miss about videos. this might be low-budget, but it’s pretty creative. Cool enough to make up for the fact that i have no clue what he’s talking about!
G: Wait, #11 in Canada, what the fuck?
B: Oh, those CRAZY Canucks!
G: And #72 in the US, respectable for a non-English track.
B: I agree, but that was a pretty decent era for non-English tracks. “99 Luftballons”!
(OK, that’s the only non-English track I can think of from that era). There was “La Bamba”, but that was a couple years later.
G: Yes, but that had a Hollywood movie behind it and came along at the height of boomer nostalgia. The only other track I can actually think of is Blondie’s “Sunday Girl”
B: That’s not in English?
G: Like Nena’s hit, I think there is a French version and a hybrid version.
But hey, speaking of English…

B: YEAH!!!
It might have been a decade before I realized this was a cover.
G: I didn’t know it was a cover until I met the aforementioned Falco fan.
B: My mind is still blown about there being Falco fans.
G: …who did this at karaoke, but also gave a brief lecture about Falco being the original.
B: Oh no! lectures at karaoke? Buzzkill!
G: I will say, this is a really solid ’80s pop groove.
B: Yeah man, this is a bouncy jam. Proto-rap, kinda.
G: Is this woman a hooker?
B: Could very well be. Oh man, i love the film trickery here!
Did her trenchcoat just go on backwards?
G: That’s a talented hooker!
B: I know!!! that takes some skills!
So, who was After the Fire?…and what is a kommissar?
G: Good questions both.
B: Wow. they formed in 1974.
G: Kommissar is commissioner, as in a police commissioner, as in THE MAN
B: Totally proto-rap. Po-po is comin’!
G: So according to Wikipedia, After the Fire had already split up when this song became a hit.
B: Well ain’t that some shit
G: (ain’t that some shit!)
…and apparently, they’ve reformed!
G: On the casino and rib fest circuit, I bet!
B: Do they have casinos and rib fests in England?
G: No. They have cricket tournaments and fish n’ chip festivals.
Looks like After the Fire wasn’t even that successful in England.
B: Nope, a one-hit wonder in both countries. Just with two different songs.
G: Now there was another version of this song around the same time…sort of.
B: oh yeah?
G: Laura Branigan (of “Gloria” fame) used the instrumental backing for her “Deep in the Dark.” I can’t find a full version of the video, but there’s this.

B: Get out!!
G: I think I might vaguely remember this, actually. Maybe that’s the wine talking.
B: Haha! how much have you had so far.
G: Just one generous glass.
B: Love it! I need to research this Branigan song.
G: Looks like it didn’t chart in the US, but came from her second album creatively titled, “Branigan 2”
B: Well, how else would anyone have known that it was her second album?
G: Upon reconsideration, “Rock Me Amadeus” seems like a really boring karaoke song.
B: Maybe if Laura Branigan covered “Rock Me Amadeus”, we’d both like it better.
So, what’s the verdict here, Gonz?
G: The Falco and After the Fire versions are fairly similar musically.
The latter does have a bit more “oomph” to it though.
B: The production on ATF’s version is MUCH better.
G: But I wonder if Falco had recorded an English version how that would have fared.
B: It had a video that probably worked well on early MTV.
G: Absolutely.
I’m going to have to go with After the Fire on this one.
B: Oh HELLS yeah, i mean Falco’s version is cool, but ATF is the clear victor here.
G: I like the Falco version, but for all of the above reasons, After the Fire’s version wins out.
B: Now, question.
Had you not heard ATF’s version first, would you feel the same way?
G: I think so. Yeah, i thought about that. It just has more going for it on a purely sonic level.
B: So we agree!
G: Well, that was easy.
B: I know! for the next one im gonna try to think of something REALLY challenging!
B: Alrighty. You have a great birthday, my brother! Karaoke it up! Peace out
G: Night.

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