Falco was born as Johann Hölzel on february 19th 1957 in Vienna Margareten. After his parents get a divorce, he grows up under his mother's and grandmother's care.
At the age of sixteen, Falco leaves school, makes a good showing with various jobs and then during his military service he discovers the bass guitar. Six months at the Viennese music conservatory confirm him to become a professional musician. He plays in various project bands (by the way his first band is named transformer station) and tries to gain a foothold in the Westberlinese scene. In 1977 Hansi Hölzel starts calling himself Falco after the German Democratic ski jumper Falko Weisspflog and thus his incessant high altitude flight begins.
We are in the late seventies. The musical scene is in a radical change. The punk explosion splashes from England to Europe, anyone who can hold a guitar is forming a band. Simultaneously cult star David Bowie publishes inspired by German Bands like "Kraftwerk" and "Can" his innovative and influencing Berlin Trilogy "Low", "Heroes" and "Lodger". Together with his sound architect Brian Eno, he went to the bottom of new spheres of pop music. And these records were for Hans Hölzel a unique experience. At the same time there came through the "Neue Deutsche Welle" the first rap sounds and grooves of Curtis Blow or Grandmaster Flash which had an important influence on the musical conglomerat of Falco.
Back to Vienna, Falco founded together with other Viennese scene musicians the commercial band "The Spinning Wheel" especially in order to be able to afford his real "passion", the "First Vienna Musical Theatre"( later Hallucination Company). The excentric Rock Theatre has its great boom at the end of the sixties. The legendary chaos troop "Drahdiwaberl" is the next step on Falco's career ladder. Although he acts in his function as bassplayer in the background of his band, his solo number "Ganz Wien/All of Vienna" becomes the cult hit of Vienna's New Wave Scene. This song turns up later in his album "Einzelhaft/ Solitary confinement". No Austrian title characterized better the atmosphere of the early eighties than "Ganz Wien", It became a fixed part of Falco's life concerts, the first of Falco's songs that would be banned from the radio.
Markus Spiegel, Chef of Gig records, at that time the only Record label of Austria being in private hands, took Drahiwaberl and Falco under contract.
Spiegel: "When I saw Falco at a Drahdiwaberl concert in the Viennese Sophiensälen with his song "Ganz Wien" I was sure that I would take him under contract. Falco left on him an uncanny charismatic impression."
Markus Spiegel contacted the very successful producer and composer Robert Ponger.
In this way the foundation was layed for the career of Austria's real popstar. With his single "Der Kommissar" he succeeds in having the commercial and international breakthrough. "Der Kommissar" sells worldwide 7 million records including the cover versions, in France alone 750,000 copies. His first LP "Einzelhaft/Solitary confinement" was produced by Robert Ponger and was a great success. In this way the quanten jump in the wasting away Austropop was done, the buddy type dominating the Austropop was giving way to a cool, more than life-sized urban Falco, who was sure of his style.
The subsequent record "Young Romans/Jünge Römer"caused the critics to cheer, ("Falco is carved from a different wood" Michael Hopp in the magazine "Wiener") but he cannot join the mega success of "Einzelhaft/Solitary confinement". (Production again Robert Ponger). But "Young Romans" with its smooth dancebeats and the staccato of Falco's knowledge of the city is thought of a then brilliant but unrecognized masterpiece. With his TV Show "Helden von heute/ Heroes of today" Falco created the first Longform-video of German Pop music.
Falco looks for new partners, he leaves Robert Ponger in order to work together with the Dutch producers Bolland and Bolland. The first co-operation of the trio, the single "Amadeus", is soon on top of the Austrian charts. The Long-play Falco 3 and the further singles "Vienna calling" and "Jeanny" are successful all over Europe. Falco seems to have reached the top of his success. And then something happened, something unusual for an Austrian musician. "Amadeus" is for four weeks in March1986 on top of the American charts, is in England, the motherland of pop, on Number 1 and placements in the charts from Southamerica until Japan follow, the video that goes with it is shown in MTV on heavy rotation. The album "Falco 3" has international high placements in the charts and gets in the United States on number 3. As he worked for a long term with the video-producers Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher, Falco develops a visual language of his own. He is the first continental-European pop singer who made use of the signs of the video-clip culture. He is therefore the first continental-European pop musician, who knew how to make use of the international video-clip culture and who shaped it.
In 1986 "Emotional" is produced, again with the Bolland brothers. The single "Sound of Music", "Emotional" and "Coming Home, Jeanny Part 2" were produced.In his subsequent albums "Wiener Blut/Viennese Blood" and "Data de Groove" (Again with Robert Ponger) he tries to dock at the actual spirit of time.
In autumn 1992 the falcon rises with "Nightfligh/Nachtflugt" like phoenix out of the ashes. The album - for Falco a summary of the eighties, is again for two weeks at the top of the Austrian hit-parade. Altogether the album stays for 17 weeks and the single "Titanic" for 18 weeks in the Austrian charts. In May 1993 Falco goes for the first time after a period of six years again on tour.
In 1996 Falco moved to Santo Domingo, and in summer 1996 he succeeded a sensational number 3 in the Austrian Top 40 with the single "Mutter, der Mann mit dem Koks ist da" which he published under the synonym T'MA. Again a sensational number 3 in the Austrian Top 40. The video that belonged to it was shown on Viva on heavy rotation. His last publishment was the single "Naked", which got in the Austrian Charts number 4.
Falco's artistic place value is not only defined by his placement in the hit parades, his music was beyond his time. He invented the German speaking rap. Including speech song in a pop context, combined with melodious, flat refrains, this was a trend with which today many international stars fill the masses with enthusiasm - but was invented in the eighties.
Only some weeks ago he finished the production of his new album "Out of the dark" on which he had worked more than 2 years and as DoRo reported, he was in the conception of new video projects. On the 6th of February the news of his tragic death by a car accident shattered the pop world.
His last CD was published on the 27 February, after his death.
Hans Hölzel died,
but Falco lives forever...