"Vienna Calling" by Falco

By Mark Nobes

"Vienna Calling" was released as the second single from Falco's third album Falco 3, and was the follow-up to his worldwide hit "Rock Me Amadeus". Although not quite as successful, the single still managed to reach the top 10 in several countries, including Falco's home country of Austria (#3), West Germany (#4), Ireland (#6), Switzerland (#7), New Zealand (#10) and the UK (#10). The single also reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.
The song was arranged and produced by Falco and Rob and Ferdi Bolland. The Bolland brothers also helped to write "Rock Me Amadeus" and the song in "In The Army Now", which later became a hit for Status Quo in 1986.
As with the majority of his songs, the track features slick German rap and samples. The tempo is faster than his previous single, and for this single, the infectious chorus is sang in English. I can't help wondering whether this single would have performed even better in the charts had he also rapped the verses in English. Nonetheless, the musician managed to chart in the UK top 10 twice with his German rap songs.
It's not as rare as you might believe for a foreign language song to chart highly in the UK - nine such songs have reached No.1 in the UK, including Falco's previous single. In the 80s, "La Bamba" by Los Lobos and "Begin the Beguine" by Julio Iglesias were both chart toppers.
"Vienna Calling" is one of the forgotten hits of the 80s, and is very rarely played on the radio or TV these days, which is a shame. Falco's third single from Falco 3, "Jeanny", stalled at #68 in the UK singles chart, but was a chart-topper in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and The Netherlands.


The official video opens with Falco in a telephone booth of an empty Austrian bar. He then joins four dancing girls, swaggering towards them and raising his eyebrows - Roger Moore would be proud! The room eventually fills up with people dancing. The Austrian actress Brigitta Cimarolli stars in the video.


UK 7" Vinyl Single - A&M Records - AM 318

A. "Vienna Calling" (86 Edit/Mix) - 4:00

B. "America" - 3:53

UK 12" Vinyl Single (86 Tourist Sax Mixes) - AMX 318

A1. "Vienna Calling" (86 Edit/Mix) - 4:00

A2. "Vienna Calling" (Tourist Version) - 7:38

B1. "The Vienna Girls" (Sax Mix Max) - 4:59

B2. "America" - 3:53


The lyrics are a mix of English (chorus) and German (verses). Vienna is actually Falco's home town, and the lyrics are about its international lifestyle and development. The musician was very much part of the Viennese nightlife during the 1970s, including the underground club scene.