Song Of The Day 1/9/2015: Falco - "Urban Tropical (Extended Mix)"

B-Sides Week '15: We missed something about Falco (1957–1998), the Austrian performer who crossed all international borders with his chart-disintegrating smash “Rock Me Amadeus.” The mania that surrounded that song took our eyes off it, and he then disappeared so silently that we dropped the case. But while we were watching him run around in that cuddly Mozart wig he was crafting some of the oddest pop music of the ’80s. Not to indulge the side of me that’s politically correct when I’m around all the other parents, but some of it was just barely, barely on the other side of being offensive.

Take, for example, the flip side to “Amadeus,” this very unorthodox, anomalous extended track called “Urban Tropical.” It’s pretty clearly satirical, but we know so little about Falco -- not to mention the aesthetic principles of anybody from Austria -- that it winds up being far more perplexing and eye-scrunching than hilarious. And yet, somehow, it makes some kind of point. Though I won’t venture a guess as to what it is.

At the risk of ruining your virgin experience with this song, what we have here is a series of hoots and hollers, forcing a party in true Germanic tradition. It’s supposed to sound spontaneous but it sounds more like “Now you will raise your hands into the air, and proceed to wave them in the shape of a semi-circle as if you had no concerns about the status of your person, nor those of others, please.”

Again, probably part of the mission statement. But then Falco goes off the rails, Tony Montana style. I mean, I just don’t know what to make of words like… well:
What’s going up your nose?
When they goes up close nobody knows what goes up your nose
When they goes up close

Hey man, how you doing man? Hey, great to see you two, hi
Hey, hey, what about your sister? (she’s still black)
She’s still black, she’s still black (she’s still black)
I’ve tried so hard to get black
I can’t believe it yeah, all right! Say hipitty-hop, hop!
And later:
You don’t get it in this studio, because the owner of this studio’s here now
(She is black, she is, she’s, she, she, she…)

Give me some, give me some, give me some coke
A-give me some coke, coke, coke, coke, coke, coke, coke, coke
This is gold. This shit's genius. It's clear Falco is targeting the headless party monsters of the Bret Easton Ellis generation that he's seen on American TV (or backstage), but he's not familiar enough with their various layers of mild psychosis -- and he's geographically removed from them as well -- that he appropriates photocopies of stuff he might have heard about to fill up his rap: "ganga," "coke", the "negrita with the bloodshot eyes." (The what??) Yet through his indomitable spirit and his fervent and enthusiastic straw-grasping it becomes a very, very listenable train wreck, for seven and a half unredeemable minutes. Goddamn it.

We missed something about Falco. I don’t know what it was. I don’t even know if it’s something we wanted. But we missed it. Missed it good.
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