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That Was A Hit?!?: How Three Versions Of 'Der Kommissar' Battled For Chart Supremacy

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Falco recorded the first version of 'Der Kommissar' in 1981. Falco recorded the first version of "Der Kommissar" in 1981.

Soundcheck's occasional series That Was A Hit?!? is all about unlikely songs that have made it to the top of the charts.

Today's installment looks at not just one surprise hit, but three separate versions recorded in three different countries. The song "Der Kommissar" ("the commisioner" or "police captain") was originally written and recorded by Roger Ponger and Falco in Austria in 1981. A year later, British rock band After The Fire recorded an English language version, while American pop singer Laura Branigan completely reworked the lyrics, ditching the original storyline about drugs and turning it into "Deep In The Dark."

Mario Correa, writer and regular contributor to Entertainment Weekly Live on SiriusXM, talks with Soundcheck host John Schaefer about the many iterations of "Der Kommissar," why they came about, and how all three battled for chart supremacy.








Mario Correa

Comments [5]


"Ba-na-na-na po-ta-tohhhh" (minion transition). ;)

Jun. 22 2015 10:47 PM
Funky Friend from Funky

Nov. 02 2014 04:42 PM
Funky Friend from Funky

Nov. 02 2014 04:40 PM

Don't forget that Laura Branigan's "Gloria" was *also* a reworking of a European hit song, by Umerto Tozzi. She really did have a formula! :-)

Jul. 03 2014 10:37 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

You may have done this one already but...

Before there was

"Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls there was

"Don't Cha" by Tori Alamaze (my favorite version) there was

Sir Mix-a-Lot's "SWASS" which to my ears borrows as awful lot from Sheila E's "Glamorous Life".

Do you hear it, too?

Dec. 12 2013 09:47 PM

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