80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Yello

Yello_aYello’s music has probably been heard by more people than are aware of it. If you have seen such movies as “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (just to name two of several), or have experienced the Duffman character on “The Simpsons” TV show, then you have heard Yello’s most ubiquitous single “Oh Yeah.”

It is really a shame if that is all you know of this multifaceted group. If you listen regularly to Ed-FM’s Tuesday night Retrospect show from CFRC in Kingston, Ontario, you will have heard other stunningly creative Yello tunes as Ed brings their music library to life. (Note: Ed’s show will be back in swing on November 10 when he returns from a well-deserved break).

Yello was founded in Switzerland  and began recording music in 1979, comprised of Boris Blank (keyboards, sampling, percussion, backing vocals) and Carlos Perón (tapes). Realizing they were going nowhere without a singer, the duo brought Dieter Meier on board for lead vocals. Interestingly, the band’s instrumentation is presented entirely from taped samples of nearly every type of musical instrument. Boris Blank engineers these samples in such a way that they become the original melodies that back every Yello song.yello_b

What can I say about Dieter Meier’s brooding, melancholic, and deeply baritone vocals? I love them. That is a given from what I have written about similary talented vocalists. My personal favorite is “Desire” which was used in Miami Vice episodes from seasons 3 and 4, and also in the 1991 movie “Dutch.” Other favorites include “Rubberbandman” and one kick-butt tune that Ed uses to spice up his show, “The Race.” David Marsden recently played “Bostich” on his show, and that one is rapidly becoming one of my favorites, too.

Wikipedia has a fact-filled entry on Yello here.

Yello has even used the extreme vocal talents of the late Billy MacKenzie (Associates) and super-diva Shirley Bassey to spruce up several of their tracks. Check out this multi-layered Swiss electronica band that has taken the genre to a whole different universe. It is a must-listen for every serious electronica fan. Yello continues to record up until the present time, but I have only provided their 80’s (plus one – 1991’s Baby) discography below.

“Desire” via youTube user dante314159:

“Rubberbandman” via YouTube user dante314159:

“The Race” via YouTube user Elconquistador69too:

“Bostich” via YouTube user dante314159:

Purchase Yello music here.

1980’s Discography

Yello1Solid Pleasure (1980)

yello2Claro Que Si (1981)

Yello3You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess (1983)

Yello4Stella (1985)

Yello51980-1985 The New Mix In One Go (1986)

Yello6One Second (1987)

Yello7Flag (1988)

yello8Baby (1991)