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)

80’s (and sometimes 00’s) Music Rules ~ Introducing Marilyn Roxie

marilynThis is a huge departure from my usual 80’s music blogging ventures. There’s a method to my obvious madness, though. Marilyn Roxie is rapidly becoming a star of the current electronic music scene. Because a lot of today’s electronic music owes at least a nod to the brave souls who championed the genre during the late 70’s and early 80’s, I believe this review fits in quite nicely with my 80’s post-punk, New Wave, synth-pop theme.

 That said, I also want to dispel any notions that it’s a bad thing to acknowledge one’s musical roots. I mean really, would anyone have taken it the wrong way had Tchaikovsky cited Beethoven as an influence? Or if a music critic from 200 years ago had made some sort of correlation between the two? I sincerely doubt it. So, I mean it with utmost sincerity and respect that Marilyn represents all that is great about what started as a renegade genre some thirty-plus years ago.

 Her hot-off-the-presses release, New Limerent Object is an extraordinary testimonial to what an enormously talented person can do when left to her own devices. This amazing freshman full-length release comes hot on the heels of a couple of EPs released during the past few months. If they were a warm-up to New Limerent Object, what musical delights might we expect from the next release? Here I am already anticipating a marvelous follow-up!marilyn1

 Three paragraphs in and I seem to have missed the most interesting fact of all; Marilyn is only nineteen years of age. That begs the question: If she is putting out music of this high caliber at nineteen, what will she be capable of creating in 5, 10, or even 25 years from now? I can only hope I’m still around to hear and enjoy it.

 Personal favorites from New Limerent Object include the spare yet ever-so-perfect piano set in “Indigo,” deliciously followed by “(Nearer) Interlude.” Marilyn experiments successfully with voices in “Seagull Room” (yes, I can feel/hear them swarming over me). The unpronounceable 12th track is an earnest trip into the inner recesses of your mind with just a slight touch of Asian and psychedelic influence that really, really works well. She returns to her fabulous piano ability in “The Cove” and brings it all to a perfect conclusion with the closing piece, “Complete Thought.” In all, there are sixteen sweet tracks, each one different, superb, and enthralling.

 If you are a serious fan of electronica, the piano/keyboards, or both, particularly (dare I say it?) of the Brian Eno brand of 80’s electronic music and beyond, then get yourself over to Marilyn’s site and treat your ears. Ms. Roxie has offered the public a free download of New Limerent Object and a look onto her musical background at MarilynRoxie.com.  Her other blog dedicated to covering other up-and-comers like her is aptly called “A Future In Noise.” Yes, Marilyn, you certainly do have one of those.

 ***Edit: New Official Video for “Indigo” on YouTube directed by EK Wimmer and via user veduta:

1frontcoverNLONew Limerent Object (Independent Release 2009)

(Download from Sendspace http://www.sendspace.com/file/xw8k9v ) 6backcoverNLO

 (on Last FM http://www.last.fm/music/Marilyn+Roxie)

(from MySpace http://www.myspace.com/marilynroxie )