Yello is a Swiss electronica band consisting of Dieter Meier and Boris Blank. They are probably best known for their singles "The Race" and "Oh Yeah", which feature a mix of electronic music and manipulated vocals, as does most of their music.
The band was originally formed by Boris Blank (keyboards, sampling, percussion, backing vocals) and Carlos Per?n (tapes) in the late 1970s. Dieter Meier (vocals, lyrics), a millionaire industrialist and gambler, was brought in when the two founders realised that they needed a singer. The new band name Yello was chosen as a pun based on a statement made by Dieter Meier: ?a yelled Hello?. Meier and Blank's first release was the 1979 single called "I.T. Splash". The LP Solid Pleasure, featuring the hit dance single "Bostich", was released in November 1980.
In 1983 Yello received substantial media attention with the release of "I Love You" and "Lost Again". Per?n left the band in 1983 to start a solo career. With their 1983 album You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess, the band began a working relationship with Ernst Gamper, whose "corner cut" logo would represent them for three albums, and who would design covers for the group beyond the demise of this logo.
Meier is also a filmmaker, having written and directed the films Jetzt und Alles and Lightmaker as well as most of Yello's music videos. Additionally, Meier produces his own wine on his ranch.
In 2005, Yello re-released their early albums Solid Pleasure, Claro Que Si, You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess, Stella, One Second and Flag, all with rare bonus tracks, as part of Yello Remaster Series.
A documentary on Yello, Electro Pop made in Switzerland, directed by Anka Schmid was premiered at the Riff Raff cinema in Z?rich in September 2005.
Yello were commissioned to produce music for the launch of the Audi A5 at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2007 and for the Audi A5 commercial in May 2007.
Yello's sound is mainly characterised by unusual music samples, a heavy reliance on rhythm and Dieter Meier's dark voice. Boris Blank has taken a couple of vocal turns; on "Swing" (from You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess) and "Blazing Saddles" (from Flag), and guest vocalists have included Rush Winters (the first female diva to be featured on a Yello recording), Billy MacKenzie, Stina Nordenstam, Jade Davies and Shirley Bassey. The group has shared writing credit with MacKenzie and Winters. Yello rarely uses samples from previously released music; nearly every instrument has been sampled and engineered by Boris Blank, who over the years has built up an original sample library of over 100,000 named and categorized sounds.
The music is composed by Boris Blank, who considers himself a perfectionist. When the tracks are mostly finished, Dieter Meier adds the vocal parts when fitting.
Yello music in popular culture
Yello - Oh Yeah excerpt
An excerpt from "Oh Yeah"
Yello's music has been popular in the TV, advertisement and movie industries.
The single "Oh Yeah" became famous after being featured in the American movies Ferris Bueller's Day Off; The Secret of My Succe$s; Teen Wolf; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; She's Out of Control; K-9; the short film 5 Men and a Limo, and more recently Soul Plane. The song is also used on The Simpsons as the theme for the Duffman character. "Oh Yeah" is used as the soundtrack in the game Gran Turismo 4, where it is played after a failed license test, and in the television advertisements for Irn-Bru featuring "Raoul". A short excerpt of "Oh Yeah" is also used in the South Park episode "Hell on Earth 2006", namely in the making of the Ferrari cake scene. It also featured prominently in commercials for Twix candy bars and the Austin Metro, and was used extensively in commercials for the now defunct New Zealand department store, DEKA. "Oh Yeah" also appeared in a Season 4 episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The characters Charlie and Mac were singing the song and referred to it as 'Day Bow Bow.'
The songs "Desire", "Tied Up" and "Otto Di Catania" were used in the 1991 film Dutch.
The songs "Desire", "Moon on Ice" and "Call It Love" were used in seasons 3 and 4 of the TV series Miami Vice.
A Chilean contest-and-music TV program for teenagers called "Extra J?venes" that lasted from the late 1980's through most of the 1990's used the song "Tied Up" as the program's intro and for its respective advertisements.
Another single, "The Race", is well-known in Germany as the theme music to the 1980s pop show Formel Eins and was also used in the movie Nuns on the Run. It also features in The Cutting Edge as the music for the main skaters' short program. "The Race" also featured in the Pink Panther movie of 2006. Moreover, it has been heavily used by Eurosport and numerous car related programmes, as well as the theme music for a British television commercial advertising Scalextric.
Yello created the soundtracks for the British comedy film Nuns on the Run and the American movie The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, and recorded a version of "Jingle Bells" for the film The Santa Clause. A small fraction of the song "Lost Again" was used in the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Swiss car firm Rinspeed produced the "Yello Talbo" concept car in 1996 in association with the group.
In 1995 Yello composed the soundtrack for Manga Video's version of the anime movie Space Adventure Cobra released in 1982 in Japan. The soundtrack consists of "Drive/Driven", "Daily Disco", "Rubberbandman", "Do It", "Of Course I'm Lying", "Suite 909", "How How", "Night Train", "Fat Cry", "Hawaiian Chance", "Sweet Thunder", "Poom Shanka", "Blue Green" and "Dr. Van Steiner". In addition to these tracks however, there was also some tracks done exclusively for the movie that would later be reused and become the song "Beyond Mirrors" on Yello's Pocket Universe album in 1997.
The French industrial rock band Stolearm covered the song "You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess".