left: Dieter Meier, right: Boris Blank
|Associated acts||The Residents, Shirley Bassey|
The band is known for their 1985 single "Oh Yeah" which featured in the films Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Secret of My Success, American Pie Presents: The Book of Love, K-9, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, and as the theme song for the character Duffman on The Simpsons.
The band was formed by Boris Blank (keyboards, sampling, percussion, backing vocals) and Carlos Perón (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 neologism based on a comment made by Meier, "a yelled Hello".
Yello's first release was the 1979 single "I.T. Splash". The LP Solid Pleasure, featuring the original short version of "Bostich" (extended to a hit dance single in 1981), was released in November 1980. In early 1983, just after release of "You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess", Perón left Yello in order to pursue a solo career.
The band's fourth studio album Stella went No. 1 in Switzerland in 1985 as the first album ever by a Swiss group to top the Swiss album chart. It also appeared inside the German Top 10 gaining gold status. The song "Oh Yeah" from the album gained the band worldwide attention the following year after it was prominently featured in the 1986 film Ferris Bueller's Day Off and then a year later in The Secret of My Success. The song was released shortly after and became the band's only single to chart in the US, reaching No. 51.
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 the Yello Remaster Series.
Yello's sound is mainly characterised by unusual music samples, a heavy reliance on rhythm and Dieter Meier's dark voice. Yello makes heavy use of sampling in the construction of rhythm tracks, such as in The Race from 1988.
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, Shirley Bassey, Heidi Happy and FiFi Rong. The group has shared writing credit with MacKenzie, Winters and Happy.
Yello rarely uses samples from previously released music; nearly every instrument has been sampled and re-engineered by Boris Blank, who over the years has built up an original sample library of over 100,000 named and categorised sounds.
|1980||Solid Pleasure||Ralph Records (US)
Do It Records (UK)
|1981||Claro Que Si||Ralph Records (US)
Do It Records (UK)
|1983||You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess||Stiff Records (UK/Australia/New Zealand)
Elektra Records (US)
|1987||One Second||Mercury||4||11||95||48||92||Featuring Billy Mackenzie and Shirley Bassey|
|1994||Zebra||Fourth & Broadway||4||44||—||—||—|
|1997||Pocket Universe||PolyGram||7||17||—||—||—||Featuring Stina Nordenstam on "To The Sea"|
|2003||The Eye||Motor Music||22||98||—||—||—||Featuring Jade Davies on "Don Turbulento", "Junior B", "Distant Solution", "Time Palace" and "Unreal"|
|2009||Touch Yello||Polydor||1||20||—||—||—||Featuring Heidi Happy on "You Better Hide", "Kiss In Blue" and "Stay"|
|1986||1980–1985 The New Mix in One Go||Mercury||18||20||99||—||—||Remix album|
|1992||Bostich||Full Frequency Range Recordings/Ralph Records||—||—||—||—||—||Remix album|
|1995||Hands on Yello||Urban Records/Motor Music||—||35||—||—||—||Remix album|
|1999||Eccentrix Remixes||Mercury||30||—||—||—||—||Remix album|
|2007||Progress and Perfection||—||—||—||—||—||—||Audi A5 promo album|
|2010||Yello by Yello||Polydor||14||24||—||—||—||Compilation album|
|2012||The Key to Perfection||—||—||—||—||—||—||VW Golf 7 promo album|
|2017||Live in Berlin||—||38||—||—||—||—||Live album|
|Year||Title||Chart positions||Additional information|
|1982||"You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess/Heavy Whispers"||—||—||—||—||—||42|
|1983||"I Love You"||—||—||—||41||103||16|
|"Oh Yeah"||—||47||9||—||51||35||Re-released with new lyrics added in 1987. This version was added only in the original release of One Second.|
|1986||"Goldrush"||9||20||—||54||—||—||featured Billy MacKenzie|
|1987||"The Rhythm Divine"||21||47||—||54||—||—||featured Shirley Bassey|
|"Call It Love"||6||14||—||91||—||—|
|1989||"Of Course I'm Lying"||30||48||123||23||—||—|
|"The Race" (re-issue)||—||—||—||55||—||—||re-issued with "Bostich"|
|"To the Sea"||23||83||—||—||—||—||featured Stina Nordenstam|
|1999||"Vicious Games"||—||—||—||110||—||—||Yello vs Hardfloor|
|2011||"Mean Monday"||—||—||—||—||—||—||Included in the book "Yello - Boris Blank und Dieter Meier". Released on iTunes on October 22, 2011.|