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Dieter Meier on October 15, 2011.jpg Boris Blank at TEDx Hamburg, June 4, 2013.jpg
left: Dieter Meier, right: Boris Blank
Background information
Origin Zurich, Switzerland
Years active1979–present
Associated acts The Residents, Shirley Bassey
Past members

Yello is a Swiss electronic duo band consisting of Dieter Meier and Boris Blank.

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means, and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.

Dieter Meier Swiss musician

Dieter Meier is a Swiss musician and conceptual artist. He is the frontman of the electronic music group Yello, which also includes music producer Boris Blank. He is a vocalist and lyricist, as well as manager and producer of the group.

Boris Blank (musician) Swiss musician and artist

Boris Blank is a Swiss artist and musician known for his work in the musical duo Yello with Dieter Meier.


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 .

Oh Yeah (Yello song) Yello song

"Oh Yeah" is a single released in 1985 by the Swiss band Yello and featured on their album Stella. The song features a mix of electronic music and manipulated vocals. The song gained popularity after being featured in the films Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Secret of My Success, among other films. It is a popular staple in pop culture.

<i>Ferris Buellers Day Off</i> 1986 film by John Hughes

Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American teen comedy film written, co-produced, and directed by John Hughes, and co-produced by Tom Jacobson. The film stars Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller, a high-school slacker who spends a day off from school, with Mia Sara and Alan Ruck. Ferris regularly "breaks the fourth wall" to explain his techniques and inner thoughts.

<i>The Secret of My Success</i> (1987 film) 1987 film by Herbert Ross

The Secret of My Success is a 1987 American comedy film produced and directed by Herbert Ross, and starring Michael J. Fox and Helen Slater. The screenplay was written by A.J. Carothers, Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr. from a story written by Carothers.

Their 1988 single "The Race" peaked at number 7 on the UK Singles Chart, and was also featured in the film Nuns on the Run .

The Race (Yello song) Yello song

"The Race" is a song by Swiss electronic band Yello, released as the first single from their album Flag. The single was initially released on 11 April 1988 via the Fontana label.

UK Singles Chart British singles sales chart

The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence. The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.

<i>Nuns on the Run</i> 1990 film by Jonathan Lynn

Nuns on the Run is a 1990 British comedy film starring Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane, also featuring Camille Coduri and Janet Suzman. The film was written and directed by Jonathan Lynn and produced by HandMade Films. Many of the outdoor scenes were shot in Chiswick, White City and Kings Cross. The soundtrack was composed and performed by Yello and also features George Harrison's song "Blow Away".

Band history

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". [1]

Carlos Perón Swiss musician

Carlos Perón is a Swiss musician. He was a founding member of the band Yello.

A neologism describes a relatively recent or isolated term, word, or phrase that may be in the process of entering common use, but that has not yet been fully accepted into mainstream language. Neologisms are often driven by changes in culture and technology, and may be directly attributable to a specific person, publication, period, or event. In the process of language formation, neologisms are more mature than protologisms.

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.

<i>Solid Pleasure</i> 1980 studio album by Yello

Solid Pleasure is the debut album from Swiss electronic duo Yello. It was first released in 1980 and was reissued in 2005 in part of Yello Remaster Series with rare bonus tracks.

Bostich (song) 1981 song performed by Yello

"Bostich" is a song by Swiss synthpop band Yello, released in 1981. It is the third and final single to be released from their debut studio album Solid Pleasure. "Bostich" appears on the band's compilation album Essential Yello. The song peaked at number 23 on the Billboard dance chart.

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.

<i>Stella</i> (album) 1985 studio album by Yello

Stella is the fourth studio album by the Swiss electronic band Yello, first released in Germany, Switzerland and Austria on 29 January 1985, and in the UK and US in March 1985. It was the first album made by the band without founder member Carlos Perón, and with his departure the remaining duo of Boris Blank and Dieter Meier began to move away from experimental electronic sounds towards a more commercial synthpop and cinematic soundtrack style. As well as becoming the first album ever by a Swiss group to top the Swiss album chart, it was the band's breakthrough album internationally, helped by the success of the song "Oh Yeah", which 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.

In 1988, single "The Race" from the album Flag reached No. 7 in the UK as their only Top 10 hit there.

In 1995, a tribute remix album Hands on Yello was released featuring remixes by Moby, The Orb, Carl Craig, Carl Cox, The Grid and WestBam.

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. [2]

A documentary on Yello, Electro Pop Made in Switzerland, directed by Anka Schmid, was premiered at the Riff Raff cinema in Zürich in September 2005. [3]

Yello was 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. [4]

Musical style

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. [5]


Studio albums

YearAlbumLabel SWI GER [6] AUS [7] UK [8] US Additional information
1980 Solid Pleasure Ralph Records (US)
Do It Records (UK)
Mercury/Vertigo (Europe)
1981 Claro Que Si Ralph Records (US)
Do It Records (UK)
Mercury/Vertigo (Europe)
1983 You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess Stiff Records (UK/Australia/New Zealand)
Elektra Records (US)
Mercury (Europe)
1985 Stella Elektra (US)
Mercury (Europe)
1987 One Second Mercury411954892Featuring Billy Mackenzie and Shirley Bassey
1988 Flag Mercury3119456152
1991 Baby Mercury/PolyGram 567337
1994 Zebra Fourth & Broadway 444
1997 Pocket Universe PolyGram717Featuring Stina Nordenstam on "To The Sea"
1999 Motion Picture Polygram1326
2003 The Eye Motor Music2298Featuring Jade Davies on "Don Turbulento", "Junior B", "Distant Solution", "Time Palace" and "Unreal" [9]
2009 Touch Yello Polydor120Featuring Heidi Happy on "You Better Hide", "Kiss In Blue" and "Stay"
2016 Toy Universal Music1 [10] 284

Other albums

YearAlbumLabel SWI GER [6] AUS [7] UK [8] US Additional information
1986 1980–1985 The New Mix in One Go Mercury182099Remix album
1992BostichFull Frequency Range Recordings/Ralph Records Remix album
Essential Mercury1434Compilation album
1995 Hands on Yello Urban Records/Motor Music 35Remix album
1999 Eccentrix Remixes Mercury30Remix album
2007 Progress and Perfection Audi A5 promo album
2010 Yello by Yello Polydor1424Compilation album
2012 The Key to Perfection VW Golf 7 promo album
2017Live in Berlin38Live album

Notable singles

YearTitleChart positionsAdditional information
SWI GER [6] AUS [7] UK [8] US US D/P
1982"You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess/Heavy Whispers"42
1983"I Love You"4110316
"Lost Again"102673
1984"Pumping Velvet"12
1985"Vicious Games"515608
"Oh Yeah"4795135Re-released with new lyrics added in 1987. This version was added only in the original release of One Second .
1986"Goldrush"92054featured Billy MacKenzie
1987"The Rhythm Divine"214754featured Shirley Bassey
"Call It Love"61491
1988"The Race"8456733
"Tied Up"38609
1989"Of Course I'm Lying"304812323
"Blazing Saddles"7847
1992"Jungle Bill"15296140
"The Race" (re-issue)55re-issued with "Bostich"
1994"Do It"3246
1995"Tremendous Pain"7
1996"How How"29965928
"Jingle Bells"3444
1997"On Track"16
"To the Sea"2383featured Stina Nordenstam
1999"Vicious Games"110 [11] Yello vs Hardfloor
2003"Planet Dada"75
2011"Mean Monday"Included in the book "Yello - Boris Blank und Dieter Meier". Released on iTunes on October 22, 2011.

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  1. ""A Yelled Hello" at the World Premiere of the Audi A5". March 6, 2007. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  2. "Yello - Remaster Series (Box Set, Album) at Discogs". August 16, 2009. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  3. [ dead link ]
  4. "Audi A5 In Verona - A Road Movie Becomes Reality". Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  5. "Boris Blank (Yello): Recording Zebra". Archived from the original on April 10, 2005. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  6. 1 2 3 "Offizielle Deutsche Charts". media control/Gfk. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  7. 1 2 3 Australian chart peaks:
  8. 1 2 3 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 613–614. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  9. Album Cover
  10. Hung, Steffen. "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community".
  11. "Chart Log UK: Rachael Yamagata - Malik Yusef". Retrieved March 30, 2012.