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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 consisting of Dieter Meier and Boris Blank. [1]


The band is known for their 1985 single "Oh Yeah" which appeared in the films Ferris Bueller's Day Off , The Secret of My Success , Uncle Buck , 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 .

Their 1988 single "The Race" peaked at number 7 on the UK Singles Chart.

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". [2]

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. [1] 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 prominently appeared 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 1988, single "The Race" from the album Flag reached No. 7 in the UK as their only Top 10 hit there. [1] It features in the film Nuns on the Run .

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. [1]

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 , [1] all with rare bonus tracks, as part of the Yello Remaster Series. [3]

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. [4]

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. [5]

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). Guest vocalists have included Rush Winters, 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. [6]


Studio albums

YearAlbumLabel SWI
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 Mercury495114892Featuring Billy Mackenzie and Shirley Bassey
1988 Flag Mercury3941156152
1991 Baby Mercury/PolyGram 573637
1994 Zebra Smash/Island/PolyGram 444
1997 Pocket Universe Mercury/PolyGram717Featuring Stina Nordenstam on "To The Sea"
1999 Motion Picture Mercury/PolyGram1326
2003 The Eye Motor Music/Universal2298Featuring Jade Davies on "Don Turbulento", "Junior B", "Distant Solution", "Time Palace" and "Unreal" [12]
2009 Touch Yello Polydor120Featuring Heidi Happy on "You Better Hide", "Kiss In Blue" and "Stay"
2016 Toy Motor Music/Universal Music1 [13] 284
2020 Point Polydor/Universal Music---

Other albums

YearAlbumLabel SWI
Additional information
1986 1980–1985 The New Mix in One Go Mercury189920Remix 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
US Dance
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"560158
"Oh Yeah"9475135Re-released with new lyrics added in 1987. This version was added only in the original release of One Second .
1986"Goldrush"92054featuring Billy MacKenzie
1987"The Rhythm Divine"214754featuring Shirley Bassey
"Call It Love"61491
1988"The Race"8564733
"Tied Up"38609
1989"Of Course I'm Lying"301234823
"Blazing Saddles"7847
1992"Jungle Bill"156140
"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"2383featuring Stina Nordenstam
1999"Vicious Games"110 [16] 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.
2020"Waba Duba"Lead single off new album "Point". Released on YouTube on June 19, 2020.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1283. ISBN   1-85227-745-9.
  2. ""A Yelled Hello" at the World Premiere of the Audi A5". 6 March 2007. Archived from the original on 14 February 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  3. "Yello - Remaster Series (Box Set, Album) at Discogs". 16 August 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  4. [ dead link ]
  5. "Audi A5 In Verona - A Road Movie Becomes Reality". Archived from the original on 14 February 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  6. "Boris Blank (Yello): Recording Zebra". Archived from the original on 10 April 2005. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  7. 1 2 3 Swiss chart peaks:
  8. 1 2 3 Australian chart peaks:
  9. 1 2 3 "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Suchen nach: "Yello"" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  10. 1 2 3 "Official Charts > Yello". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 15 March 2020.
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  12. Album Cover
  13. Hung, Steffen. "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community".
  14. "Billboard Chart History > Yello > Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  15. "Billboard Chart History > Yello > Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  16. "Chart Log UK: Rachael Yamagata - Malik Yusef". Retrieved 30 March 2012.