Sunday, November 30, 2008


A few things you may or may not know about Yello........

Yello is a Swiss electronica band consisting of Dieter Meier and Boris Blank. Yello was originally 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.

Yello's music has been popular in the TV, advertisement and movie industries. The single "Oh Yeah", released in 1985, off the album "Stella", became famous after being featured in the American movies Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Secret of My Success, Teen Wolf, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, She's Out of Control, K-9 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 for American Football on US TV, 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". It also featured prominently in commercials for Twix candy bars, and was used extensively in commercials for the now defunct New Zealand department store, DEKA.

Boris Blank (born 15 January 1952 as Boris Leibovich Blank, is a Swiss artist and musician. Blank is said to possess "perfect pitch" (the ability to identify and reproduce a musical note with perfect accuracy).

Boris is the musical part of Yello. He composes the songs and is responsible for the characteristic sound, having reputation of perfectionist. Boris considers himself as a constructor of music, starting composing with manipulation of self-recorded samples and finishing the tracks with participation of invited professional musicians.

Boris as a child was very interested in music, but never had formal training. He never learned to read notes but always was interested in producing new sounds and samples. Blank began experimenting with tape loops and echo effects as a teenager. He recorded watersounds from a bucket of water and played sounds on a homemade bamboo flute. It was in this period he met Carlos Perón. Later the duo Yello was formed with Dieter Meier as a conceptualist, vocalist and author of lyrics.

Blank was blinded in one eye in a childhood accident while playing with gunpowder and empty bullet shells.

Boris lives in Zürich, with his wife and daughter, Olivia.

Dieter Meier (born 4 March 1945 in Zürich) is a Swiss musician and conceptual artist, he is the vocalist and lyricist, as well as manager and producer of the group.

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.

Meier directed the German music group Alphaville's "Big in Japan" video.

Former member Carlos Perón is a Swiss musician. Born in Zürich as the son of a businessman and a landlady who ran the legendary Ristorante Pizzeria Napoli - the first pizzeria in Switzerland. At the age of four Carlos Perón was able to bake his first own pizza.

Carlos Perón started as a keyboard player in the new wave band URLAND in Zürich. He played with drummer Sternini, bass player Ron Styler and guitarist Boris Blank.

After the split of the band Carlos Perón founded the TRANCEONIC studio in Zürich together with Boris Blank. In this experimental studio the two developed what would later on become the famous Yello sound. In 1979, the studio moved to Dieter Meier's atelier at the Rote Fabrik, and later on the trio Yello was founded.

In 1983, Carlos Perón released the soundtrack to the film, "Die Schwarze Spinne", by director Mark M. Rissi on the label Milan Disques. At the same time, Yello issued their third LP, You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess.

Carlos Perón also produced the first two albums by Wolfsheim, 1992's "No Happy View" and "Popkiller" (1993).

Although vocals are primarily provided by Meier, Boris Blank has taken a couple of vocal turns; on "Swing" (from "You've Gotta' Say Yes to Another Excess") and "Blazing Saddles" (from "Flag").

They have worked with a variety of guest vocalists and have included Rush Winters (the first female diva to be featured on a Yello recording), Billy MacKenzie, and Shirley Bassey. The group has shared writing credit with MacKenzie and Winters.

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 to be broadcast in May 2007.

In 1980, Yello rejected a record contract offered by Klaus Schulze; they preferred a contract with Ralph Records in San Francisco, owned by the Residents. The first Yello album, Solid Pleasure, came out and it was a boom. In 1981, Carlos Perón released his first solo album, Impersonator I, on the label Konkurrenz/Phonogram, and Yello got a long term major deal on Phonogram through the managing director Louis Spillmann.

In the same year, the Yello album, Claro Que Si (which is spanish for "Of course", which was also the soundtrack to Dieter Meier's film, "Jetzt und Alles", came out, and also Yello’s first video (to the track "The Evening’s Young").

Yello's single "The Race" that reached No 7 in the UK singles chart in 1988, is well-known in Germany as the theme music to the Eighties 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 composed the soundtrack in 1995 for Manga Video's Version of anime movie 'Space Adventure Cobra' released in 1982 in Japan.

From 1991 former band member Carlos Perón worked with label owner Lothar Gärtner of Strange Ways Records. He produced solo works and also bands like Wolfsheim, Sielwolf, The Cain Principle, Stalin, Cyrus, Recall and many others. In this phase he created the so called fetish soundtracks like Terminatrix and La salle blanche.

In 1998 Carlos Perón brought the forgotten singer/songwriter Joachim Witt to Lothar Gärtner. The idea to produce a single with the singer Peter Heppner of Wolfsheim called Die Flut came to Carlos Perón and Lothar Gärtner during a typical fishmeal with loads of white wine at the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken in Hamburg. Jochachim Witt was euphoric and begun to work. Unfortunately Lothar Gärtner died a premature death in December of 2005.

No comments: