Author Topic: Yello: Swiss Delights  (Read 1312 times)

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Yello: Swiss Delights
« on: October 18, 2014, 08:00:26 PM »
Never been a thread about this band?

Given that both Dieter Meier and Boris Blank have recently released solo albums - or in the case of Blank a massive boxed set of unreleased soundscapes and tracks from his extensive archive - I think its worth starting a thread.

After Pink Floyd, this was the first band that got me hooked on music. I think it was 1988 and I heard The Race in my Aunt's car on the radio. I then got Flag on cassette and a VHS of their videos. The video was mesmerising, avante-garde visual stories mixed with the sublime sounds.

Prog magazine recently had a feature "How Prog are....Yello?" and I would have to say VERY...progressive that is. Meier, of course, is a man of immense wonder - being a masterchef, golfer in the Swiss national team, millionaire playboy etc etc.  He started out as a kind of punk artiste and moved into vocal duties with a couple of punky singles. Teaming up with Carlos Peron and Boris Blank produced some phenomenal early works (Solid Pleasure and Claro Que Si) before more acclaimed albums that followed thanks to exposure on US soundtracks like Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Working with some great vocal talents like Billy MacKenzie from The Associates, Shirley Bassey and Rush Winters produced some immense cinematic tracks that helped temper some of their more eclectic instrumental pieces.

Later albums maybe didn't quite hit the sweet spot, but even works like Zebra are fun and carry the listener on oddball journeys.

Here are some of my highlights:

Tied Up (In Gear) from the Remix EP - featuring the incendiary guitar of Chico Hablas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR2H0flGasA

and its balearic counterpart, Tied Up (In Red)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JruGsQKTTU

and speaking of Chico Hablas...Si, Senor, The Hairy Grill - heavy metal riffage with a psychedelic, hypnotic layer - a truly outstanding track that blows away most music being produced at the time

Blue Green - from their first album, an ambient mood piece with some nice flamenco - predating The Orb and their ilk by a decade.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE2MPQUyAV8

From the same album - Eternal Legs - a vocal track with a young sounding Boris Blank

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tILgZn8G2k

Daily Disco - the first track from their second album, Claro Que Si - with some characteristic odd vocals and some lovely beats from the aptly named Beat Ash...this then seques into some quite extraordinary phase shifting electronic madness.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blE37dYKeAA

Jungle Bill - Sabres Remix - Fantastic Andrew Weatherall remix of horn-tastic track from Baby. I remember getting the 12" remixes of this back in the mid-90s and blaring it out from my student flat. Happy times.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJF4ULFkUxw

Pumping Velvet - from You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess - this is closer to the classic Electro sound of their mid-80s output with sweeping synth and jumpy guitar and digital beats.

Angel No - featuring the powerful and beguiling vocals of Rush Winters, this was from their most popular album Stella, which also featured their big hits "Oh Yeah" and "Vicious Games"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40EqZE2uawU

Santiago - to be honest, the whole "One Second" album is brilliant and cinematic. This is their Live at the Palladium version of Santiago. Just put yourself in that club, bodypopping to the bass!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ5EhaebYKY

Night Train, from the "Zebra" album. Released at a time that dance music was big business. This is an attempt to update the Yello sound for that era and largely fails...but not in a bad way. This is Dance Noir and I love it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRb6EFTd0qU

OK, for the giggles - Do it from the same album....now for the break!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fba5VCZ4S2o

To the Sea (Stevie B-Zet Remix) - featuring the lovely Nordic singer Stina Nordenstam, this housey track is probably the only highlight from the poor Pocket Universe era

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek8H52HRb3w

Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2014, 10:44:08 PM »
Yes! Another Yello fan.  Thought it was just me.

Love those guys.  'Flag' was the first CD I ever bought.

When I was about 13 and heard "The Race" for the first time, I absolutely loved it so bought the single.  I'd been given a CD player for my birthday, but CD's were bloody expensive at the time so I was saving up to buy "Flag" because there was a really long version of 'The Race' on it.

About the same time, I discovered whilst watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Secret Of My Success that Yello also did "Oh Yeah" (which I loved), which made me think "Yes! That's brilliant! Yello are my new favourite band!".

Browsing a second hand shop soon after, I noticed that they had Yello's first two albums 'Solid Pleasure' and 'Claro Que Si' on cassette pretty cheap so I bought them, and rushed home to play them, expecting to hear stuff similar to the two tracks mentioned above.

My God, what an alienating experience that was for the 13-year old me.  Not only did some of the actual song titles not make any sense ("Reverse Lion"? "Assistant's Cry"? "Night Flanger"? "No More Roger"?) but the majority of the tracks were just so damn weird.  Strained shouty vocals, long stretches of ambient synth eeriness,  spooky Gregorian chanting. By the time I'd got to a track called "Stanztrigger" on Solid Pleasure, which is basically just a steadily increasing wall of industrial hissing, whooshing, clattering, guitar wailing, sirens and banging which ends up sounding like the end of the world, I was at breaking point.  "What the hell's going on? What is this racket? Where's the jazzy sax and trumpets" I was thinking.

Since then, I've come to love Solid Pleasure and am still a massive Yello fan, particularly of the albums from their golden period (1980 to 1991).  Claro Que Si's probably my least favourite out of that bunch but it has got 'The Evening's Young' on it, which is ace.

I love Solid Pleasure now for precisely the same reasons I hated it at 13.  There's a bit of everything in there (including the sounds of what's probably a kitchen sink being destroyed on "Stanztrigger"!) It's an exciting listen.

They've got patchier in recent years but there's normally at least two or three tracks on each of their later albums to make them worth a listen. Boris Blank's an incredible producer, sound engineer and composer.  Dieter Meier does seem to just phone in the vocals/lyrics these days, but he was great back in the day.  Just a shame Carlos Peron left after the third album.

Their last studio album, Touch Yello, had a couple of decent tracks on it.  This one was, by far, my favourite.  It's dreamy. 

Trackless Deep - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_BPgcQ_PGY
« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 10:54:39 PM by Beep Cleep Chimney »

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2014, 10:52:06 PM »
As a Pink Floyd fan, I immediately thought "No More Roger" was a nod in their direction.

Anyway, I too would agonise over the meaning of song titles and (mostly) misheard lyrics. When i first heard Bimbo, I asked my mum what Bimbo meant and she got cross.

It was heady times. Listening to OMD's Architecture and Morality and Yello's early output whilst suffering with night terrors meant my early teens was truly mesmerising and eerie.

But I loved all that madness, I wasn't looking for pop sounds anymore. However, you should check out their videos - Goldrush, Desire, Tied Up, Pinball Cha-Cha, Rhythm Divine.

Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2014, 10:57:58 PM »
Yeah, I did buy their 'Yello Video Show/Live At The Roxy' video compilation on VHS from Our Price way back when.
Gather yer man Dieter directed all of the videos too.  Show off.

MrSerious

  • Hits The Big Time Every Single Day
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2014, 11:31:25 PM »
I really admire Yello, but find them quite difficult to listen to a lot of the time.

Boris Blank's productions are cartoonishly interesting, but sometimes too much so. Then technology caught up with him and he's not done anything particularly interesting since.

That's just my opinion based on listening to half their discography, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

Disregard my negativity though, because this song rules:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn3QOh8HYJc

It's like Ian Svenonius singing over YMO/The Residents or something. That can hardly be bad.

sproggy

  • I tire of you... and your tiresomeness
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2014, 08:30:10 AM »
Boris Blank's Fairlight was up on eBay last year, it went for just under 10k, bargain, especially with all those samples.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Boris-Blank-039-s-Yello-Fairlight-CMI-III-Huge-Library-Fully-optioned-Warranty-/231075545023?nma=true&si=4m%252B47IDYq8qqEaXYjTKGlQpJhsw%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Yello took over where Kraftwerk left off, some extraordinary music and far more sophisticated electronic Soho wine bar music for the 80's.

Pocket Universe is a cracking 90's techno offering that somehow passed me by first time around.

Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2014, 11:31:00 AM »
Billy MacKenzie's version of The Rhythm Divine is wonderful
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th2NM67bEw0

My first memory of Yello is watching them perform this with Shirley Bassey on The Roxy (ITV's short lived answer to Top Of The Pops).

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2014, 12:48:57 PM »
For app lovers, there is a Yello app developed by Blank which is fun. Yello-ify everything

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2017, 06:53:07 PM »
I've never seen this - I love it (Jetzt und Alles clip)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqrdnJaOHiU

Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2019, 05:44:42 PM »
I met Boris & Dieter in Berlin 10 years ago this week

Boris's english was not so good but he did comment that he had always aimed to sound like Brian Eno
Eno is his musical hero and he always wanted to be him. 

The sound of Billy Mackenzie's voice and Boris Blank's production are works of art
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRfx6hnGNbg
for me they were not so much about the song/music but more about the sound
and how that sound (using technology) is pushed to the limits - genius. 


Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2019, 08:21:53 PM »
I really admire Yello, but find them quite difficult to listen to a lot of the time.

They're as interesting as characters, sometimes more so than the music. When Snub TV did a whole half hour on them, it was really worthwhile, though. I remember thinking that Dieter was the same age, played golf and had the same handicap as my dad, and there the similarities ended...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_598zDn4DM

Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2019, 08:38:56 PM »
Way ahead of their time and a precursor to house and techno. This was played at a lot of early house clubs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeNIpWT-3vk

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2019, 10:37:57 PM »
Chico Hablas shreds with the best of them

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NW0LnFA-cUE

Memories of Orangina in the south of france and listening to this on my walkman

Days are gone

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2019, 10:39:13 PM »
Damn i already posted that in the OP

Thread are gone

Better Midlands

  • I'm not internationally known
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2019, 10:37:12 AM »
Way ahead of their time and a precursor to house and techno. This was played at a lot of early house clubs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeNIpWT-3vk

As was this https://youtu.be/KmuVHxGZaCs

Damn i already posted that in the OP

Thread are gone

The link had expired, so it was worth the repost.

Brundle-Fly

  • *Jooolie Andreeeews!! Thhhrrrrp!!!!*
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2019, 04:29:30 PM »

It's like Ian Svenonius singing over YMO/The Residents or something. That can hardly be bad.

That's how I discovered them through The Residents. They released their first album, Solid Pleasure (1980) on the Residents label, Ralph Records. Once, the Rez's were surprise guests at a Yello UK concert in 1983. The incredulous audience didn't applaud when they came on so Dieter M berated the crowd for being so ignorant and that they were in the presence of gods. Goddamn right!

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2020, 12:28:14 PM »
One of the first bits of music I ever heard, 35 years later I'm listening to it again. Otherworldly then, and still.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ5EhaebYKY

TheMonk

  • Hello folks
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2020, 12:03:11 PM »
Their new one is highly addictive.
https://youtu.be/nN9DaTXV0b0

I don’t know much about them other than the couple of obvious tracks.
Where to start and what to avoid?

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2020, 12:19:18 PM »
Their new one is highly addictive.
https://youtu.be/nN9DaTXV0b0

I don’t know much about them other than the couple of obvious tracks.
Where to start and what to avoid?

Sadly, their recent stuff and this one is Yello by numbers without the creative spark that shaped their 1980s releases. Still like it, but it would be more pleasurable if living in Zurich and taking a gondola onto the lake.

Danger Man

  • no lives matter
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2020, 12:32:05 PM »
Their new one is highly addictive.
https://youtu.be/nN9DaTXV0b0

They've remixed The Race and are trying to pass it off as a new song.

Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2020, 12:38:16 PM »
They're one of my formative musical memories (my dad used to love them, in fact I think literally one of my first memories is of me and my brother going nuts and running around the living room when The Race came on). Was surprised to learn years later that they were labelmates with The Residents.

Once, the Rez's were surprise guests at a Yello UK concert in 1983. The incredulous audience didn't applaud when they came on so Dieter M berated the crowd for being so ignorant and that they were in the presence of gods. Goddamn right!

Ah that sounds great.

Not much else to add really, other than I really should go and reacquaint myself with their stuff, so thanks for the reminder!

imitationleather

  • "The French... are famous... for their kissing"
    • http://last.fm/user/ImiLeathr
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2020, 12:55:45 PM »
They've remixed The Race and are trying to pass it off as a new song.

This was my initial reaction too. Well, I guess I was more like, "Hey, this sounds a lot like The Race!" As the only songs by Yello I know very well are Oh Yeah and The Race it gives the impression they could be a bit samey.

Still like it, though. And I was pleased/surprised to see they are both still alive.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2020, 01:38:27 PM »
This was my initial reaction too. Well, I guess I was more like, "Hey, this sounds a lot like The Race!" As the only songs by Yello I know very well are Oh Yeah and The Race it gives the impression they could be a bit samey.

Still like it, though. And I was pleased/surprised to see they are both still alive.

please visit their early albums if you haven't already done so. Solid Pleasure, Claro Que Si, You've Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess. The wonderful One Second is a bit later but features Shirley Bassey giving her best performance and Billy MacKenzie in full diva mode.

imitationleather

  • "The French... are famous... for their kissing"
    • http://last.fm/user/ImiLeathr
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2020, 01:40:22 PM »
I will do, thank you!

Better Midlands

  • I'm not internationally known
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2020, 01:58:23 PM »
Lost Again is some proto Italo disco/German EBM shit.

Better Midlands

  • I'm not internationally known
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2020, 02:00:48 PM »
Lost Again is some proto Italo disco/German EBM shit.
As was this https://youtu.be/KmuVHxGZaCs

The link had expired, so it was worth the repost.

Repeating myself here.

I quite like the new one, fuzzy nostalgia.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Yello: Swiss Delights
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2020, 04:50:16 PM »
If you like the new one and The Race, then I recommend Jungle Bill if you are not familiar (I think I posted Andrew Weatherall remixes further up, but the original and video are great too)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mgm9nyGYRX0