LOST AGAIN

The story of how Yello came to be is brilliantly bonkers.

Formed, in Switzerland in 1976 by Boris Blank (keyboards, sampling, percussion, backing vocals) and Carlos Perón (tapes). They needed money and a vocalist, and they conveniently found both in the shape of Dieter Meier, a millionaire industrialist and professional gambler who was some ten years older than the duo.

Before too long, they were down to a duo of Blank and Meier, and throughout the 80s released a number of albums and singles packed with electronic pop music, although it could be argued their greater fame came, initially, via their pioneering work in videos to promote their music.

They came to the attention of a wider public in 1986 when their song Oh Yeah was included on the soundtrack of the hugely successful comedy film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The following year, their invitation to have Shirley Bassey contribute a guest vocal to a song called The Rhythm Divine – a song that would also be recorded later on with a guest vocal by Billy Mackenzie, brought them column inches in the UK newspapers, with Ms. Bassey saying it was the most Bond-eqsue vocal she had delivered in decades.  In 1988, Yello would enjoy a Top 10 hit in the UK with The Race, the only meaningful commercial success they ever had here.

Today’s piece of vinyl was pulled out of the cupboard after the lead song, Lost Again, came up on random play on the i-pod and it’s one that pre-dates all of the success, released in late 1983 on Stiff Records. One of the formats was a 2×7″ release containing four songs:-

mp3: Yello – Lost Again
mp3: Yello – Base For Alec
mp3: Yello – Let Me Cry
mp3: Yello – She’s Got A Gun

More experimental than mainstream, but in saying that I have long been convinced that Billy Mackenzie contributed an uncredited backing vocal to the track Let Me Cry…but then again, it could just be an elongated synth note that has been bent well out of shape.

JC

6 thoughts on “LOST AGAIN

  1. Always had a soft spot for Yello but wasn’t really interested in new stuff after the 80’s. When you pretentiously wanted new equipment with your separates (and lets be honest 90% of my mates had a NAD amplifier) it would be the yello album you took along to Radford’s in Gloucester Road Bristol to see if the stereo sounded any good… that and the kate bush track where the bird flies from one speaker to the other…

  2. Yello’s entire catalogue is timeless. From Synth pioneering, Post Punk Pop, frantic Dance, to elegant vocal Pop and their pechant for novelty Pop that you can’t get out of your head, they have not disappointed for 40 years.

  3. One of the most consistent, great, performing bands over the last 40 years. I got hooked by Bostich pretty early on, lost them a few years around Zebra when they went too techno for me. A genre they had inspired a lot but is done better by those inspired than by themselves…
    With “The Eye” they were back in my arms and now I look forward to the new album coming shortly.
    To be noted on this 2×7″ the version of Let Me Cry is unique and has an additional verse.
    Second note – they have done several blasting collaborations with said Billy MacKenzie.

  4. Was hooked very early on with the Art Funk of “Bimbo” on Ralph Records! Loved this band until about when Martin also fell off the bus. Their clincial techno with minimal Dieter Meier involvement was losing me. I heard “Pocket Universe” and discarded it. I’ve not heard anything since but would give later Post-“Zebra” albums a try, if I ran across them. As far as I know, Billy MacKenzie only came into their orbit on “Goldrush” and he had several songs recorded on both their albums as well as his with Yello involvement. I would have loved a full album of Billy and Yello. We might be able to cobble together a great EP worth of tunes. Dieter Meier’s solo album of a few years ago pushed all of my Yello buttons that had not been pushed by the actual band in years. And HARD. I recently got this disc in Atlanta a few years back but have yet to digitize it.

  5. postpunkmonk – as word has it Boris has more than a record’s worth of songs he did with Billy but still can’t face working with them after Billy’s suicide. Now that’s a treasure vault.

  6. Remember that ‘happening’ where they places a plaque somewhere in Switzerland announcing that they would perform on that spot at a precise time 20 years later. And of course, they did.

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