Continuity is something that has always been very much apparent throughout YELLO's illustrious career. Ever since they originally released their debut album Solid Pleasure (1980) on The Residents''own label Ralph Records, YELLO have experimented with every musical style going - from disco, ambient, jazz, latino, salso, acid, techno, and house.
After Bostich (the second single taken off Solid Pleasure) received heavy rotation an New York's top black dance radio station WBLS, and Afrikaa Bambaata utilised it as the basis for his early rap scratch mixes, YELLO carved a niche for themselves as the first true innovators of European dance music.
In 1981 they released a second album Claro Que Si and the Brazilian influenced single Pinball Cha Cha. Two years later they gave birth to a third album You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess, a colorful collection of awe-inspiring soundscapes and infectious dance beats which spawned two singles I Love You and Lost Again.
By 1985 YELLO unleashed their breakthrough album Stella which not only gave them the international recognition they so richly deserved, but proved they were a serious singles and albums band, while reinforcing their reputation as the primary force behind the European dance music scene. With Stella, YELLO practically re-invented themselves and subsequently released what is conceivably to be their most original, influential and best sounding singles - Vicious Games, Desire, and Oh Yeah.
Suddenly, it's almost as if YELLO are everywhere - movies, TV commercials, radio, videos and clubs. The producers of the hit American cop TV show Miami Vice decide to use Desire on one of the episodes. Oh Yeah becomes the soundtrack for American Football on nationwide TV and also appears on the soundtracks of five Hollywood movies, among them Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Secret of My Success
By 1986 Dieter Meier and Boris Blank fused together some of the finest moments from their first four studio albums - Solid Pleasure, Claro Que Si, You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess, and Stella - into the ultimate deluxe re-mix long player - The New Mix In One Go (1980-1985).
With tracks ranging from Daily Disco, Pinball Cha Cha, I Love You, Vicious Games, Oh Yeah, Lost Again, Desire, Koladi-Ola, Bostich and Live At The Roxy - YELLO virtually re-defined the concept of 'album compilation' by releasing the first truly original non-stop re-mix album. This was an extremely clever move because not only did it introduce fantastic, original, and immaculate sounding dance music to the uninitiated, but it opened the doors and welcomed a new audience discovering YELLO for the very first time.
In 1987 commercial recognition finally came to fruition with the release of the hauntingly beautiful and critically-acclaimed One Second album. Featuring back-up vocals from ex-Associate Billy Mackenzie, one of the album's most electrifying moments is Shirley Bassey's spine-tingling vocal performance on Rhythm Divine - a collaborative track specially composed by YELLO for Bassey with lyrics penned by Mackenzie.
A year later, an instrumental number Blank had tucked away in the deepest confines of the studio, is graciously donated to a pair of magician friends as they embark to New York to compete in the Magicians World Championships, which surprisingly, they go on to win. The overall consensus is that YELLO's instrumental was partly responsible for the magicians winning top prize. YELLO return to the studio to develop the instrumental into a single. The result is The Race - YELLO's biggest hit single to date. Flag is their seventh album and clocks in over a million sales worldwide. Two more singles are released - the energised dance floor filler Tied Up, followed by the dazzling epic ballad Of Course I'm Lying.
Over the next two years Meier visits Poland to wrestle a pet gorilla for the filming of his first major movie Snowball (a neo-expressionist baroque opera), while Boris Blank develops thousands of new sampled sounds, most of which are based on vocal inflections.
In 1991 YELLO release their eighth studio album Baby - an eclectic mix of sub-tropical dance rhythms, magical mamba moments and voodoo cool. Two singles are taken from the album including Rubberbandman, followed in '92 by Jungle Bill - remixed by the UK's premiere remixer Andy Weatherall.
YELLO's first official compilation album and accompanying video collection are finally released in 1992 under the name Essential Yello. The album features 16 classic tracks which chronicals 12 years of definitive YELLO dance music. The videos, many of which have won numerous awards including
the World Music Award, Monte Carlo 1990 (for The Race), are all directed by Dieter. YELLO's pop promos reflect their interpretation of the music. It's almost as if each song is like a soundtrack to a movie.
October 1994 - YELLO are now entering a new chapter in their magnificent career with the release of ZEBRA - their tenth studio album.
"This is clearly a YELLO record," says Dieter. "Our musical style is like our second face. Changing one's musical style is as impossible as changing the roots of a tree. Look at the work of Cèzanne - his painting matured but his personality never changed. The same applies to YELLO. We pioneered
something 15 years ago and now it has become routine for a lot of musicians - which is working with samples, sequencers, and using very fast limited rap-type voices."
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