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Yello, mid 1980s (l-r: Boris Blank, Dieter Meier)

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Yello is a Swiss avant garde Electronic Music duo comprised of Dieter Meier and Boris Blank. Their music is characterized by its heavy reliance on unusual samples backed by catchy rhythms and Meier's Badass Baritone.

The duo are best known for 1985 single "Oh Yeah" thanks to it's appearance in the films Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Secret of My Success (as well as countless movies and shows paying homage to both), as well as their 1988 song "The Race," which was used as the theme for Euro Racing throughout The '90s.


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Discography:

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This band provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Alliterative Name: Boris Blank.
  • The Amazon: Mentioned in "Great Mission" as "The Amazonas" and, like the city of Manaus, "full of piranhas".
  • Badass Baritone: Dieter Meier's voice is famously low-pitched. Several songs such as "Oh Yeah" or "Rubberbandman" mechanically lowers to even more into a Basso Profundo.
  • Bow Chicka Wow Wow: "Oh Yeah" is a popular alternative for shows and movies want to license a particular song to serve this purpose. It even uses the onomatopoetic sounds in question (though not in that order).
  • Driving a Desk: The video for "The Race" features Boris Blank sitting in front of a rather abstract rear projection holding an unattached steering wheel. Surreal, colorful rear projections were something of a Signature Style for the band's videos.
  • Epic Rocking: Some Yello songs have grown to substantial length. For example, the album version of "The Race" (that's the one with the cool horn riffs) is over eight minutes long.
  • Motor Mouth: A key element of Dieter's vocal style in a number of their songs. "Bostich" and "The Race" being two noteworthy examples.
  • Obsession Song: "Oh Yeah". See "Standard Snippet."
  • Piranha Problem: Apparently, Manaus and The Amazonas are so infested by them that "Great Mission" has to mention them four times.
  • Power Makes Your Voice Deep: The Father of Excess's voice (and burps) in "Great Mission" are pitched down.
  • Renaissance Man: Dieter Meier's resume beyond Yello, from both before and after his time in it, is famously extensive. CNN even referred to him as a "serial entrepreneur." In addition to performing with the act, he's also an industrialist, conceptual artist, music video director, watch designer, professional gambler, professional golfer, restauranteur, chocolatier, wine-maker... all of which he invested his royalties from Yello's songs into.
  • Sampling: A significant part of their compositions are either samples of non-musical sounds re-arranged in musical/rhythmic ways (for example, "Koladi-Ola" is a sped-up sound effect from an animal sounds album of a lion roaring) or musical instruments which Boris Blank recorded himself and heavily re-engineered beyond recognition. Over the years of creating music, he's built up an original sample library of over 100,000 named and categorized sounds.
  • Standard Snippet: "Oh Yeah" is often used in scenes of movies and shows where a character is leering at either an impossibly attractive person or some sort of decadent material possession, if not comically presenting something that isn't sexual in a sexy way. And, on at least one occasion, to make fun of a character's failure.

Chicka chickaaaaa...
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