The ambitious Swiss electronic duo Yello comprised vocalist/conceptualist Dieter Meier — a millionaire industrialist, professional gambler, and member of Switzerland's national golf team — and composer/arranger Boris Blank. . The two began collaborating in 1979, and debuted with the single "I.T. Splash." After a steady ascent, their star rose significantly with the inclusion of the 1985 single "Oh Yeah" in John Hughes' Ferris Bueller's Day Off. They consolidated their subsequent international success with 1988's "The Race," a Top Ten hit in seven countries. Next came a move into film, while maintaining a six-album run of Top Ten placings on the Swiss charts that stretched into the late '90s. Although Yello's releases became less frequent in the new century, the duo became even more successful in their homeland. Incredibly, 2016 brought their first live show in front of an audience, just before the release of their 14th studio album in 2020.
After signing with the Residents' label Ralph Records, Yello issued their 1980 debut LP, Solid Pleasure, which spawned the dance hit "Bostitch." With 1981's Claro Que Si, Yello made its first forays into music video; their clip for the single "Pinball Cha Cha," directed by Meier, garnered considerable acclaim and in 1985 was selected as one of 32 works included in the Museum of Modern Art's Music Video Exhibition. Visual accompaniment remained a pivotal component of the duo's work after they signed to Elektra in 1983 for the LP You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess, as the videos for "I Love You" and "Lost and Found" received heavy airplay on MTV.
1985's Stella proved to be Yello's commercial breakthrough: while the singles and videos "Desire" and "Vicious Games" found success upon their initial release, the duo enjoyed a delayed hit with the album track "Oh Yeah," which reached the U.S. singles chart. After the remix project 1980-1985: The New Mix in Go, Yello recruited diva Shirley Bassey and ex-Associate Billy McKenzie for 1987's One Second.
Despite the success of 1988's Flag, which contained the aforementioned hit "The Race," over the course of the next several years Yello grew increasingly involved with film projects: after scoring the comedy Nuns on the Run, Meier directed his own feature, 1990's Snowball. In 1991, the duo resurfaced with Baby, followed three years later by Zebra. 1995's Hands on Yello compiled reinterpretations of the group's songs by the likes of Moby, the Orb, and the Grid, while Pocket Universe, a collection of new material, appeared in 1997. Their tenth effort, Motion Picture, arrived only two years later, but wasn't followed up until 2003's The Eye, which included a number of collaborations with Jade Davies. Touch Yello, their 12th album, landed in 2009 and featured smooth jazz megastar Till Brönner on three selections. Both this record and 2016's Toy hit the number one spot in Switzerland before the singles "Waba Duba" and "Out of Sight" were issued ahead of 2020's Point. ~ Jason Ankeny & James Wilkinson