It’s been a while, so we’ll bring back a fan favorite. For those of you that are new to this, the method is to post an aggressively harsh burner of a song, and then follow it with something lighter, more mellow or that sort of thing.
This week, we’re bringing you songs by Yello … not a group known particularly for their acerbic sounds (unless you hate old Euro-dance club music, then all of Yello might sound acerbic). But, this song is a bit more wild than their others. We likey.
Yello is a group that’s long in the tooth. In a lot of ways, the boys of Yello (Boris Blank and Dieter Meier) are grandfathers (or at least great uncles?) of the electronic dance style that emerged out of Europe in the 1980’s. Their music may have started to run its course, but in the group’s heydey, the catchy beats and innovate sounds were so much more danceable and fun than the androgynous music of milquetoast songsters like Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Eraser, Tears for Fears, etc. Our favorite album overall is Stella, which is where you’ll find their famous “Oh Yeah” that was used in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. We love that song, but “Desire” is the best song on the album. After finding their fantastic groove in the mid-1980’s the sounds didn’t evolve much making listening spotty and in certain cases, somewhat dull. However, there are still gems out there, so if you’re compiling your own Playlist and haven’t really paid much attention to their post-Stella albums, may we recommend from their 1990’s and 2000’s albums the following? Thanks, don’t mind if we do.
Baby: Capri Calling (kind of like Desire – haunting and cool), Ocean Club (Dieter fancies himself to be a noir private dick but since he doesn’t take himself too seriously, it works), Blender (again with the sense of humor – we have no idea why Dieter’s hocking blenders, but it’s just funny and the song is great).
Zebra: Do It! (it just makes you want to, huh?), Tremendous Pain (although S&M’s not really our thing), How How (horns and a grinding sax).
Pocket Universe: Celsius (drums baby!), To the Sea (haunting, sensual, frequently remixed and some of the alternative versions are actually better), Resistor (fast! pump!)
Motion Picture: Squeeze Please (yes, Yello has plenty of songs that sound just like this one, but it’s a good kind of jazz club kind of vibe, kind of), Houdini (did we mention we like really fast techno songs?)
The Eye: Planet Dada (kind of a trippy beat with a Matrix modem sounding thing going on over the top of it). Unfortunately, much of the remaining album sounds like so much of their older stuff.
Touch: Til Tomorrow (sounds like a nightime drive on wet and empty city streets with no particular destination in mind; you’re in your black suit and silver tie, she’s in a shimmering evening gown… just drive…just drive), Part Love (Deiter and Boris, let me introduce you to Kylie).
Let’s be fair. For as versatile as a synthesizer is, DJs are often very narrow in their focus (e.g., you can hear Tiesto coming a mile away), so kudos to Yello for still having a broader canvas with which to paint, even if the general theme is still the same. As the previous songs attest, even if the album isn’t another Stella or You Got to Say Yes to Another Excess, each release has individually great songs.
Anyway, from Stella, here comes “Si, Señor, The Hairy Grill” (what does that even mean?!). Clever video. Not sure I would haven chosen it to go with this song so if it’s distracting you, just close your eyes.
Here’s your chaser. From 1997’s Pocket Universe comes “To the Sea.”