Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My '80s Remastered - Solid Pleasure

In 1980 the Swiss duo Yello released their debut album Solid Pleasure. Just one look at the cover and you know you're in for something pretty unique. An early review headline referred to Dieter Meier and Boris Blank as funloving futurists, and it's a very accurate description. The album is a genre bending trip that goes from new wave to synth pop to experimental electronica to latin beats to gonzo rock to skanking reggae. It embraces NY No Wave and electro, the slick Euro club music of Bowie and Moroder and the avant jazz of Zappa, as well as cinematic ambience. It's a roller coaster ride of musical twists and turns. The whole Yello back catalogue has recieved the expanded remaster treatment. They can be purchased together in a box or individually. Solid Pleasure has 5 extra tracks. Four have never been released before - 2 tracks from the soundtrack LP Jetz und Alles, two from the band's debut 12" single and the 12" version of Bostich (N'est Ce Pas?), the band's first big hit. It's an infectious electro romp, set to a militaristic beat with a great, shouty chorus - "EVERYBODY! BE SOMEBODY!" The duo's quirk shines through all over the rest of the album, but I particularly enjoy the zany Bananas To The Beat - a dubby, spaced out tribal electro skank with goofy chanting. I have to say that I'm very impressed with how well this record has held up, especially considering that it's 25 years old. I also picked up Claro Que Si and You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess, so stay tuned for more Yello posts.

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