If it wasn’t for that little jerk Ferris Bueller, the world may never have appreciated the gift it was given with Yello’s “Oh Yeah,” the song that immediately comes to mind whenever you see a sweet car or a killer bod. In a new video from Great Big Story, we’re shown just how close we were to being denied the soundtrack to these important life moments by hearing the story of the track’s success from the Swiss musical visionaries themselves.
Yello, a Swiss band comprised of two righteous dudes named Dieter Meier and Boris Blank, strike cool poses and dance around in their studio while describing how “Oh Yeah” went from just another track on their 1985 album Stella to one of the most iconic songs of the decade. Blank explains how he wrote the instrumental, which started with “a funky bassline,” before Meier says, “I was absolutely not inspired by this song. I didn’t like it at all.”
In order to get inspired enough to write lyrics that consist entirely of him repeating “ohhhhhh, yeah” and “the moon, beautiful/the sun, even more beautiful,” Meier was told a special story by his bandmate. “You imagine, you’re the King Of Tonga, the sun is about to go down, some people bring you the perfect great drink, a cool breeze comes to you, and in this situation, what would you say?”
“Ohhhhh yeah,” Meier answers.
The two sing along to their music video and say that they owe the track’s enduring appeal to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. “Of course it’s a very nice thing to have a hit, especially with a very funny and uniquely limited song like ‘Oh Yeah,’” Meier says.
A Wall Street Journal video from a few years ago shows just how nice the song has been to Yello over the years, as it’s been licensed for use in so many ads, movies, and TV shows.
Meier, in particular, has managed to turn his money into “a fortune estimated by a Swiss magazine at $175 million” through investments. We can only imagine what song and lyric plays in his head when he lowers his sunglasses, mouth hanging open in slow motion, to look over his account statements.
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