DSB & Yello

Today another clip from French TV. about Yello from 1998.

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Lyrics:

You know that my tears, have kept me awake
The longer you’re gone, I’ll hunger and shake
From Warsaw to Rome, I’ll wait out of time
With you in my heart
The Rhythm Divine

So won’t you come close, bring this to an end
With each winter rose, my love I will send
So tender the night, when you hold me tight
With you in my heart
The Rhythm Divine

With you in my heart
The Rhythm Divine

You know that these tears, have kept me awake
The longer you’re gone, I’ll hunger and shake
From Warsaw to Rome, I’ll wait out of time
With you in my heart
The Rhythm Divine
The Rhythm Divine
The Rhythm Divine

With you in my heart
The Rhythm Divine

The Rhythm Divine

MDS00137Music by Boris Blank and Lyrics by Billy MacKenzie

First released in 1987, Shirley Bassey sings the vocals to this track in a collaboration with Swiss band Yello. The music is by Yello, a band consisting of Boris Blank and Dieter Meier with backing vocals recorded by co-writer Billy MacKenzie. The vocals were recorded at Yello’s studio in Zurich.

Chart Positions:

Official Swiss Chart Entered: Aug 02 1987
Highest: Singles: #21 Run: 5 weeks
Official British Chart Entered: Aug 22 1987
Highest: Singles: #54 Run: 2 weeks

Background:
The Swiss group Yello have produced some of the sharpest electro funk of the past two decades. Fusing a camp disco sensibility with a kitsch sense of humour, they are the cuckoo clocks of pop.

In 1987 the besuited and moustachioed Yelloman Dieter Meier sent a tape of their music to Shirley Bassey. “I have to admit, much to our surprise, she got back in touch with us and said she’d like to work with us” Meier said. “So we could not refuse. Drafting in ex-associates Billy Mackenzie as lyricist and co-collaborator, ‘The Rhythm Divine’ was written especially for the Tiger Bay diva. Billy MacKenzie worked with Yello on several occasions, he died in January 23rd 1997. “Shirley Bassey has one of the greatest voices I have ever heard and a strength as a performer that’s rare” praised Meier.

Bassey flew over to Yello’s Zurich studio and recorded her vocals in under 40 minutes, arriving an hour late for the session, Meier missed it completely. The song seemed to bridge the generation gap. “Working with her made everything valid with my mum and aunties” said Billy Mackenzie, whose backing vocals were overdubbed an astonishing 90 times. “It’s smoothed out those family wrinkles” brooding and sensual, rhythm is the perfect music for pleasure and was unlike anything Dame Shirley had done before.

In comments about this song Shirley Bassey showed that she obviously did not like the results. Maybe at this time she was not ready for this musical style. At a concert in the Royal Albert Hall following the release of the Yello album she introduced the song by saying “this is how this song should have sounded”. I presume she meant with a live orchestra. But most of her fans agree that this song is among her best and also the recording quality is uniquely outstanding.

It was the outstanding track on Yello’s album ‘One Second’ and also appeared on the Reader’s Digest Collection This Is My Life. It would have made a great James Bond theme. Ten years on, history repeated itself ten years later when Bassey again hit the charts in collaboration, this time recording History Repeating with the Propellerheads.

Recordings:

Various different mixes of The Rhythm Divine have been released. Below is an overview of these different recordings. For more detailed information go to the Song Finder.

Original Album Version (length: 4:10 – 4:14)

7″ Single Version (Length: 3:30)

Maxi-Single Version (Length: 5:05)

1990s Re-Touched Version (Length: 4:20)

The Rhythm Divine also forms a part of the Yello Metropolitan Mixdown 1989 Part II.

Music Video:

A music video was produced featuring Shirley Bassey. The video was released in 1992 on the Yello compilation video ‘Essential Yello.’

MDS00135 MDS00136

3 thoughts on “DSB & Yello”

  1. Thank you Pieter. I agree with Pruette and Terry. Very interesting, funny and enjoyable archive at the same time. Boris and Dieter are very talented and unique. Of course Dame Shirley is superb as usual.

    Like

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