Yellow Magic Orchestra on Soul Train, 1980
November 14, 2011 1:18 PM   Subscribe

I wouldn't have believed you if you told me, but there they are. Weird, and fantastic.

Then again, The Ventures were (are?) big in Japan, so couldn't YMO take over Soul Train for a night in 1980?

I'd like to see some video of the bearded Italian audience arguing about the merits of YMO at their concernts.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:51 PM on November 14, 2011

YMO and Kraftwerk confused a lot of people that were not expecting such funky rhythms to come from Japan or Germany. In college one of my roommates went nuts when he heard me playing "Numbers" by Kraftwerk. For several years it was one of the main dancefloor faves at the club he hung out at, but the DJ refused to tell anyone who or what it was. When I showed him the album he didn't believe that German white guys could make a record that funky. It wasn't until he verified that the record playing matched the album sleeve I showed him that he accepted that it could be true. A friend that worked at a dance oriented record store in the early 80's told me a very similar story with YMO and local club DJ's. He said they refused to believe it was a Japanese band.

I had never seen any YMO video before, so thanks for posting. I would have loved to have been able to see them live around this time.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:27 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Awesome. The anecdote at the end of the Guardian article (second-to-last link in OP) about how they had to actually have a computer programmer backstage to furiously re-code their synths between songs just floored me. The first wave of electronic musicians in the '60s and '70s were definitely taking a harder path than their pop contemporaries.
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:27 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seriously, that Ryuichi Sakamoto. Even his awkward claps are cool.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 3:41 PM on November 14, 2011

Heh - I went on a YMO youtube binge within the past few months (was there a different YMO link recently? Or maybe something in the comments inspired me...) Anyways...

I downloaded from Napster back in the day a copy of Tighten Up (and then, of course that led me to the original Archie Bell and some of his tracks)... The version I had had this weird little skit at the end...

Wish I could find the audio on youtube. I've lost that file by now, but it was both funny and awkward at the same time, which I'm sure was the point.
posted by symbioid at 4:26 PM on November 14, 2011

Two of their other songs I really enjoy are Tong Poo and Firecracker
posted by Quasimike at 5:39 PM on November 14, 2011

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