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Yellow Magic Orchestra

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Rydeen Yellow Magic Orchestra 04:26
Light in Darkness Yellow Magic Orchestra 03:40
Yellow Magic (Tong Poo) Yellow Magic Orchestra 06:17
Firecracker Yellow Magic Orchestra 04:50
Technopolis Yellow Magic Orchestra 04:14
Stairs Yellow Magic Orchestra 04:14
Insomnia Yellow Magic Orchestra 04:57
Absolute Ego Dance Yellow Magic Orchestra 04:37
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Taiso Yellow Magic Orchestra 04:21

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Formed in Tokyo, Japan in 1978, Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) was one of the most influential musical acts in electronic music history yet never charted outside of their native country. Founded by Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards, vocals), Yukihiro Takahashi (lead vocals, drums), and Haruomi Hosono (keyboards, bass, vocals), the group pioneered the use of synthesizers, drum machines, sequencers, and samplers, creating their own unique approach to pop music. While groups like Kraftwerk may have already set the stage for electronic music, YMO brought a different perspective to what would be called ‘electro pop.’ Combining their love of everything from 1960s pop to classical and avant-garde music, the group released their debut album, Yellow Magic Orchestra, in 1978. The album became an international cult classic. However, their 1979 album Solid State Survivor, is now considered a synthpop classic. The group then issued the 1980 live album Public Pressure before releasing the 1980 mini album X∞Multiplies, which featured their popular take on “Tighten Up,” a cover of the Archie Bell & the Drells hit. The mini album was expanded for US release be adding several songs from their previous album. Like Solid State Survivors, the mini album went to Number 1 on the Japanese Albums chart. YMO followed that success with the albums BGM (1981), Technodelic (1981), and two albums in 1983: Naughty Boys and Service. Following a world tour, the group disbanded in 1984. All three members went on to achieve success as solo artists, producers, and composers. Ryuichi Sakamoto became the most well-known member of the trio, with many of his releases earning him a large international following. In 1993, the trio reunited and released the album Technodon. Since their old label owned the rights to the Yellow Magic Orchestra name, the group billed themselves as YMO for the album and ‘Not YMO’ for the subsequent live tour. The three members continued to work together under various names like HASYMO, Pre YMO, and Human Audio Sponge, but never again worked under the name Yellow Magic Orchestra. However, the three musicians are now considered to be some of the most influential in Japanese pop music history. Alongside their studio output, there have been many live albums and compilations released over the 40+ years since they first formed. Yukihiro Takahashi died on January 11, 2023, at the age of 70. Six days after the passing of Takahashi, Ryuichi Sakamoto released the critically acclaimed album 12. Ryuichi Sakamoto died on March 28, 2023, at the age of 71.