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Baker's Dozen

Not Pastel Colours: Boris Blank Of Yello's Favourite Albums
Rob Heath , October 21st, 2014 12:31

With a new box set of his soundtrack work just released, the composer and Yello man takes Rob Heath from Sun Ra to The xx in his all-time top LPs


Billy Mackenzie - Auchtermatic
I still miss Billy being around, and his voice. He wasn't a perfectionist in his way of singing, he was one of the fastest singers I ever worked with. I did an album with a singer from Malawi called Malia and she was very fast as well, but Billy was ever faster. He would make a few notes on the microphone and come up with a whole song, complete with lyric sheet, after ten minutes. He was always brilliant to work with in our studio in Zurich, and I remember he was always afraid to fly. It was a stress for him to take the plane to Zurich, but we had a really good time together. It was a shock that he died much too early.

On 'The Rhythm Divine' where he sang the bass vocals for Shirley Bassey - that took less than half an hour. When she came to Zurich he wanted to be here to give her any help if she needed it, and when she entered the studio, this diva, he disappeared. He was so intimidated and nervous that he came an hour later when she had already done her two tracks. When we went back to the hotel after having dinner with her, in the nice hotel lobby he starts singing Billie Holiday songs and everybody around in the hotel lobby had tears in their eyes. He was a very strong character, I really miss him. He was very funny, and as I remember one of the nicest voices in pop history. A very unusual voice, very unique.