Many movies rely on songs to set mood, and there are some that are relied upon a lot – what we like to call soundtrack staples. Yello’s Oh Yeah became known as “the Ferris Bueller song”, but it’s been used a lot since…
Switzerland isn’t exactly renowned for oozing with pop stars, but Swiss duo Yello – Dieter Meier and Boris Blank – deserve the tag. However, far from being two friends who decided to start making music together or something else typical of a band’s formation, Meier was brought in when the original incarnation of Yello decided that they kind of needed a singer. This was in the late 1970s – and while Oh Yeah would go on to make the duo a lot of folding stuff, Meier was already a millionaire industrialist (with a little help from his rich daddy) and gambler. You’d never guess by looking at the guy…
Other than percussion, Oh Yeah is mostly comprised of various vocal samples behind the handful of fairly meaningless lyrics. Although, we guess, both the moon and sun are beautiful in their own ways.
Despite its success as a soundtrack staple, the song never really charted well, save for in Australia where it went top 10. Oi, oi, oi yeah!
We’re just listing movie appearances here, but like most soundtrack staples Oh Yeah has also been popular on TV, perhaps most notably as Duffman’s signature tune in The Simpsons… Oh yeah!
OK, it’s chick chicka-chick-ah time…
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Who can forget Oh Yeah soundtracking the infamous “Ferrari scene”, where Ferris gives Cameron’s pulse good cause to go nuts? This first filmic excursion for the 1985-released track created the template for most of its future movie use – accompanying the appearance of something desirable or decadent.
The Secret of My Succe$s (1987)
As we were saying above… How much suggestive imagery can you get into one limo ride? Erm, lots it would seem.
She’s Out of Control (1989)
Hold me closer, Tony Danza… There you go, the guy whose character on TV was almost always called Tony – making us wonder whether he had trouble remembering his name – got to star in a movie. This one also featured future Friends star Matthew Perry – and we’re rambling because we never saw it, so we have no idea how Oh Yeah was used in it.
Even James Belushi’s pup cop buddy got his doggo urges soundtracked by Yello.
Not Another Teen Movie (2001)
Well gee, this is a big bout of original… and using Oh Yeah didn’t exactly require a stretch, either. Hey, was that Chris ‘Captain America’ Evans we saw when desperately trying to find vision with our current soundtrack staple sticky-taped to it? Oh yeah, it was!
Soul Plane (2004)
This early Kevin Hart comedy had its moments – and a killer soundtrack. Yello’s track bumps it with all manner of top R&B and hip-hop, and holds its own. But our favourite thing about the movie? Dig this funky 747…
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)
Oh goodness, no! To save your ears, we didn’t include audio of this chipmunkified Oh Yeah. You’re welcome.
American Pie Presents: The Book of Love (2009)
If you saw the original American Pie then you’ll know what to expect from this direct-to-video affair – more horny-teens-trying-to-lose-it hijinx, with Eugene Levy along for the ride. It isn’t a stretch to imagine Oh Yeah within this context, is it?
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017)
When young pranksters George and Harold realise that they have control over – erm, spoilers – their celebratory song of choice is, of course, Oh Yeah. While we’re here, this is a really ace kids flick from last year that many overlooked but shouldn’t have. Here’s Weird Al’s alarmingly catchy theme song – tra-la-la!
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
…and we come full circle, with Oh Yeah playing on a TV showing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that Spidey flits by before plopping into a pool. This has been acknowledged by the Marvel movie’s makers as a homage to the scene where Ferris is racing to get home before his mum – sorry, “mom” – and sister, Jeanie.
Me You Madness (2021)
This apparent comedy has amassed a huge average rating of… erm… 3.7 on IMDB, but judging by the trailer it does have a somewhat stacked soundtrack – even if Yello didn’t manage to nudge out the likes of Kenny Loggins and Michael Sembello cover versions in it.