Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Yukihiro Takahashi dies, aged 70

Yukihiro Takahashi
(Image credit: Yuji Ohsugi/WireImage)

Japanese musician Yukihiro Takahashi, who was one third of the groundbreaking Yellow Magic Orchestra, has died at the age of 70.

Takahashi formed YMO in 1978 with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono, playing drums and serving as their lead singer. WIth their heavy use of synths, samplers, drum machines and sequencers, the band were at the vanguard of the burgeoning synth-pop movement.

One of the band’s biggest hits, Behind The Mask, would later be covered by both Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton. It had originally been produced in 1978 for a Seiko watch commercial.

Yellow Magic Orchestra disbanded in 1984, but reformed at various points over the next three decades. Takahashi also released multiple solo albums and, in the early 2000s, reunited with Haruomi Hosono to form Sketch Show.

British electronic music duo Orbital were among those paying tribute to Takahashi on social media.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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