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Thread: Yacht Rock

  1. #1

    Yacht Rock

    Sirius has yacht rock on channel 18, but I am curious on something: the range that "yacht rock" was being created was mentioned on a site (Wikipedia?) as occurring between 1975-1981, but I know the music being played on the channel is being a little loose on that. What exactly qualifies as "yacht rock"?

    Also, is there any particular favorite yacht rock songs or albums you like or recommend? By what is being played, Seals and Crofts and England Dan and John Ford Coley, both of whom I like, are part of it...
    "Alienated-so alien I go!"

  2. #2
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Never, ever, heard that term before.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    The series was written, directed, and produced by J. D. Ryznar, co-produced by David Lyons and Hunter D. Stair, and edited by Lane Farnham. The production has a "bad-on-purpose aesthetic".[2]Ryznar and Stair devised the series after noticing the incestuous recording careers of such bands as Steely Dan, Toto, and The Doobie Brothers and the singer-songwriters Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. For example, McDonald co-wrote Loggins' "This Is It" and Loggins co-wrote McDonald's hit, "What a Fool Believes," for his band The Doobie Brothers. McDonald also performed backing vocals for several other 'yacht rock' artists, including Steely Dan, Toto and Christopher Cross.
    Ryznar admits to having a fascination with the music of the period. As he explained, "Getting into Steely Dan really started this for me. As did the ability to buy dollar records at Amoeba and put them on tapes for my car. Kenny Loggins has made his way into all the pilots I've been involved with except [one]."[3] As Ryznar told Reuters contributor Andy Sullivan, "I'm making fun of the songwriting process, but the music is generally treated pretty lovingly."[4]

  3. #3
    Oh No! Bass Solo! klothos's Avatar
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    I never heard that term before, although I can see it easily meaning "70s pre-Yuppie music" including soft-rock like Air Supply...

    If that is what it means, I would vote for Pablo Cruise

  4. #4
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    They've talked about it on VG+. Not really interested.

  5. #5
    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    I like a couple of the bands mentioned in Wiki a lot, but (not the best analogy, but...) all of them are sirloin (not chuck or round) and SD is filet mignon.

    If "Yacht" rock is now a new "label", I'll start calling SD "Ocean Liner" rock.
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  6. #6
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    I'm fine with this kind of music but the term is banal beyond belief.

    I have ELO, Bread, Rundgren, 10cc etc. on regularly. Not sure ELO and 10cc are 'yacht rock'...Rundgren has a few songs that would fit like 'I Saw The Light', 'It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference', 'Can We Still Be Friends'...Steely Dan, Aja and FM were a turning point and definitely slicker sounding, but still not anywhere near smooth enough to fit this 'genre' IMHO.

    I've never heard Gino Vanelli or much of Jimmy Buffett. They never meant anything in the UK. Most of these type of acts managed at least one hit here, even just a 'radio hit', but not those two. I'd say Michael McDonald is a regular as well- not just his own stuff with The Doobie Brothers and solo, but he's on 'Peg', 'Ride Like The Wind', etc.

    I don't own this but there's a lot of good songs on here. 'Every Kinda People' for instance is a brilliant record, written by Andy Fraser of Free- certainly the best thing Robert Palmer ever did IMHO. Where Toto are concerned, I'm not so keen on 'Georgy Porgy'- that and '99' had me recoiling in horror when I first heard them. 'Hold The Line', 'Africa' and 'I Won't Hold You Back' are all better.

    I don't see Billy Joel as 'yacht rock', with the possible exception of 'Just The Way You Are' his stuff isn't really smooth enough IMHO. Come to think of it, a good deal (Queen, Tom Petty and Boston aside) of what's on this would qualify:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FM_(soundtrack)
    Last edited by JJ88; 04-16-2017 at 12:26 PM.

  7. #7
    It's not a "genre," it's a term (somewhat pejorative) to describe the lite-white-rock of a particular circle of recording artists that took place between the mid '70s and very early '80s.

    The Wikipedia post pretty much says it all.

    ["Yacht rock" is a pejorative name[6][7] used retrospectively to refer to the soft rock format that peaked in popularity between the years of 1975 and 1981. In part, the term relates to the stereotype of the yuppie yacht owner, enjoying smooth music while out for a sail. Additionally, since sailing was a popular leisure activity in Southern California, many "yacht rockers" made nautical references in their lyrics, videos, and album artwork, particularly the anthemic track "Sailing" by Christopher Cross. Notable artists also include Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Boz Scaggs, Steely Dan and Toto.[8]

    Ryznar commented that the term was intended to refer to the "more elite studio artists" of the period, such as Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins.[9] David B. Lyons, who co-produced the show and played Koko Goldstein, noted that a friend of his devised the term "marina rock" in college to refer to a more "working-class" group of artists that didn't achieve the same high profile, such as Seals and Crofts, Bertie Higgins, Rupert Holmes, and Looking Glass. Marina Rock is actually a term for soft rock of the same era with a nautical subject matter. Therefore, there aren't specific Marina Rock artists as much as there are songs that fall into the category such as "Ride Captain Ride" by Blues Image, "I'm Your Captain (Closer to Home)" by Grand Funk Railroad, "Thunder Island" by Jay Ferguson and "Southern Cross" by Crosby, Stills and Nash.[10] Despite the show's intentions, music journalists have begun using the term yacht rock for all of the similar-sounding music of the period, including bands such as Ambrosia, 10cc, Pablo Cruise, Firefall, England Dan & John Ford Coley, Orleans, Ace, and Player.[11] The artists retrospectively grouped under the yacht rock umbrella dominated the Grammy Awards, with Christopher Cross and Toto sweeping the major awards in 1981 and 1983 respectively.[12] However, these artists were not a hit with most rock critics at the time, who dismissed their music as being corporate rock that was overproduced, generic, and middle of the road]

    To some extent, it's part of the hipster ethos of ironic revival of old popular culture generally deemed to be very uncool (see related: the hipster embrace of Hall & Oats).

    I've never been into liking an artist or a genre for representational purposes, so this is all kind of foreign to me. I do like post 1975 Steely Dan on its own merits, though.

  8. #8
    Apparently, it is a term that was used at some point to describe music some Southern California yuppie would listen to while sailing around on his yacht or sail boat (again, from Wikipedia). I just had called most of it "wimpy white guy music" (from a deejay here).


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    "Alienated-so alien I go!"

  9. #9
    I'd add the band: Bread to this "list"?

    Never a fan but the song "Guitar Man" was pretty cool.

  10. #10
    I didn't know term either until there was a review of a compilation-album from Ned Doheny, "Seperate Oceans" (No 052):



    And there's a fine example in the series LateNightTales:


  11. #11
    Member progholio's Avatar
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    I once heard that Steely Dan was considered "yacht rock" - i don't know what the fuck that's supposed to mean but i can tell you i have a pontoon boat that we like to drop anchor & drink beer and we listen to a hell of a lot of High Llamas, so is that considered Pontoon Rock? Is it ok to listen to the Dan on my pontoon or will there be some adverse effects? This is weird.

  12. #12
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    .I'm fine with this kind of music but the term is banal beyond belief.
    In that regard then, the term fits the music.

  13. #13
    I keep hearing You're Still The One by Orleans (it was Orleans, right? Or am I think of Player?). I keep wondering why at Heinens they play Santana and The Ohio Players, but the place I work at, they play Orleans and Tony Orlando And Dawn.

  14. #14
    Known also as “Westcoast.” There’s new bands operating in the style, oddly enough from Europe:





    And a vintage European band operating in the style: Lake

    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

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    I am guessing Jimmy Buffett would fit this category. I love some of his albums from that time period.

  16. #16
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNTARSM-Fjc


    The term was made popular by the web series called Yacht Rock, of course. It is absolutely hilarious, especially if you have love of soft rock of the 70s. They do get into some other genres too. There's even a Jethro Tull episode!

  17. #17
    I was at the doctor one time. in the midst of my examination, I could hear the faint sounds of an awesome tune from the tinny speakers in the ceiling above me. with a minimal effort to engage in some conversation, I asked..."Hey doc, what is that?"
    i.ain't.dead.irock

  18. #18
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proggosaurus View Post
    I was at the doctor one time. in the midst of my examination, I could hear the faint sounds of an awesome tune from the tinny speakers in the ceiling above me. with a minimal effort to engage in some conversation, I asked..."Hey doc, what is that?"
    Did he answer, "My thumb?"
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    Did he answer, "My thumb?"
    guess I shouldn't quit my day job either, huh?
    i.ain't.dead.irock

  20. #20
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Here in Atlanta there is a band called the Yacht Rock Revue. Their attention to detail is spot on. They are some of the best players in town.

    They DO play stuff that is cliched "yacht rock", like this Steely tune. But they cover all sorts of rock too. Always very well.






  21. #21
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Yacht Rock is in halfway in between MOR and AOR, though probably closer to the former.

    But the (derogatory) term happened much later than MOR or AOR
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  22. #22
    LinkMan Chain's Avatar
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    Whatever rocks your boat
    “Pleasure and pain can be experienced simultaneously,” she said, gently massaging my back as we listened to her Coldplay CD.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by interbellum View Post

    And there's a fine example in the series LateNightTales:

    I had heard the term used in a derogatory way, and reading this thread I immediately thought of this compilation.

    I have many of these Late Night Tales albums, most are very interesting listens, but this one is different from the norm but Ii is great, compiling many "guilty pleasures" of the soft rock era into a fun late night listen. I think Groove Armada sequenced this one.


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  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    I have ELO, Bread, Rundgren, 10cc etc. on regularly. Not sure ELO and 10cc are 'yacht rock'...Rundgren has a few songs that would fit like 'I Saw The Light', 'It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference', 'Can We Still Be Friends'...
    ELO and (espec) 10CC would hardly qualify, as their respective artistic concepts were a little too edgy or idiosyncratic. Late-70s America, however, Air Supply (obviously) and artists like Tony Christie and Leo Sayer most definitely would, as would arguably Joe Cocker post-Sheffield Steel (which is a damn fine rock album).

    Some of Steely Dan's work might have appealed out there on the yacht - to Martini people sporting a marginal sense of self-insight and thus also little understanding of social sarcasm or irony. I also remember reading somwhere that one of the earliest yacht rock records was the sole solo album of Dino Valente from 1968. I could never really understand that, though, hearing the non-perfectionist arrangements and sparse instrumentation at play - although the tunes are softer and slicker than sweet butter.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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  25. #25
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    ^ On the other hand, Gino Vannelli was probably right on the starboard deck.

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