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Summer Means Yacht Rock

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by qtlaw, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    I think they can expand the playlist a bit. I get too much Valevaha, Daisy Jane and Wildfire.
    maumann likes this.
  2. Wildfire has earned an especially hot place in hell. God, I hate that song.
    maumann likes this.
  3. icoverbucks

    icoverbucks Member

    Agreed on the variety of the song list on 70
  4. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    I was really into Yacht Rock last summer when I bought a car and had satellite radio again, deeply flawed though that channel is. ("Rock The Boat" is not fucking yacht rock, for example. Just because a song has a boat reference in the title doesn't mean it's Yacht Rock. "Sailing", of course, does meet the criteria.)

    I had heard the term long before, of course, and watched the hilarious Youtube series too, but it's fascinating to me how the concept of Yacht Rock has developed since it started organically and slowly crept into the consciousness. So many people "got on the boat", so to speak, at different times that it's really gone beyond it's original meaning and is often misunderstood.

    First? I'm glad the term exists because something had to be conjured to give a name to the late 70s/early 80s mellow pop/rock that is most decidedly of its time and became anachronistic almost immediately at the point MTV's influence began to dominate the charts by late '83. By 1983? No one listened to "Steal Away" or " '65 Love Affair" and wouldn't have been caught dead doing so, even though the latter was a hit the summer before.

    If you're bored, and since all of the Billboard charts are now available online, look at a top 100 chart from January 1983 and then look at December 1983. It's as if music evolved by 20 years in a single year.

    But as quickly as it was forgotten, Yacht Rock was a going concern for a long time. Ambrosia, Pablo Cruise, Player, etc., all have a home now for better or worse. And when you hear their music contextualized? It does allow you to re-assess it. I actually don't mind some of that stuff now, while acknowledging that the line between the enjoyable shit and schlock is very thin indeed. I still never want to hear England Dan & John Ford Coley, nor "Into The Night" as long as I breathe.

    Some take Yacht Rock as a derisive term, but I'm not sure why. Yes, there are "classic" bands that are very much Yacht Rock. The Eagles recorded some Yacht Rock, and some damn fine Yacht Rock at that with "I Can't Tell You Why".

    Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac are peak Yacht Rock, and by peak, I mean they're really fucking good at it. And both bands also had individual members record with Yacht Rock stalwarts, especially Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald (who was in Steely Dan briefly). As much as I might enjoy a piece of musicianship on, say, "Whatcha Gonna Do" by Pablo Cruise? I know full well they're just swimming in Aja or Rumours wake.

    The origins of Yacht Rock are interesting too. Many Yacht Rock bands, Hall & Oates jumps immediately to mind, started out as straight up R&B blue-eyed soul bands. Or Bread - which actually is proto-Yacht Rock since the bulk of their career was in the early 70s, but who had the trappings down - who fashioned themselves as (very) soft countrified rock.

    How all of these genres basically got boiled down to a late 70s studio-oriented "thing" is interesting. Some of it was probably record company driven, some of it was talent-available driven, (cough ... some of it was available coke driven), but how all of these sounds kind of coalesced for late 70s listeners is interesting, especially given that the other stuff on the charts - disco and funk - was so different.

    Sociologically? I think it's the last gasp of Boomer relevance on the charts and the music reflects their domestication. My parents were approaching 30 at the time and I know their pursuits were a lot different. My dad would listen to fusion jazz - not far off of Yacht Rock, if not jazzified Yacht Rock itself - religiously every Sunday morning well into the 80s.

    It's also interesting how some of the artists successfully navigated their way through, and out, of Yacht Rock when it ran its course ... or didn't. Hall & Oates did the best job of it. Very little they recorded from "Private Eyes" onward could be considered Yacht Rock, yet, "I Can't Go For That" is tasty Yacht Rock. Dan Fogelberg, on the other hand, was huge in the early 80s, and was never heard from again after '84 or so.

    It's an interesting genre. I'm not saying I "love" all of it. Far from it, much of it was and remains crap, but some of it salvageable, a bit of it is brilliant, and it's good it got its day.
    2muchcoffeeman, Key, maumann and 2 others like this.
  5. swingline

    swingline Well-Known Member

    Damn, that read like a Double Down post on Lost, or The Wire or The Sopranos. And I mean that as a compliment.
  6. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I kept waiting for a request to Casey Kasem to play Christopher Cross's "Sailing" or "Ride Like The Wind."
  7. Twirling Time

    Twirling Time Well-Known Member

    Funny enough, I mentioned the uncle with the MAD Magazine stash on another thread. An uncle on my dad's side of the family had a K-TEL stash. Unfortunately his media of choice was the 8-track. Too damn bad because there was some good stuff.
  8. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    I get to hear KCs Top 40 on Sunday AM each week.
    BitterYoungMatador2 and maumann like this.
  9. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    I was taking the kids to a splash pad the other day and just fuckin cranked this one in the Fartmobile, I didn't give a shit.

  10. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    A great yacht rocker.

    qtlaw and 3_Octave_Fart like this.
  11. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    His work, categorically, was awesome. Five Grammys in one year is hard to top for anybody.
    The guy appeared at just the right time in pop history, commensurate to performing ability and talents (he was a guitarist foremost).
    Sweeter than those Yodel and Ding Dong cakes my mama would pack for school lunches of the day.
    Yes it's gooey as fuck, but I really don't see anything wrong with that anymore in this sad sick world.
  12. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    Arthur was the perfect union of Dudley Moore and Christopher Cross.
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