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Sail Away: The Oral History of ‘Yacht Rock’

By Drew Toal

This story was originally published on June 26, 2015

I n the late 1970s and early 1980s, musical artists like Kenny Loggins , Michael McDonald , Steely Dan , Toto , Hall and Oates , and dozens of others regularly popped up on each other’s records, creating a golden era of smooth-music collaboration.

And on June 26th, 2005, an internet phenomenon was born. In 12 short but memorable episodes — first via the the short-film series Channel 101 and then online — JD Ryznar, Hunter Stair, Dave Lyons, Lane Farnham and their friends redefined an era and coined a term for the sultry croonings of McDonald, Fagen, et al.: “yacht rock.”

As “Hollywood” Steve might say, these guys docked a fleet of remarkable hits. This is the story of Yacht Rock, told from stem to stern — a reimagining of a bygone soft-rock renaissance, courtesy of hipsters with fake mustaches, impeccable record collections and a love of smoothness. Long may it sail.

The Michigan Connection JD Ryznar (Director, “Michael McDonald”): I moved from Ann Arbor to L.A., and ended up making friends with all these other guys from Michigan, like “Hollywood” Steve Huey, Hunter Stair, and David Lyons. Pretty much every weekend I’d have “Chinese Thanksgiving” at my apartment — we’d eat BBQ chicken and burgers, drink beer and listen to records of what I called “yacht rock.” You know, like Michael McDonald is singing background vocals and like there’s guys on boats on the covers; it feels like you’re on a yacht listening to it. And the guys were like, oh, we know this music.

Dave Lyons (“Koko”): You know how, in the Seventies, these big bands started playing arena rock? We liked the idea of these smooth bands playing “Marina Rock.” I thought it was a better name.

“Hollywood” Steve Huey (“Hollywood Steve”): What I mostly remember is JD playing Journey records all the time. He was so into Journey that he had photocopied a photo of Steve Perry and pasted it onto his liquid soap dispenser. He wrote “Steve Perry Soap: Clean as all fuck” on it.

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Lane Farnham (editor, “Jimmy Messina”): JD and I had talked about Journey for a year before we did Yacht Rock. In the third episode, that whole “you need to fly like a pilot” bit? Those are direct lines from Steve Perry in this crazy documentary we found. He’s coked to the gills, in the Eighties, just blabbering about who knows what. We got a kick out of that stuff. 

Sail Away: The Oral History of ‘Yacht Rock’ , Page 1 of 12

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Ultimate Classic Rock

Yacht or Not?: Sailing the Seas of Yacht Rock

Louis Armstrong said, “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” Duke Ellington said, “There are simply two kinds of music: good music and the other kind.” Christopher Cross said, “If you get caught between the moon and New York City, the best that you can do is fall in love.”

What do these pieces of wisdom add up to? Music, like love, doesn’t follow rules. Musicians as diverse as Armstrong, Ellington and Cross don’t want to be boxed in by genre. They want to write, record and perform and not spend time deciding if they play bebop or hard bop, blues or Southern rock, funk or disco.

But as temperatures heat up and people think of sailing away to find serenity, yacht rock playlists start to float in on the breeze. And that means drawing boundaries with enough latitude that artists don’t object to being boxed in and  still foster playlists with a sense of meaning, a sense of continuity and depth. Peaks and valleys must be smartly balanced against the total annihilation of a common aesthetic. (Yes, despite a fascination with sailing and pina coladas, yacht rock can be taken seriously!)

And so, much to Armstrong’s chagrin, we have to ask, “What is yacht rock?” If it seems obvious, take a look at Spotify’s recent “Yacht Rock” playlist . Spotify is a global streaming leader with some 350 million monthly users, an army of music experts and cutting edge artificial intelligence, and yet the company filled its playlist with songs such as Tears for Fears ’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me,” Van Morrison ’s “Brown Eyed Girl” and Bruce Hornsby ’s “The Way It Is.”

If somebody wants to create and enjoy a stack of songs that runs from tunes by the J. Geils Band , to the  Police , to Bad Company , to Talking Heads (yup, the company has all these artists on its playlist and even included Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters”), they should do that with gusto! It sounds like an evening full of classic jams and fun left turns so cheers to the endeavor. But if a major player in the music business wants to do that and call it yacht rock, we need to take a step back and consider what is and isn’t yacht.

We know breezes, islands, keys, capes, cool nights, crazy love and reminiscing help define the yacht aesthetic (see works by Seals & Crofts , Jay Fergeson, Bertie Higgins, Rupert Holmes, Paul Davis, Poco , and Little River Band ). But let’s get beyond the captain’s caps and map the waters of this perfect-for-summer style.

Watch Bertie Higgins' Video for 'Key Largo' 

Yacht Rock Sets Sail With Help From a 2005 Web Series

Before 2005, people generally placed Toto ’s “ Africa ” and Holmes’ “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” in the soft rock genre. Maybe if they were getting fancy, they’d call them AM Gold. But in 2005, the online video series Yacht Rock debuted. It fictionalized the careers of soft rock artists of the late ’70s and early ’80s. The cheeky show capitalized on the building renaissance of artists such as Steely Dan and Michael McDonald , who embraced the silliness of the series.

“When it came on I remember watching it pretty avidly,” McDonald admitted in 2018 . “My kids got a huge kick out of it. We would laugh about the characterizations of the people involved. At this point it’s a genre of its own. You’re either yacht or you're not.”

He might be right that you’re either yacht or you’re not. But calling it a genre doesn’t quite work (more on that in a minute).

Listen to the Doobie Brothers' 'Minute By Minute'

Riding the Waters From the Radical ’60s to the Sincere ’70s

By the late ’60s, rock ‘n’ roll had become “art.” The Beatles started as simple teen heartthrobs covering early rock ‘n’ roll, but graduated to the supreme weirdness of the  White Album . Chuck Berry gave birth to the Rolling Stones who gave birth to Led Zeppelin and the gonzo bombast of “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You.” And all sorts of acts went wild from the Grateful Dead , to Pink Floyd , to Frank Zappa  and beyond. The sunshine of ’70s AM Gold came as a reaction to these wonderful excesses. Singer-songwriters aimed to take rock and pop back to the simple pleasures of tight, light tunes such as Beach Boys ’ classics, Motown hits and Brill Building-crafted songs.

Hippies looking for revolution and Gen X-ers on the hunt for rage, irony and sharp edges bristled at the genuine lyrics of tenderness and heartbreak neatly packaged in finely-crafted Top 40. Where the stars and fans of '60s and ’90s rock wanted arty and experimental music, anger and angst, yacht took listeners on a voyage powered by pure earnestness: think of the sincere and intense conviction of Dave Mason’s “We Just Disagree,” Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together," and “Love is the Answer” by England Dan & John Ford Coley.

(Which is why placing the Police or Talking Heads on any yacht mix doesn’t work.)

Yacht rock embodies the final charge of unbridled, heartfelt pop.

“I think these songs remain so popular because they are unabashedly pop,” Nicholas Niespodziani, leader of the hugely successful tribute band  Yacht Rock Revue , explains to UCR. “They’re not self conscious. You couldn’t write a song like ‘Africa’ now. What are they even singing about? Who knows? But it’s fun to sing.”

Watch Captain & Tennille's Video for 'Love Will Keep Us Together'

Music That’s Jazzy, But Sure Isn’t Jazz

Yacht rock doesn’t just have an earnestness to its lyrics, the sax solos come with the same level of sincerity.

If the style was the last gasp of unadulterated pop, it was also the dying breath of jazz’s influence on rock. Jazz rock started in the ’60s with Zappa, Chicago , Santana and Blood, Sweat & Tears , but slowly simple drums and growling guitars stomped horn lines and rhythmic shifts into the ground. However, yacht rock features echoes of swingin’ saxophones, big band horns and Miles Davis ’ fusion projects.

Yacht rock is very pop, but legitimate musical talents made those hooks. Chuck Mangione logged time in jazz giant Art Blakey’s band then took what he learned and crushed complex harmonic ideas into the pop nugget “Feels So Good,” which is basically a Latin-bebop-disco-classical suite. (If you dig “Feels So Good,” dig deeper and groove to smooth jazz mini-symphony “Give It All You Got.”)

Nearly every classic from the style features either an epic sax solo or dazzling guitar part. For horn glory, go spin Little River Band’s “Reminiscing,” Gino Vannelli’s “I Just Wanna Stop” or Grover Washington Jr. and Bill Withers ’ “Just the Two of Us." For six-string wizardry as astounding as anything Jimmy Page came up with (and much more economical), try Atlantic Rhythm Section’s “So Into You,” Pablo Cruise’s “Love Will Find a Way” and pretty much every Steely Dan cut.

(Which is why placing Tears for Fears’ “ Everybody Wants to Rule the World ” and Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” on any yacht mix doesn’t work).

Watch the Little River Band's Video for 'Reminiscing' 

A Vibe, Not a Genre or Gender or Demographic of Any Kind

Being a style, a feeling, an aesthetic, a vibe means that yacht rock can pull a song from a wide variety of genres into its orbit. It also means that it’s not just a catalog of hits from bearded white dudes. Yes, Kenny Loggins , McDonald and both Seals and Crofts helped define yacht rock. But quintessential songs from the style came from the women and artists of color, soul singers, folk heroes and Nashville aces.

For every Loggins' tune in a captain’s hat, there’s a Carly Simon track dressed up as your cruise director. Yes, there's Steely Dan's jazz influence, but also  Crosby, Stills & Nash 's folk legacy (“Southern Cross” remains definitively of the style). Yacht rock playlists should also be littered with appropriate R&B gems, such as the Raydio’s “You Can’t Change That” (which features Ray Parker Jr.!), Hall & Oates ’ “Sara Smile” and Kool & the Gang’s “Too Hot.” Likewise, country acts of the era tried to go Top 40 while attempting to retain some twang and managed to make Love Boat music (see Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning,” Eddie Rabbit’s “I Love a Rainy Night,” Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers ’ “Islands in the Stream”).

It’s hard to tell if the Commodores’ “Sail On” is pop or R&B, harder still to know if George Benson’s “Give Me the Night” is pop, R&B or jazz. But they both feel yacht.

(Which is why Santana can do psychedelic Latin music and can do yacht on “Hold On,” and why the Pointer Sisters can do new wave disco with “Neutron Dance” and yacht with “Slow Hand.")

Wishing You a Bon Voyage on the Seas of Yacht

Spotify was right to think about diversity when making its playlist, though the company got the type of diversity wrong. Yacht has some pretty specific sonic parameters, but has no demographic restrictions when it comes to the kind of artists contributing to the style’s catalog. That means when you hit the high seas of yacht, you don’t need to be afraid to fight for your favorites to be included, just please don’t have one of those favorites be “Ghostbusters.”

We began talking about drawing boundaries with enough latitude that artists don’t object to being boxed in. The wide latitude yacht rock affords matters because music comes to define eras and outlines cultural trends (remember that yacht came in reaction to art rock and that says a lot about the swing from the late '60s to the early '80s). Calling Christopher Cross soft rock might feel right, but it doesn't tell us much about where he was coming from and what he was trying to accomplish. Calling Cross yacht rock, now that we know it's not a pejorative, illuminates his aesthetic.

Cross came out of the Texas rock scene that produced blues aces the Vaughan Brothers and guitar shredder Eric Johnson (who plays on a lot of his albums). He loves Joni Mitchell and that shows in his craft. He's jazzy but not jazz (see those horns and guitar on "Ride Like the Wind") with a vibe that's completely yacht -- developed from the scene that took '60s pop, updated it and sheltered it from the trends of punk, metal, new wave and hip hop. The same can be said for Loggins, McDonald, Simon, Lionel Ritchie and so many others.

Spotify needs to tweak its algorithm so it gets this right. Or, better yet, connect with the genre-crossing vibe that makes yacht so unique.

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Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina making some waves on the cover of 1973's "Full Sail" album.

It’s not often that an entire genre of music gets retconned into existence after being parodied by a web series, but that’s exactly what happened after writer, director, and producer J.D. Ryznar and producers David B. Lyons and Hunter D. Stair launched the Channel 101 web series Yacht Rock in 2005. Hosted by former AllMusic editor “Hollywood” Steve Huey, the series was a loving sendup of the late '70s/early '80s smooth jams to which many Millennials and late period Gen-Xers were likely conceived.

The yacht rock aesthetic was innovated by a core group of musicians and producers including, but not limited to, Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, Robbie Dupree, Kenny Loggins, Toto, David Foster, and hirsute soft rock titan Michael McDonald, along with scores of veteran session musicians from the Southern California studio scene.

The Yacht Rock web series was perfectly timed to coincide with a contemporary renaissance of smooth music from the late '70s, the kind that was previously considered a guilty pleasure because it fell out of fashion in the mid-'80s and was soon thereafter regarded as dated and square compared to other burgeoning genres, like punk rock and hip-hop.

Yacht Rock's Early Years

The yacht rock era began roughly around 1976, when yacht rock pillar Kenny Loggins split up with songwriting partner Jim Messina to strike out on his own. That same year, fellow yacht rock mainstay Michael McDonald joined The Doobie Brothers. The two titans of the genre joined forces when Loggins co-wrote the definitive yacht rock hit “What a Fool Believes” with McDonald for the Doobies. They collaborated several times during this era, which was par for the course with such an incestuous music scene that was largely comprised of buddies playing on each other’s albums.

"Look at who performed on the album and if they didn’t perform with any other yacht rock hit guys then chances are [it's] ‘nyacht’ rock,” Ryznar said on the  Beyond Yacht Rock podcast, referencing the pejorative term frequently used to describe soft rock songs that just miss the boat.

"The basic things to ask yourself if you want to know if a track is yacht rock are: Was it released from approximately 1976 to 1984? Did musicians on the track play with Steely Dan? Or Toto?," Ryznar said. "Is it a top 40 radio hit or is it on an album meant to feature hits?" And, of course, does the song celebrate a certain breezy, SoCal aesthetic?

Building the Boat

There are certain key ingredients necessary for a track to be considered yacht rock. For starters, it helps (though is not necessary) to have album art or lyrics that specifically reference boating, as with Christopher Cross's landmark 1980 hit “Sailing.” The music itself is usually slickly produced with clean vocals and a focus on melody over beat. But above all else, the sound has to be smooth . That’s what sets yacht rock apart from "nyacht" rock.

"Its base is R&B, yet it’s totally whitewashed," Ryznar explained on  Beyond Yacht Rock . "There [are] jazz elements. There can be complex, challenging melodies; the solos are all cutting-edge and really interesting. There’s always something interesting about a true yacht rock song. It goes left when you expect it to go right."

Yacht rock’s complex musicianship can be attributed, in part, to the session players on each track. Musicians like percussionist Steve Gadd, guitarist and Toto founding member Steve Lukather, and Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro don’t have much in the way of name recognition among casual soft rock listeners, but they’re the nails that hold the boat together. Steely Dan, “the primordial ooze from which yacht rock emerged,” according to Ryznar, famously cycled through dozens of session musicians while recording their 1980 seminal yacht rock album Gaucho .

"These musicians were not only these slick, polished professionals, but they were highly trained and able to hop from style to style with ease,” Huey explained on  Beyond Yacht Rock . “Very versatile.”

Steely Dan has been described as "the primordial ooze from which yacht rock emerged."

In Greg Prato’s 2018 tome, The Yacht Rock Book : An Oral History of the Soft, Smooth Sounds of the 70s and 80s , Huey broke down “the three main defining elements of yacht rock,” explaining that it requires “Fusing softer rock with jazz and R&B, very polished production, and kind of being centered around the studio musician culture in southern California … It’s not just soft rock, it’s a specific subset of soft rock that ideally has those elements."

Soft rock untethered

Whereas the music of the late 1970s and early ‘80s is often associated with the anti-establishment music of punk pioneers like the Dead Kennedys and the socially conscious songs being written by early hip-hop innovators like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, yacht rock is the antithesis of the counterculture.

Yacht rock occupies a world that is completely apolitical and untethered to current events. Between the oil crisis, a global recession, and inflation—not to mention the fact that the U.S. was still licking its wounds from the loss of the Vietnam War and the disgrace of Watergate—the late '70s were a dark time for Americans. Yet yacht rock, at its heart, is a tequila sunrise for the soul, whisking the listener away to a world where they have the time, and the means, to idle away the hours sipping piña coladas at sea while decked out in flowy Hawaiian shirts and boat shoes.

Yacht rock was never edgy, nor did it ever feel dangerous. Yacht rock didn’t piss off anyone’s parents and no one ever threatened to send their kid to boot camp for getting caught listening to Kenny Loggins's “This Is It.” Yacht rock tracks are more of a siren song that invite your parents to join in on the chorus anytime they hear Toto’s "Rosanna."

Yacht rock songs are meant to set the soundtrack to a life where the days are always sunny, but as Ryznar pointed out on Beyond Yacht Rock , there’s “an underlying darkness”—just not the kind that’s going to derail a day of sailing to Catalina Island. No, yacht rock has elements of low-stakes heartbreak with sensitive male protagonists lamenting their own foolishness in trying to get back together with exes or hitting on women half their age.

The aspirational aspect of the genre dovetailed nicely with the overarching materialism defining the Reagan era. “Yacht rock was an escape from blunt truths, into the melodic, no-calorie lies of ‘buy now, pay never,’ in which any discord could be neutralized with a Moog beat,” Dan O’Sullivan wrote in Jacobin .

Some Like it Yacht

Although the cult comedy series Yacht Rock ceased production in 2010, the soft rock music revival it launched into the zeitgeist is still going strong. For the past few years, SiriusXM has been running a yacht rock station during prime boating season, or what those of us without bottomless checking accounts refer to as the spring and summer months. Yacht rock tribute acts like Yacht Rock Revue are profitable business endeavors as much as they are fun party bands. There’s also a glut of yacht rock-themed song compilations for sale and a proliferation of questionably curated genre playlists on Spotify.

Whether you believe yacht rock is an exalted art form or the insidious soundtrack to complacency, any music lover would probably agree that even a momentary escape from the blunt truths of life is something we could all use every now and then.

Defining 'yacht rock' once and for all with the genre's creators

Jd ryznar and dave lyons coined the joke genre while making the mid-2000s comedic web-series of the same name.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 13: Kenny Loggins performs during SiriusXM Sets Sail with yacht rock performances from Kenny Loggins And Christopher Cross on June 13, 2022 in New York City.

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yacht rock series

JD Ryznar and Dave Lyons are the co-creators of the mid-2000s comedic web-series Yacht Rock.  

While the joke genre they coined led to a legitimate smooth-music renaissance in pop culture, it has also led to a distorted definition of what yacht rock is all about.

The pair join host Elamin Abdelmahmoud to talk about setting the record straight with this week's launch of their podcast Yacht or Nyacht , where they'll adjudicate which songs belong to the yacht rock canon using a scientific scoring system.

WATCH | Yacht Rock Episode 1 :

You can listen to the full discussion from today's show on CBC Listen or on our podcast, Commotion with Elamin Abdelmahmoud, available wherever you get your podcasts .

Interview with JD Ryznar and Dave Lyons produced by Stuart Berman.

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The idea of yacht rock conjures up a particular lifestyle, but beneath the surface lies a treasure trove of sophisticated hits that continue to resonate.

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Artwork: UMG

Even some of those who signed up to the subgenre subtleties of what became known as yacht rock may consider it to be a time-locked phenomenon. Certainly, its chief protagonists first cast their subtle soft-rock sophistication in the 70s and 80s, but its melodic echoes can still be heard all these decades later.

Perhaps unusually, the phrase itself was coined as a kind of lighthearted castigation of the adult-oriented rock that seemed to exude privileged opulence: of days in expensive recording studios followed by hedonistic trips on private yachts, typically around southern California. The web TV series of the mid-00s that parodied the lifestyle was even named Yacht Rock ; one of the biggest hits of a chief exponent of the sound, Christopher Cross, was, of course, “Sailing.”

The recent resurgence in the long career of another staple, Michael McDonald, is testament to the durability of a style that was, after all, grounded in musicianship and melodicism of the highest order. Nearly 40 years after he and fellow yacht rock principle Kenny Loggins co-wrote and performed the Grammy-winning “This Is It,” the pair were afforded the high praise of a collaboration with acclaimed modern-day jazz-funk bassist Thundercat, on his track “Show You The Way.” Ahead of that, McDonald’s guest appearance with Thundercat at the 2017 Coachella Festival was a viral sensation.

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Thundercat- Show You the Way feat. Michael McDonald @ Coachella 2017 Day 2

Setting sail

Like other subgenres that grew from an existing style, just as Americana did from country, the starting point of yacht rock is a matter of endless debate. Some hear it in the early 70s soft rock of Bread and hits such as “Guitar Man,” or in Seals & Crofts, the duo of the same period whose 1973 US Top 10 hit “Diamond Girl” and its follow-up, “We May Never Pass This Way (Again)” are pure, classy, elegantly played and harmonised yacht rock.

As the 70s progressed and album rock radio became an ever more powerful medium in the US music business, studio production grew along with the budgets to fund it. High-fidelity citadels such as Sunset Sound and Ocean Way were the industry epitome of the Los Angeles hedonism of the day, and played host to many of the artists we celebrate here. Perhaps it was the combination of financial independence and the sun-kissed surroundings that gave rise to the phenomenon, but this was music that not only sounded opulent – it made you feel somehow more urbane just by listening to it.

California singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop was another of the artists who would retrospectively become part of what we might call the yachting club. Indeed, it’s important to point out that “yacht rock” was not a term that existed at the time the music was being made. Bishop’s acclaimed 1976 debut album, Careless , was a masterclass in well-crafted pop music for those no longer hanging on the words of every chart pin-up. Its tender opening ballad, “On And On,” which peaked just outside the mainstream US Top 10 and reached No.2 on the Easy Listening chart, is a prime example.

On And On

Making waves

McDonald, for his part, might be afforded the questionable honor of the Yacht Rock theme tune with his solo hit “Sweet Freedom,” but had earlier been a key part of the unconscious movement as a member of the Doobie Brothers. The double Grammy-winning landmark “What A Fool Believes,” again written by McDonald with Loggins, stands tall in this hall of fame. Similarly, Toto, another band of master studio craftsmen whose critical and commercial stock has risen again in recent times, stood for all the principles of yacht rock with tracks such as “99” and the undying “Africa.”

Guess The Song: The 80s Quiz - Part 1

That 1982 soft-rock calling card came from the Toto IV album, which was, indeed, recorded in part at Sunset Sound and Ocean Way. But Steely Dan , one of the bands to prove that yacht rock could come from other parts of the US where the attendant lifestyle was less practical, made perhaps their biggest contribution to the subgenre after Walter Becker and Donald Fagen moved back to their native East Coast.

After their initial incarnation as a live band, Steely Dan were well established in their peerless cocoon of pristine studio production when they moved back east. That was after recording 1977’s superb Aja , the album that announced their ever-greater exploration of jazz influences. Fans and critics of the band both used the same word about them, perfectionism: some as a compliment, others as an accusation. But 1980’s equally impressive Gaucho was their yacht rock masterpiece.

Hey Nineteen

Ripple effect

In such a subjective phrase, other artists seen by some as yacht rock representatives, such as Daryl Hall & John Oates, Journey, the Eagles, or even Canada’s Gordon Lightfoot, are thought by others to be creatively or geographically inappropriate, or just too mainstream to break out of the overreaching AOR terminology.

But a significant number of other artists, whose names are less quoted today, had their finest hours during the pop landscape of the late 70s and early 80s that we’ve been visiting here. Amy Holland won a Best New Artist Grammy nomination in 1981 helped by “How Do I Survive,” written by McDonald, whose wife she became soon afterwards. Robbie Dupree, a Brooklyn boy by birth, also epitomized the style with his 1980 US hit “Steal Away.” Then, in 1982, America, the band known for their definitive harmonic rock of a decade earlier, mounted a chart return with the suitably melodic “You Can Do Magic.”

America - You Can Do Magic

The final word goes to Michael McDonald, the unwitting co-founder of the yacht rock sound. When the aforementioned mockumentary series was at the height of its popularity, he was asked if he had ever owned a yacht, and replied (perhaps disappointingly) in the negative. But, he added, “I thought Yacht Rock was hilarious. And uncannily, you know, those things always have a little bit of truth to them.

“It’s kind of like when you get a letter from a stalker who’s never met you. They somehow hit on something, and you have to admit they’re pretty intuitive.”

Listen to the Soft Rock Forever playlist for more yacht rock classics .

October 28, 2019 at 8:42 pm

if you dig this sound, you gotta check out Yachty by Nature the best yacht rock band on the West Coast. They play it all live without the backing tracks (yuck) that some bands do. They just got voted #1 Best Live Cover Band in Orange County and spreading yacht rock all over the country. Dive in!!! #yachtrock

October 28, 2019 at 8:44 pm

BTW, great article!!!!! Well written and thoughtfully addressed the idea of Nyacht Rock artists to the purists following the genre!

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Billy Idol - Rebel Yell LP

The Bizarre History Of Yacht Rock Music

Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina on a yacht

Popular music has always been complex. Different musical styles break up into infinite sub-genres — what started off as rock 'n' roll has splintered into dozens of sub-genres, and even the considerably younger musical genre of rap has splintered into several distinct styles. And each of those sub-genres then splinters as musicians innovate and reinvent the form.

None of this is science, though, so it's easy to get lost down rabbit holes when discussing what bands or songs belong in what genre or sub-genre. Yacht rock is a perfect example: None of the artists currently considered to be yacht rockers called themselves that at the time or were even aware that they were carving out a distinct sub-genre of rock music. The whole idea of yacht rock is a modern invention — and yet it perfectly describes a specific type of music that ruled pop culture roughly between 1975 and 1985.

What was yacht rock? It's a soft rock musical style, sometimes called the California sound, exemplified by smoothness and melody — these weren't exactly bangers, but that doesn't mean they were bad. Yacht rock could be very musically complex, incorporating elements of jazz into their compositions. The songs were usually introspective and did not engage with politics or current events at all — they were frictionless. Imagine a wealthy white man sailing on his yacht in 1980, and the music he's listening to in your imagination is what we're talking about. Here's the bizarre history of yacht rock.

The term was coined in 2005

Although the roots of yacht rock arguably go back to the 1960s, the history of yacht rock begins in 2005. That's because prior to that year, the term and concept of yacht rock simply didn't exist.

According to Rolling Stone , it all began on June 26, 2005, when the 12-episode web series "Yacht Rock" was released by Channel 101. As explained by Mental Floss , the series was a lovingly mocking look back at the smooth music of the late 1970s and early 1980s, written and directed by J.D. Ryznar, produced David B. Lyons and Hunter D. Stair, and hosted by Steve Huey, a former editor at AllMusic. MasterClass notes that the series was fictional — it depicted rockers like Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald as a bunch of goofy friends hanging out and composing the smoothest rock music possible.

Ryznar and company were making gentle fun of those soft rock musicians, but the concept of yacht rock was so obviously appropriate it became viral. They defined it as perfectly produced, with a high level of musicianship and harmonic sophistication (in fact, far from being bad music, many yacht rock songs have been sampled numerous times by modern artists ), and imbued with the vibe and sound of 1970s Los Angeles. Although many yacht rock songs do have nautical references, it's not necessary to be considered yacht rock. 

The roots of yacht rock go back to the 1960s

Although not all yacht rock songs reference the ocean, yachts, or the beach, the distant roots of the sound and the vibe go back to 1961. That's the year The Beach Boys was formed. As noted by Jacobin Magazine , the cheerful fun in the sun beach aesthetic of The Beach Boys' sound provides the fundamental template for yacht rock's sound. What elevated The Beach Boys was the songwriting craft of Brian Wilson — without his subtle genius, all that was left was the perfect production standards and sunny vibe. As noted by Warm 106.9 , the band's classic song "Sloop John B" is often cited as a clear influence on the sailing-obsessed soft rock that hit the charts a decade later.

In fact, as noted by MeTV , The Beach Boys' 1973 song "Sail On, Sailor" is considered a proto-yacht rock song. Because it was co-written by troubled musical genius Brian Wilson, the song isn't really yacht rock, but it holds many of the seeds, from its perfect production to the jazzy complexity hidden under mellow good-time vibes. And everything came full circle in 1988 when The Beach Boys released their Number One hit, "Kokomo," a song Stereogum describes as "extremely boring and self-satisfied yacht-rock." Singer Mark McGrath cites "Kokomo" as probably the last legitimate yacht rock song to ever be released.

Two foundational groups form

It wasn't just the California vibe and sailing imagery that yacht rock took from The Beach Boys. As noted by The Guardian , in the mid-1960s, a man named Daryl Dragon began playing keyboards with The Beach Boys as a backup musician. Dragon had a habit of wearing a ship captain's hat as part of his on-stage costume, underscoring the nautical theme and earning him the nickname "The Captain." According to Jacobin Magazine , Toni Tennille also toured with The Beach Boys. Dragon and Tennille married and, a few years later, formed the group Captain & Tennille, whose Grammy-winning song "Love Will Keep Us Together" is considered one of the earliest yacht rock hits.

Meanwhile, another foundational yacht rock band formed in 1972: Steely Dan . According to  The Seattle Times , part of what defines yacht rock is the people involved. Members of The Doobie Brothers  – especially Michael McDonald, Toto , and Steely Dan tend to be involved in some capacity (songwriting, background vocals, or performing) on most yacht rock songs. This was the inspiration for the original comedy sketch that birthed the whole concept . Steely Dan came to define the perfect production, jazzy musicality, and smooth melody lines of the genre. And as noted by Mental Floss , Steely Dan shared session musicians with many of their musical genre peers, explaining the somewhat similar sound produced by these different groups.

Loggins and Messina broke up in 1976

Many of the pieces that would form yacht rock existed long before the genre coalesced into a recognizable sound and vibe. Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina formed Loggins & Messina in 1971, and according to The Chicago Tribune , their 1975 album "Full Sail" is part of yacht rock legend. The album's cover art depicts Loggins and Messina on an actual yacht, looking pretty relaxed and very California. The album was held up at the very beginning of the "Yacht Rock" series to demonstrate what the creators of the series were talking about.

Loggins & Messina are crucial to the yacht rock story because they broke up. As noted by The Seattle Times , one of the features of yacht rock is the loose collaborations between a small group of musicians — and Kenny Loggins is a key member of that group. Loggins wrote many yacht rock classics recorded and performed by other artists, and Loggins himself often released his own versions of songs he gave to other artists, increasing his influence over the genre.

Loggins, now a free agent, worked with Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers several times as the core yacht rock musicians collaborated freely, ensuring a certain uniformity of sound and style that resulted in a recognizable sub-genre.

Steely Dan releases Aja

Mention the band Steely Dan in conjunction with the concept of yacht rock, and many people will have a passionate reaction . Yacht rock is often erroneously believed to be bad music and is frequently conflated with soft rock. But the opposite is true: According to MasterClass , part of what defines yacht rock is the harmonic sophistication and jazz influences of the music. In other words, yacht rock was often composed and recorded at a very high level of musical ability.

That's where Steely Dan comes in. Famed for their complex arrangements and overt jazz influences, the band produced smooth, melodic songs that perfectly captured the late-1970s California vibe. Rolling Stone  considered the band's sixth studio album, "Aja," a pinnacle for the musical genre. The songs are intricate, the production is pristine, and the mood is mellow. Decider  was even more enthusiastic in their praise, establishing the album as essential listening to any fan of yacht rock and notes that by the time Steely Dan (Walter Becker and Donald Fagan) recorded "Aja" they weren't really a band — they were two guys with a lot of session musicians, musicians who often played on other yacht rock bands' recordings, resulting in a similar sound on many of these records. And Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers even sings backup on some songs.

U ltimate Classic Rock ranks one of the songs from the "Aja,"  "Peg," as the second-best yacht rock song of all time and describes "Aja" as having "impeccable airtightness that falls somewhere between soft pop and jazz."

The Doobie Brothers release What a Fool Believes

Movements in music and the evolution of sub-genres usually have deep roots that go back invisibly into the past. But they often also have a key moment that clearly marks their beginning. As noted by Mental Floss , for yacht rock, that beginning comes in 1978 with the release of "What a Fool Believes" by The Doobie Brothers.

The song was written by Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. Not only did this song kick off the habit of collaboration between the artists that came to define this genre —  IGN pegs it as number three on its list of the best yacht rock songs, describing the song as quirky and mellow, while according to  Smooth Radio , the song is the ultimate example of what makes a yacht rock song. The song was a massive hit for The Doobie Brothers, one of the few non-disco hits that year.

The song is considered so "yachty," in fact, that according to Houstonia Magazine , the "Yacht Rock" series that defined the musical genre kicks off with an episode spoofing the writing of the song. The song is, indeed, kind of the platonic ideal of a yacht rock song: It's musically complex, smooth as heck, and lyrically focused on a lovelorn fool, a frequent topic of yacht rock songs. And, of course, it involves Loggins and McDonald.

Rupert Holmes releases Escape (The Piña Colada Song)

M ark McGrath , the lead singer of Sugar Ray, calls "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes the ultimate yacht rock song and an inspiration for all future yacht rock songs to follow. The song's connection to the genre is so clear that ABC News reports it was chosen for inclusion in the "NOW That's What I Call Yacht Rock" compilation album.

It's easy to see why the song (and the album containing it, 1979's "Partners in Crime") is what a computer algorithm would create if tasked with composing a yacht rock song. As noted by Rolling Stone , Holmes displays the musicianship of Steely Dan while singing with the exuberance of Barry Manilow. That combination of mellow, smooth delivery and complex song arrangements, and a distinctly California vibe make this an iconic example of yacht rock. As MasterClass notes, the song's clean production links it to other yacht rock songs because it eliminates mistakes or rough spots and offers the illusion of smooth perfection.

The song is also one of the most enduring and well-known yacht rock songs of all time. If you're trying to explain yacht rock to someone, this is the song to use as an example.

The high point of yacht rock: Christopher Cross releases Sailing

The unquestioned high point of yacht rock came in 1980. Songs from bands associated with this genre of music had been big hits before, but that year a yacht rock album dominated pop culture, ensuring that this style of music would be remembered and defined decades later. We're talking about, of course,  "Sailing" by Christopher Cross .

U ltimate Classic Rock reports the song was a smash hit, earning Cross several Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Arrangement. Its yacht rock cred begins with its title and themes — it's literally about sailing, presumably on some sort of yacht (Cross doesn't seem the type to sail on anything less). The song is smooth as glass but extremely complex, combining strings, open-tuned arpeggios, and what Rolling Stone calls "an elegant pop classicism." And as Jacobin Magazine notes, the song features backing vocals from none other than the artistic glue that holds the genre together, Michael McDonald.

"Sailing," and the album it hailed from, remain the most successful examples of yacht rock, a pinnacle of sales and awards both Cross and the genre never managed again. No one knew they were part of the yacht rock movement at the time or that it was all (slowly) downhill from there.

Toto ties it all together

One of the characteristics of yacht rock, as noted by Mental Floss , is the extremely high level of musicianship on the records — largely due to the use of professional session musicians that were shared by yacht rock groups like Steely Dan. In the late 1970s, some of those session musicians decided to form their own band, and Toto was born. This was a key moment: As noted by the man who helped define yacht rock, J.D. Ryznar, one way to identify a yacht rock song is to ask if members of Toto played on it.

In 1982, Toto released "Toto IV," which Smooth Radio noted contains two all-time yacht rock classics in "Rosanna" and "Africa." Vinyl Me, Please calls "Toto IV" a perfect introduction to the musical genre, which makes sense since the members of Toto were involved in so many recordings we now consider to be yacht rock.

But Toto was involved in another project in 1982, one that proves how the yacht rock sound traveled through session musicians: Michael Jackson's "Thriller." As reported by NOW Magazine , Toto was heavily involved with the album, and Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro even contributed a classic yacht rock track that became the fifth Top Ten song from the album (per Rolling Stone ): "Human Nature." Porcaro originally wrote it for Toto but accidentally included it on a tape of demos for producer Quincy Jones — who immediately loved it.

Kokomo: Yacht rock's last gasp

The heyday of this musical genre was between roughly 1975 and 1985. By the late 1980s, musical tastes had shifted, and most yacht rockers found themselves fading off the charts. But there was one final gasp of the genre in 1988 when the legendary band The Beach Boys released their No.1 hit  on the Billboard Hot 100, "Kokomo." 

Despite its success, the song is widely hated ( Mel Magazine shared their extreme dislike for the song and even Mike Love), but it's definitely a yacht rock song. According to Sugar Ray lead singer Mark McGrath , it's likely the last yacht rock song to be released. By the time The Beach Boys began working on it, however, they weren't too concerned about quality — as noted by , the band hadn't been on the charts in years, didn't have a record contract, and had been reduced to playing Oldies tours to pay the bills. The band accepted the invitation to contribute a song to the soundtrack of the Tom Cruise and Elisabeth Shue romantic comedy,  "Cocktail"  largely for the money and actually left the composition of the song to John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, and Terry Melcher, giving the song the traditional session-player touch of all yacht rock songs.

The song's yacht rock bona-fides are pretty clear — in fact, as Stereogum notes,  the original demo makes its yacht rock roots very, very clear. But even The Beach Boys' version with its earworm chorus retains the smooth, slickly-produced sound that marks all yacht rock tunes.

The resurgence of yacht rock

After being established as a distinct genre of music by the " Yacht Rock" web series in 2005 , yacht rock enjoyed a period of viral fame. Everyone who came across the term quickly realized it actually made sense to regard these songs as a specific style of soft rock, and there was a lot of buzz around the topic. But all buzz fades, and after a few years, yacht rock was no longer an exciting new idea — it was an accepted truth.

But in recent years, the genre has made a comeback, infiltrating pop culture for the second time. A seminal moment in this comeback was the release of "The Blue Jean Committee" in 2018. As noted by 100.9 The Eagle , "The Blue Jean Committee" is a "mockumentary" that has actually served as an introduction to yacht rock for a whole new generation of people. Esquire reports that the show (and the "fake yacht rock band" at its center) was created by comedians Fred Armisen and Bill Hader for their TV series "Documentary Now!" But they went as far as actually writing songs for the band — and even made a music video showcasing the very yacht rocky song "Catalina Breeze," eventually releasing an entire EP, according to Wired . Suddenly, yacht rock was on everyone's mind again, more than 15 years after the initial phenomenon and more than 40 years since the actual musical era ended.

Yacht rock is modern again

As noted by The Guardian , yacht rock is experiencing a full-on reappraisal. Long considered to be trite and boring, emblematic of the insincere late 1970s and early 1980s era, a new appreciation for the very things that make these songs yacht rock is developing. One key reason is that clear production noted by MasterClass  — yacht rock songs sound timeless and still slap today because they weren't thrown together. The bands spent a lot of time and money and care to make every song sound amazing, which has helped them pass the test of time. And recent years have seen bands like The Yacht Rock Revue achieve surprising success in the genre, as noted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution .

As InsideHook notes, the rise of Internet culture has helped people rediscover and appreciate yacht rock. Younger generations have grown up in a world where they can listen to anything, any time they want. The result has been a softening of genre edges, and the adoption of old, outdated musical trends. There's a whole new group of soft rock bands that aren't covering yacht rock songs; they're writing new ones.

And as reported by MTV , yacht rock original gangsters are also releasing new music, proving that the genre has fresh legs. According to NPR , in 2017, Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald collaborated with bassist and singer Thundercat on the song "Show You the Way."  Suffice it to say, this ship (or should we say yacht?) is still sailing. 

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This Is the Definitive Definition of Yacht Rock

By Timothy Malcolm July 12, 2019

yacht rock series

Michael McDonald. One might say the smoothest mother in music history.

Image: Randy Miramontez /

About 10 years ago , somebody showed me a YouTube video of Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins writing a song that’s smoother and more polished than anything else on the airwaves.

That video—lovingly spoofing the writing of the Doobie Brothers' 1978 hit “What a Fool Believes”— was the first episode of a series called Yacht Rock . Premiering in 2005 on the Los Angeles-based television incubator Channel 101, Yacht Rock struck a chord with a generation of music nerds who attempt to compartmentalize and categorize the songs they heard as children. The term “yacht rock” itself grew out of the video series, permeating our culture today as much as the music had back in the late 1970s and early '80s.

But here’s the thing about terms that permeate our culture today: They get compromised and bastardized to fit other people’s cozy narratives, typically based on their own nostalgia. Google “yacht rock” and you’ll find articles from across the media spectrum attempting to define the term , failing hard because these writers just don’t get it. There’s even a new BBC series about yacht rock , and while it went into great detail providing context on the emergence of the musical style, it still turned out to be one person’s definition that included songs that were—as some of us might say— nyacht rock.

I’m here to set the record straight—or smooth. Yacht rock is music, primarily created between 1976 and ‘84, that can be characterized as smooth and melodic, and typically combines elements of jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock. You’ll hear very little acoustic guitar (get that “Horse With No Name” out of there) but a lot of Fender Rhodes electric piano. Lyrics don’t get in the way of the song’s usually high musicality (some of the finest Los Angeles session players, including members of the band Toto, play on many yacht rock tunes.) The lyrics may, however, speak about fools. The songs are as light and bubbly as champagne on the high seas, yet oddly complex and intellectual.

And just to hammer this home: Fleetwood Mac is not yacht rock. Daryl Hall & John Oates are 98 percent not yacht rock. Those folkie songs from America, Pure Prairie League, and Crosby, Stills & Nash? Nope. Rupert Holmes's "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)"? Too wordy and not musically interesting—not yacht rock. How about "Summer Breeze" by Seals & Crofts? A little too folky, but close.

I’m not affected by personal nostalgia (I was born in 1984, just as the yacht rock era was ending); instead, I’m an objective music lover who just so happens to have been researching yacht rock for the past several years. I know the men who coined the term “yacht rock” ( they have a great podcast and actually rate whether or not a song is yacht rock ), and they can back me up on this. 

So whether you’re docked for the summer or about to set sail on an adventure, allow me to steer you in the right direction. I've crafted for you the definitive yacht rock playlist—below are a few highlights:

“What a Fool Believes,” The Doobie Brothers

I won’t get any nerdier, I’ll just say that this is the song that epitomizes yacht rock. It’s effortlessly melodic, bouncy, and bright, features a prominent Fender Rhodes electric piano, and includes an ultra-smooth vocal from Michael McDonald.

“Heart to Heart,” Kenny Loggins

Loggins never quite knew whether to be a jazzy folkie or a rocker, but in between those two phases were a couple yachty gems, including this cool breeze on a warm summer day, from the 1982 album High Adventure . Just listen to Loggins’s vocal—it’s butter.

“FM,” Steely Dan

Steely Dan brought a New York edge and a habit of wanting the best players on their records to Los Angeles. In time their sound morphed into the whitest smooth jazz on the planet, aka yacht rock. “FM,” from 1978, has both that snarky exterior and smooth center, but look up the band’s classic albums Aja and Gaucho for a number of yachty delights.

“Human Nature,” Michael Jackson

Once you get to know yacht rock, you can begin traveling into yacht soul—smooth songs from top studio players that lean just a little harder on the R&B. This classic song from the 1982 album Thriller was written and performed by Toto. Jackson provides the gorgeously breezy vocal.

“Rosanna,” Toto

Speaking of Toto, these guys were and still are awesome musicians. The 1982 hit “Rosanna” proves this in spades—the drum shuffle is iconic, the twists are remarkable, and the sound is smoother than a well-sanded skiff.

“Nothin’ You Can Do About It,” Airplay

Who is Airplay? A one-album band created by mega-producer David Foster and session guitarist Jay Graydon. These guys wrote Earth, Wind & Fire’s “After the Love Has Gone,” then this absolute stunner from 1980, a bouncy, giddy, and gentle pop classic.

“I Really Don’t Know Anymore,” Christopher Cross

Emerging out of nowhere with a Grammy-winning album in 1979, Cross is the perfect yacht rock figure, a normal-looking white dude who just so happens to sing like the wind on a summer’s evening. This song, from that debut album, is essential yacht rock with a noticeable background singer—of course, Michael McDonald.

If you want to catch McDonald and sing along to some of his yacht rock classics, he’s performing Friday night at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands. Chaka Khan—who also has a few yacht rock tunes in her catalog—will open. Tickets start at $39.50; prepare accordingly with this  summer yacht rock playlist on Spotify . You’re welcome.

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That '70s Week: Yacht Rock

David Dye, host of World Cafe.

Talia Schlanger

yacht rock series

Donald Fagen (left) and Walter Becker of Steely Dan. Danny Clinch/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

Donald Fagen (left) and Walter Becker of Steely Dan.

  • The Doobie Brothers, "What A Fool Believes"
  • Christopher Cross, "Sailing"
  • Sade, "Smooth Operator"
  • Nielsen/Pearson, "If You Should Sail"
  • Ned Doheny, "Get It Up For Love"
  • Iron & Wine, "Desert Babbler"
  • Young Gun Silver Fox, "You Can Feel It"

What's the best way to become the unchallenged expert on a particular genre of music? Invent it. Enter JD Ryznar, Hunter Stair, David B. Lyons and Steve Huey: coiners of the description "yacht rock," creators of a hilarious web series of the same name and now de facto captains of the genre. Broadly speaking, yacht rock is an ocean of smooth, soft-listening music made in the late '70s and early '80s by artists like Toto, Hall & Oates and Kenny Loggins — music you can sail to. But as David and Talia learn in this conversation with the arbiters of Yacht Rock , the waters are much murkier than that.

For example, according to Ryznar, "There's also a common misconception that just because it's about a boat, or the ocean, or sailing, that it's yacht rock. That is most definitely nyacht true." Thankfully, on their Beyond Yacht Rock podcast, our guests have developed a sound system of logical criteria to define what is "Yacht" and what is "Nyacht." They employ their patented "Yachtzee scale" to examine a song's "Yachtness" based on a number of factors, including its personnel (is there a Doobie Brother in there?), amount of jazz and R&B influence, geographic origin (Southern California is a plus) and lyrical obtuseness.

Listen as Ryznar and Lyons steer us towards the musical marina with a buoyant "Yacht or Nyacht" debate that includes Michael McDonald, Christopher Cross, Sade and the most serious discussion you can have about the proper soundtrack for standing shirtless on a deck wearing boat shoes and a sailor cap. Dive on in --the water's great.

Listen: JD Ryznar's Yacht Rock Primer

Episode playlist.

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Column: Your endless summer is brought to you by yacht rock and Yachtley Crew

Singer Philly Ocean, upper left, and Yachtley Crew bring yacht-rock hits to the Music Box in Little Italy on Sept. 10.

Yachtley Crew plays a sold-out show at the Music Box on Sept. 10

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If you believe in calendars, summer is almost over. But if you believe in yacht rock, summer is never over.

“It’s kind of a made-up genre. But even if you don’t know what it is, if you hear it, you already get it,” said vocalist Philly Ocean (real name, Phillip Daniel) of the Los Angeles-based yacht-rock band Yachtley Crëw , which is playing a sold-out show at the Music Box in Little Italy on Sept. 10.

“It’s all of these easy-listening, feel-good tunes that go well with a piña colada on the deck of a yacht with the horizon off in the distance. Summer vibes are encapsulated in these songs.”

It will never be recognized by the Grammys, but yacht rock has become a pop-culturally accepted category for the semi-fizzy, sorta-jazzy soft-pop songs that ruled the charts in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Songs like Christopher Cross’ “Ride Like the Wind,” the Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes,” and every track on Steely Dan’s “Aja” album.

Donald Fagen, left, and Walter Becker of Steely Dan

But before it became a streaming-radio format, a brunch inspiration and the genesis of tribute bands with names like Yachty by Nature and Monsters of Yacht, yacht rock was a web series.

Created in 2005 by actors J.D. Ryznar and Hunter Stair, “Yacht Rock” was a deliberately cheesy, yet totally appreciative “mockumentary” series following the fictional lives and careers of such future yacht-rock heroes as Hall & Oates, Kenny Loggins and the Michael McDonald-era Doobie Brothers.

Once the series made its way to YouTube, it tickled the fancies of industry types who realized that re-branding soft rock as yacht rock could give these oldies new, hipster-approved life. Satellite- and streaming-radio stations began adding yacht-rock channels, and by 2016, these smooth tunes had made their way to the musicians who formed Yachtley Crëw.

According to Yachtley lore, the two veteran Los Angeles musicians who would go by the names of Sailor Hawkins (drums) and Baba Buoy (bass) were hanging out in a hot tub with their wives (“Probably drinking,” Ocean surmised), when they heard a satellite-radio yacht-rock station and had an epiphany.

One year later, they had a band.

“They thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a band and play just this music?,’” Ocean said. “When we would go around pitching to venues, club owners would look at us sideways like, ‘You play Christopher Cross? Who is going to listen to that on a Friday night?’ We would always say, ‘Just give us a shot.’”

Veteran soul and rock singer Michael McDonald is photographed at the Rose Cafe in Santa Barbara on April 19, 2017.

Four years and many Christopher Cross tunes later, Yachtley Crëw is playing sold-out shows in venues all over California and beyond; Ocean is singing to passionate crowds who know every word to Boz Scaggs’ “Lido Shuffle” and Jackson Browne’s “Somebody’s Baby”; and the genre started out as a goof has turned out to be a real happy thing.

And that is no joke.

“I think these songs have lasted because they are of the highest quality. The musicianship, the melodies, the lyrics, that is what has given them a long life and caused them to come back around,” Ocean said. “There is a zest for life that you can experience in every single one of these songs. They just make you feel good.”

Yachtley Crëw’s Sept. 10 show at the Music Box is sold out, but there are plenty of other ways to get your yacht-rock fix. Fire up the blender, crank up the tunes, and it will be smooth summer sailing all year long.

Streaming and satellite radio: Whether it’s Spotify’s 11-hour playlist or the stations curated by SiriusXM satellite radio and the LiveXLive streaming service, yacht rock’s non-stop happy hour is just a click away. Because they have a lot of digital space to fill, programmers have expanded the yacht universe to include such genre-questionable crew members as Van Morrison, Tommy Tutone and Eddie Money, but after a few umbrella drinks and a nap, it’s all good, matey.

Slate’s “Hit Parade” podcast: On his two-part “What a Fool Believes” episode, chart analyst and “Hit Parade” host Chris Molanphy gives the yacht-rock genre the thorough, musically astute analysis it deserves. We hear how its shiny roots stretch back to the legendary group of L.A. studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew; how the sessions for Boz Scaggs’ “Silk Degrees” album are responsible for the existence of Toto; how Toto shaped Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (It’s true!); and why the aforementioned “Aja” album set the itinerary for the stylish radio adventures that followed. Enlightenment, ahoy!

“Classic Albums: Steely Dan’s ‘Aja’”: Without this landmark 1977 album, there might be no yacht rock today. And without this 1999 episode of VH1’s essential “Classic Albums” series , we wouldn’t know the control-freaky lengths Steely Dan masterminds Walter Becker and Donald Fagen went to in their effort to achieve such glossy, effortless perfection. We also wouldn’t get to see guitarist Jay Graydon unfurl that classically casual “Peg” solo or watch Michael McDonald nailing those sweet, sweet layer-cake harmonies. You can stream it on IMDb TV with irritating, randomly placed commercials, or you can purchase the DVD and immerse yourself as yacht-rock nature intended. Don’t forget your snorkel.

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Web Video / Yacht Rock

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Yacht Rock is an 12-part series following the fictionalized lives and careers of American Soft Rock stars of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Created by JD Ryznar, Hunter D Stair and Lane Farnham, it is one of the most successful projects to come out of Channel101 .

J. D. Ryznar and Hunter D. 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 band The Doobie Brothers ' "What a Fool Believes" and also performed backing vocals for several other 'yacht rock' artists, including Steely Dan and Christopher Cross. Yacht Rock's episodes were "hosted" by "Hollywood" Steve Huey , a legitimate music critic for Allmusic. It should be noted that the term "Yacht Rock" is never used throughout the series by any characters except for by Huey during his introductions, instead it is always referred to as "Smooth Music". The look of the series was the responsibility of the show's editor Lane Farnham.

The storyline of the series employs a non-linear chronology, jumping back and forth in various points in time. Also, Space.

After the series became a web hit, the term yacht rock was retroactively popularized as the genre name for the style of soft rock featured in the show, marked by high production values, Jazz Fusion and R&B influences, and lyrics about romantic longing and personal follies, acting as an American equivalent to the Sophisti-Pop and City Pop scenes in the UK and Japan, respectively. Ryznar and Stair further specified their definition of the term as encompassing usage of upbeat rhythms, prominent usage of electric piano, and a reliance on elite producers and musicians from Los Angeles . Owed to their discontent with what they saw as the label's dilution, the pair went on to host two podcasts — Beyond Yacht Rock and Yacht or Nyacht? — in which they debate whether individual songs count as being part of their definition of the genre.

Trope examples:

  • Arc Villain : Jimmy Buffett, who functioned as an insane cult leader in his lone episode.
  • Affectionate Parody : While the show makes fun of the songwriting process, it does still hold the music featured in high regard.
  • Batman Gambit : Most of episodes show the "origins" of several yacht rock classics by way of this trope, from " Rosanna " to " Human Nature "
  • Big Bad : Gene Balboa runs his entertainment business like a Bond villain.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy : Several (real life) characters are revealed to be aliens.
  • The Bet : Cartoonishly downplayed in episode 7 where Loggins and McDonald bet a dollar on which one of their songs will end up number 2 on the music charts. McDonald gets the last laugh, though .
  • Brainwashed and Crazy
  • Carpet of Virility : John Oates, albeit made out of construction paper .
  • Canon Character All Along : Hall and Oates' first manager, Gino Basareli turns out to be Gene Balboa after a drastic makeover .
  • Cerebus Syndrome : Played for Laughs in the Hollywood Steve host segments for the last two episodes. While Episode 10 ends with him falling in love with the girl he saves from choking, Episode 11 opens with said girl leaving him and Episode 12 with Steve on his death bed.
  • In episode 2, when Koko hears Chris Geppert plays his song.
  • Happens twice to Ted Templeman, first in episode 8 involving smooth music from a singing walrus being interrupted by two ugly women and in episode 9 with visions of impalement .
  • Downer Ending : Episode 2 and 12
  • Easy Amnesia : McDonald after he gets run over by Warren G.
  • Insistent Terminology : Only Hollywood Steve refers to it as "Yacht Rock" in his introductions. Everyone else calls it "Smooth Music"
  • Jerkass : John Oates is depicted as an abusive foulmouthed control freak.
  • Jerk Jock : Don Henley and Glenn Frey of the Eagles are depicted as this.
  • Halloween Episode : Episode 5, complete with a Vincent Price led exorcism.
  • The doo-wop section of Van Halen 's song "I'm the One" is the result of an in-studio scuffle between Koko Goldstein and Ted Templeman.
  • " Human Nature " got recorded thanks to Koko's spirit harpooning Michael Jackson 's crotch .
  • "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)" got sampled in "Regulate" because Nate Dogg and Warren G ran over McDonald.
  • Glenn Frey and Don Henley sang background vocals for Steely Dan's song "FM" because they beat the crap out of them after as revenge.
  • The title of "Yah Mo B There" came from a drunk Michael McDonald and James Ingram making fun of Kenny Loggins saying over the phone that he would be by to record some music with them later (with a mouthful of apple so it came out as "Yah Mo Be There")...they kept it up the whole time.
  • Hostile Show Takeover : Happens twice in the series, with Hollywood Steve's dad in episode 6 and Drew Carey in episode 9.
  • Human Aliens : Giorgio Moroder , who hails from Planet Synthos.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice : In episode two, Koko dies by being impaled with his lucky harpoon .
  • Manchurian Agent : David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen use a magical amulet on Ted Templeman so that he'll produce their debut album when he hears Micheal McDonald's voice.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist : Provides the page quote.
  • Origins Episode : Episode 8 shows how yacht rock got started, from McDonald leaving Steely Dan for The Doobie Brothers to Loggins and Messina in happier days.
  • Post-Script Season : Downplayed as there were two more episodes made after the "finale" with episode 10.
  • The Power of Rock : All over the place, especially the crotch laser Loggins shoots to defeat the Parrotheads .
  • Record Producer : Koko Goldstein , Gene Balboa and Ted Templeman .
  • The Reveal : Papa Moroder is Koko, and his body was only a vessel.
  • Hollywood Steve introducing the episodes in inconvenient moments, like using the bathroom, attending a funeral, killing a homeless woman .
  • Descriptors for Loggins and McDonald.
  • Gene Balboa makes increasingly bizarre demands to his unseen manservant Manuel.
  • Shout-Out : The final battle in episode 12 resembles the Death Star approach from Star Wars . It even has a Big Damn Heroes moment by the Millennium Falcon!
  • Special Guest : Episode 11, Jason Lee as Kevin Bacon and Wyatt Cenac as James Ingram.
  • Story Arc : Throughout the series, Loggins tries to move away from the smoothness of yacht rock to straight hard rockin' to make his way up to the top. This is shown to be like him sliding to "the dark side", but Rule of Funny of course.
  • Storybook Episode : Episode 6 uses the plot of episode 1 to tell a fairytale version of both the historical and modern Jethro Tull .
  • Take That! : Most of the parody is affectionate, but the invectives against Jimmy Buffett are particularly strong. James Ingram: "Yah mo murdered a lot of people out here tonight." Michael McDonald: "They're not people, James Ingram. They're Jimmy Buffett fans." Jimmy Buffett: "...with a cheeseburger in paradise..." Gene Balboa: "Fuck you, Jimmy Buffett!" Kevin Bacon : "Your music is shit!"
  • The Unintelligible : Donald Fagen , with some exceptions. Donald Fagen: " Eat. Bat. Prick. "
  • The Un-Reveal : Koko Goldstein's killer, as Hollywood Steve died while narrating it.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds : Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins
  • We Used to Be Friends : Loggins and Messina, especially when Loggins starts going solo and Messina ends up being a drunk.
  • Wormtooth Nation
  • Web Video Series
  • YidLife Crisis
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yacht rock series

Yacht Rock (2005–2010)

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yacht rock series

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Sometimes When We Touch documentary on Paramount+

Paramount+ To Launch ‘Sometimes When We Touch’ Documentary Exploring The History of “Yacht Rock”

Paramount+ has announced that SOMETIMES WHEN WE TOUCH , a three-part documentary series exploring the history of soft rock music , will premiere exclusively on the service in the U.S. and Canada on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023 and will also stream in the U.K., Latin America and Australia ( Wednesday, Jan. 4 ), Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France ( Tuesday, April 4 ).

SOMETIMES WHEN WE TOUCH is the untold story of soft rock, whose artists dominated pop music worldwide in the ‘70s, only to crash and burn in the ‘80s, eventually experiencing one of the most unlikely comebacks in music history. The series presents all-new interviews with some of soft rock’s biggest legends, like Air Supply (“All Out of Love”), Dan Hill (“Sometimes When We Touch”), Kenny Loggins (“This Is It”), Ray Parker Jr. (“A Woman Needs Love”), Rupert Holmes (“Escape: The Piña Colada Song”) and Toni Tennille (“Love Will Keep Us Together”). Through candid and poignant stories, these stars lead a celebration of the underappreciated music that continues to have a lasting impact on American culture.

The connective stories that propel the series are augmented by exclusive interviews with dozens of classic and contemporary musicians like Daryl “DMC” McDaniels, John Ondrasik, LA Reid, Richard Marx, Robert “Kool” Bell, Sheryl Crow, Stewart Copeland, Susanna Hoffs and Verdine White; rarely seen archival interview and performance footage; host commentary that embraces the impact of soft rock while acknowledging the cringey excesses that sometimes led it astray; and a review of its continuing power over a new generation found everywhere from hip hop samples and radio remakes to superhero soundtracks and TikTok posts.

The series is produced by MTV Entertainment Studios in partnership with Gunpowder & Sky. Produced by Van Toffler and executive produced by David Gale, Floris Bauer, Barry Barclay and Joanna Zwickel for Gunpowder & Sky, co-executive produced by Rick Krim, executive produced and written by Chuck Thompson and executive produced and directed by Lauren Lazin. Bruce Gillmer and Vanessa Whitewolf executive produce for MTV Entertainment Studios, with Jennifer Yandrisevits serving as Senior Director of Production.

yacht rock series

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‘Farscape: The Complete Series (25th Anniversary Edition)’ — Dive Deep Into Otherworldly Adventure With Shout! Factory’s Definitive Box Set!

See Yacht Rock Revue Live During The Reverse Sunset Tour Presented by SiriusXM

Yacht Rock the night away on any of their 24 tour dates.

yacht rock series

The Reverse Sunset Tour Dates

3.10 — Lexington, KY — Manchester Music Hall 4.27 — Oklahoma City, OK — Tower Theatre 5.12 — Birmingham, AL — Avondale Brewing Company 5.18 — Destin, FL — Concerts in the Village 5.19 — Orlando, FL — House of Blues 5.20 — St. Augustine, FL — St. Augustine Amphitheater 6.16 — Philadelphia, PA — The Fillmore Philadelphia 7.1 — Isle Of Palms — The WindJammer 7.2 — Isle Of Palms — The WindJammer 7.7 — New York, NY — The Rooftop at Pier 17 7.8 — Asbury Park, NJ — Stone Pony Summerstage 7.13 — Hyannis, MA — Cape Cod Melody Tent 7.14 — Boston, MA — Leader Bank Pavilion 8.12 — Indianapolis, IN — TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park 9.1 — Selbyville, DE — Freeman Arts Pavilion 9.9 — Denver, CO — The Mission Ballroom 9.10 — Aspen CO — Belly Up Aspen 9.15 — San Diego, CA — Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay 9.16 — San Diego, CA — Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay 9.17 — Phoenix, AZ — The Van Buren 9.21 — Sacramento, CA — Ace Of Spades 9.22 — Saratoga, CA — The Mountain Winery 12.15 — Columbia, SC — Columbia Township Auditorium

Yacht Rock Revue poster 02.16.23 COLOR FINAL DATES WEB

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yacht rock series

yacht rock series

Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation showcases a 10-concert series in the Village

The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) will kick off its 2024 Concerts in the Village on April 4.  

The area’s first live concert series is held each spring on Thursday evenings at the MKAF Dugas Pavilion in Destin. This year’s 29 th  annual family friendly series will run April 4 to June 6. The 10-concert live music series will feature premier regional and national musicians and bands performing everything from rhythm & blues, classic and hard rock to disco to modern pop.  

Here’s a closer look at the lineup: 

#1 - April 4 - Postmodern Jukebox

One part celebration of vintage music and culture, one part "Saturday Night Live" for singers, a Postmodern Jukebox show is an unforgettable trip back in time. Tickets are $35 adults/$30 active-duty military. 

#2 - April 11 - Wendy Moten

Wendy Moten from "The Voice" is from Memphis and is an American R&B-infused pop singer based in Nashville. Best known for the UK hit "Come In Out Of The Rain," Moten has released major-label solo records, achieved international hits and toured extensively. At 56, she took a bold step, entering "The Voice" and finishing as the runner-up. Tickets are $25 adults/$20 active-duty military in advance.  

#3 - April 18 - Black Jacket Symphony

Black Jacket Symphony presents Prince’s "Purple Rain." Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Prince’s most celebrated album, performed from start to finish. Doors open at 6 p.m. and concerts start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 adults/$30 active-duty military in advance.  

#4 - April 25 - Yacht Rock Revue

These musicians have performed with John Oates and Eddie Money and now headline their own sold-out shows, playing the smooth sounds of West Coat 1970s and ‘80s. Doors open at 6 p.m. and concerts start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 adults/$30 active-duty military in advance.  

#5 - May 2 - The Mulligans

The Emerald Coast-based band, founded by Edwin Watts, plays hits from The Beatles, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Elvis, the Eagles, Bee Gees, the Ventures, Rolling Stones, Buddy Holly, The Monkees, Roy Orbison, Moody Blues, Young Rascals, Billy Joel, The Outsiders and many others. Doors open at 6 p.m. and concerts start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 adults/$20 active-duty military.  

#6 - May 9 - Rumours ATL

This Fleetwood Mac tribute takes the stage May 9. Doors open at 6 p.m. and concerts start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 adults/$20 active-duty military in advance.  

#7 - May 16 - Gotta Groove Band

Gotta Groove Band, from Land O Lakes, Florida, will put a fresh spin on popular cover tunes from the 1960s to today. Tickets are $25 adults/$20 active-duty military. 

#8 - May 23 - Mitch Malloy

The former front man of Great White, rocker Mitch Malloy is a studio veteran and award-winning songwriter. Doors open at 6 p.m. and concerts start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 adults/$30 active-duty military in advance.  

#9 - May 30 - Haley Reinhart

Haley Reinhart's timeless voice will transport you, blending pop, rock and jazz. A finalist on "American Idol ",  this Chicago-born singer is influenced by 1950s music and enjoys playful lyrics. Doors open at 6 p.m. and concerts start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 adults/$30 active-duty military in advance.   

#10 - June 6 - Adam Ezra Group

Adam Ezra Group closes out the series. Fusing folk intimacy and rock energy with soul power and pop charm, the band first emerged from Boston in the early 2000s and quickly garnered widespread acclaim. Tickets are $25 adults/$20 active-duty military. 

Things to know before you go:

Gates open at 6 p.m. with concerts beginning at 7 p.m. Bring a lawn chair, picnic, wine, or purchase food and beverages on site. A drawing will be held at each concert to award valuable raffle prizes donated by local businesses.  

General admission varies per concert. Prices range from $20 to $35 for adults. Discounts offered for active-duty military (must show ID). New this year: Patrons purchasing tickets in advance of concert day will save $5 per ticket. Children (12 and younger) are free. A limited number of VIP tables (reserved table for eight guests for the entire season) are available for $2,250. Corporate VIP tables are $2,750. 

Proceeds will fund the MKAF’s community outreach mission to provide cultural outreach programs through ArtsReach serving K-12 students, adults and children with special needs, at-risk youth, and through MKAF’s Warrior Arts program serving active/veteran military. 

Purchase tickets online at . More at (850) 650-2226. 

This article originally appeared on The Destin Log: Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation showcases a 10-concert series in the Village

Concerts will be held in the Village in Destin off Commons Drive every Thursday evening beginning April 4.

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Mercer County, NJ 2024 Summer Concert Series Just Announced

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This will definitely have you longing for summer.

Mercer County 2024 Summer Concert Series announced

The Mercer County Park Commission announced on Wednesday (March 27th) that the 2024 Mercer County Summer Concert series will kick off on July 12th. Shows will be at the Mercer County Festival Grounds in West Windsor (in Mercer County Park).

Tell your friends and save the dates. I've already put a few of the dates in my calendar.

The lineup includes several tribute bands

It looks like a fabulous lineup . Check it out below.

There are several tribute bands booked as well as different genres of music...something for everyone.

*If you're a fan of of Earth, Wind & Fire, you'll love Coast to Coast on July 12th.

*On July 19th is 80s Revolution for all of you Yacht Rock lovers.

*Bell Bottom Blues will take the stage on July 26th for the Best of the Eagles evening.

READ MORE: Model Car Racing Has Come to Hamilton Township

*Get ready for Frontiers with a Queen Flash on August 2nd.

*Funk Salsa Urban night is August 9th with Swing Sabroso performing.

*American Soul Band, Discoteks, will be rockin' on August 16th

There will be a Billy Joel & Elton John tribute

And, I think I'm the most excited for August 23rd when co-headliners, Yellow Brick Road and All About Joel wow the crowd. I'll be the one singing every song loudly.

All shows will start at 6:30pm

All shows kick off at 6:30pm. There's a $5 entrance fee. Parking is free.

Gates usually open an hour before the show. Don't forget to bring chairs or a blanket to relax and enjoy the music.

I always like to have something to look forward to and this is it. I'm so excited.

Mercer County Festival Grounds is in Mercer County Park in West Windsor

Mercer County Park is located at 1638 Old Trenton Road in West Windsor Township, NJ.

yacht rock series

C'mon summer.

See you there.

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Gallery Credit: Heather DeLuca

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  1. Yacht Rock (web series)

    Yacht Rock is an online video series following the fictionalized lives and careers of American soft rock stars of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The series debuted at a Channel 101 screening on June 26, 2005. It placed in the top five at subsequent screenings until June 25, 2006, when the tenth episode placed seventh at the screening, and the ...

  2. Yacht Rock (TV Series 2005-2010)

    Yacht Rock: Created by Lane Farnham, J.D. Ryznar, Hunter Stair. With J.D. Ryznar, Hunter Stair, 'Hollywood' Steve Huey, David B. Lyons. Mockumentary web series about American soft rock stars of the late 1970s and early 1980s era.

  3. Yacht Rock

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  4. What Is 'Yacht Rock'?

    Dave "Koko" Lyons, center, and Hunter "Messina" Stair regale some young women with tales of smooth-music adventures in 'Yacht Rock.' The viral Internet series celebrates its 10th anniversary.

  5. Yacht Or Not?: Sailing The Seas of Yacht Rock

    Yacht Rock Sets Sail With Help From a 2005 Web Series Before 2005, people generally placed Toto 's " Africa " and Holmes' "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" in the soft rock genre.

  6. Yacht Rock: A History of the Soft Rock Resurgence

    The Yacht Rock web series was perfectly timed to coincide with a contemporary renaissance of smooth music from the late '70s, the kind that was previously considered a guilty pleasure because it ...

  7. Defining 'yacht rock' once and for all with the genre's creators

    JD Ryznar and Dave Lyons are the co-creators of the mid-2000s comedic web-series Yacht Rock. While the joke genre they coined led to a legitimate smooth-music renaissance in pop culture, it has ...

  8. Yacht Rock

    By Johnny Loftus Jan. 4, 2023, 10:45 a.m. ET 144 Shares. It's such a fine and natural sight as Paramount+ presents the three-part soft rock docu series Sometimes When We Touch. Looking to watch ...

  9. Yacht Rock: A Boatload Of Not-So-Guilty Pleasures

    The web TV series of the mid-00s that parodied the lifestyle was even named Yacht Rock; one of the biggest hits of a chief exponent of the sound, Christopher Cross, was, of course, "Sailing."

  10. Yacht Rock

    Steely Dan and the Eagles settle a long feud with a hit song. Kevin Bacon (Jason Lee) and Gene Balboa convince Jimmy Buffett to trick Loggins into making another movie song. Devoted Buffett fans kidnap Loggins, but McDonald and James Ingram (Wyatt Cenac) come to his rescue.

  11. The Bizarre History Of Yacht Rock Music

    According to Rolling Stone, it all began on June 26, 2005, when the 12-episode web series "Yacht Rock" was released by Channel 101. As explained by Mental Floss , the series was a lovingly mocking look back at the smooth music of the late 1970s and early 1980s, written and directed by J.D. Ryznar, produced David B. Lyons and Hunter D. Stair ...

  12. Yacht Rock 1 HD

    Where our story begins.. Koko's Boat House. PS- We have a podcast now.☸ Website:☸ Podcast:

  13. This Is the Definitive Definition of Yacht Rock

    Premiering in 2005 on the Los Angeles-based television incubator Channel 101, Yacht Rock struck a chord with a generation of music nerds who attempt to compartmentalize and categorize the songs ...

  14. That '70s Week: Yacht Rock : World Cafe : NPR

    Enter JD Ryznar, Hunter Stair, David B. Lyons and Steve Huey: coiners of the description "yacht rock," creators of a hilarious web series of the same name and now de facto captains of the genre ...

  15. Yacht Rock Episode 1

    For more info, check out the Yacht Rock page at Channel

  16. Column: Your endless summer is brought to you by yacht rock and

    Created in 2005 by actors J.D. Ryznar and Hunter Stair, "Yacht Rock" was a deliberately cheesy, yet totally appreciative "mockumentary" series following the fictional lives and careers of ...

  17. Yacht Rock (Web Video)

    Yacht Rock is an 12-part series following the fictionalized lives and careers of American Soft Rock stars of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Created by JD Ryznar, Hunter D Stair and Lane Farnham, it is one of the most successful projects to come out of Channel101.. J. D. Ryznar and Hunter D. Stair devised the series after noticing the incestuous recording careers of such bands as Steely Dan ...

  18. Yacht Rock (TV Series 2005-2010)

    Yacht Rock (TV Series 2005-2010) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Menu. Movies. Release Calendar Top 250 Movies Most Popular Movies Browse Movies by Genre Top Box Office Showtimes & Tickets Movie News India Movie Spotlight. TV Shows.

  19. Paramount+ To Launch 'Sometimes When We Touch ...

    Paramount+ has announced that SOMETIMES WHEN WE TOUCH, a three-part documentary series exploring the history of soft rock music, will premiere exclusively on the service in the U.S. and Canada on ...

  20. Yacht Rock HD

    Share your videos with friends, family, and the world

  21. Yacht rock

    Yacht rock (originally known as the West Coast sound or adult-oriented rock) is a broad music style and aesthetic commonly associated with soft rock, one of the most commercially successful genres from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. Drawing on sources such as smooth soul, smooth jazz, R&B, and disco, common stylistic traits include high-quality production, clean vocals, and a focus on light ...

  22. Yacht Rock Radio: 70s & 80s Soft Rock

    Yacht Rock Radio. Now Playing. 1 hr 30 mins. SiriusXM's tribute to Yacht Rock celebrates the smooth-sailing soft rock from the late 70s and early 80s. You'll hear artists like Michael McDonald, Christopher Cross, Hall & Oates and other titans of smooth music. It's the kind of rock that doesn't rock the boat!

  23. Reverse Sunset Tour: See Yacht Rock Revue Live

    Party with Yacht Rock Revue during The Reverse Sunset Tour Presented by SiriusXM, where we'll turn up the night and turn back the clock to the glorious decadence of the late '70s and early '80s.With 24 dates nationwide, everyone can have the chance to enjoy a never-ending golden hour. We will change your playlists forever, for the better.

  24. Yacht Rock #1

    The first episode of the Yacht Rock series chronicling the smooth rock era.

  25. Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation showcases a 10-concert series in the ...

    #4 - April 25 - Yacht Rock Revue. ... Adam Ezra Group closes out the series. Fusing folk intimacy and rock energy with soul power and pop charm, the band first emerged from Boston in the early ...

  26. Mercer County, NJ 2024 Summer Concert Series Just Announced

    Mercer County 2024 Summer Concert Series announced. The Mercer County Park Commission announced on Wednesday (March 27th) that the 2024 Mercer County Summer Concert series will kick off on July 12th. ... *On July 19th is 80s Revolution for all of you Yacht Rock lovers. *Bell Bottom Blues will take the stage on July 26th for the Best of the ...