17 of the greatest ever



12 June 2019, 15:16

Summer is fast approaching and we are already planning our dream vacation.

We can imagine it now: lounging on a boat that moves on the water, sipping cocktails and improving our tan. Oh, and it’s the ’80s.

There is only one style of music that goes with this image: Yacht rock.

What is Yacht Rock, you ask?

Also known as West Coast Sound or Adult Rock, this is a style of late 1970s to early 1980s soft rock that featured elements of smooth soul, smooth jazz, R&B, funk. , rock and disco.

Although its name has been used in a negative way, for us it is an amazing genre that makes us feel like we are in an episode of Miami vice wearing epaulettes and massive sunglasses.

Here are the best songs that could be placed in this genre:

1. Hall & Oates – “I can’t go (I can’t do it)”

This duo knew how to make catchy blow after catchy blow. This R&B tinged pop song was co-written with Sara Allen (also influenced by their song ‘Sara Smile’). John Oates said the song is actually about the music business. “This song is really about not getting pushed around by the big labels, managers and agents and being told what to do, and being true to yourself in a creative way.”

Not only was the song sampled in “Say No Go” by De La Soul and “Home” by Simply Red, but Michael Jackson also admitted that he had upped the bassline of “Billie Jean”!

2. Stranger – ‘Waiting for a girl like you’

A little smoother sound than their bigger, powerful ballads, this song was unlucky to remain number two for 10 weeks in the US charts, 9 of which was behind Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical”.

Co-writer Mick Jones said of the song, “I had no idea what it meant, but it left such a deep impression on me. It’s ultimately a song that brought together a lot of people. I hear these days that it’s a song that a lot of people play at their weddings.

3. Eagles – “I can’t tell you why”

Many of the Eagles’ tunes could be categorized as yacht rock, but we think their best example comes from this track from their The long term album in 1979.

Don Henley described the song as “straight Al Green”, and that Glenn Frey, an R&B fan, was responsible for the song’s R&B feel. Frey told co-writer Timothy B Schmit, “You could sing like Smokey Robinson. Let’s not do a Richie Furay song, Poco. Let’s do an R&B song.”

4. Michael McDonald – “The Sweet Freedom”

If you wanted to name the king of yacht rock, you should choose Michael McDonald. He could sing the phone book and it would sound silky smooth.

Perhaps her greatest solo song, Iyou were used in the movie Run in fear, and its music video starred actors Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines.

5. Toto – ‘Rosanna’

We almost picked ‘Africa’, but we think this song is pretty much the sting in the rock yacht game.

Written by David Paich, he said the song was based on many girls he had known. As a joke, the band members initially played with the common assumption that the song was based on actress Rosanna Arquette, who was dating Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro at the time and coincidentally had the same name.

6. The Doobie Brothers – “What a Fool Believes”

May be THE Ultimate yacht rock song, and it’s that Michael McDonald man again.

Written by McDonald and Kenny Loggins, it was one of the few non-disco hits in America during the first eight months of 1979. The song tells the story of a man who finds an old love again and tries to rekindle a relationship. in love. with her before discovering that we never really existed. Michael Jackson once claimed that he contributed at least one backing track to the original recording, but was not credited for doing so. This was later denied by the group.

7. Bobby Goldsboro – “Summer (the first time)”

A bit of a moot point, this ballad was about a 17-year-old boy’s first sexual experience with a 31-year-old woman at the beach.

But using a repeating piano riff, 12-string guitar, and orchestral string arrangement, this song just screams yacht rock and everything awesome about it.

8. Boz Scaggs – “Lowdown”

We have entered smooth jazz territory a little with this track, which is sure to put a smile on your face.

The song was co-written by David Paich, who would go on to form Toto with song keyboardist David Paich, session bassist David Hungate and drummer Jeff Porcaro.

9. Steely Dan – ‘FM’

It’s hard to pick a Steely Dan song for this list, but we went with this banger.

Used as the musical theme for the 1978 film of the same name, the song is a jazz-rock piece, although its lyrics took a disapproving look at the genre as a whole, which was in stark contrast to the celebration of the film. Still, that sounds good guys!

10. Don Henley – “The Summer Boys”


Mike Campbell wrote the music for this track while working on Tom Petty’s Southern accents album, but later gave it to Eagles frontman Don Henley, who wrote the lyrics.

The song is about the passage of youth and entering your fifties, and a past relationship. It was covered twice in the early 2000s: as DJ Sammy’s trance track in 2002, and as The Ataris’ pop punk hit in 2003.

11. Chicago – “Hard to say I’m sorry”

Chicago began to move away from its mellow brass-based rock sound with its release in the early 1980s, including this synth-filled power ballad.

The album’s version morphed into a more traditional upbeat Chicago track called “Get Away,” but most radio stations of the time chose to do away with the song before it started. Three Toto members performed on the track. These guys are yacht rock kings!

12. Player – “Baby come back”

Not the reggae classic of the same name, this 1977 track was Player’s biggest hit.

After Player’s disbandment, singer Peter Beckett joined Australia’s Little River Band, and he also wrote “Twist of Fate” for Olivia Newton-John and “After All This Time” for Kenny Rogers.

13. Kenny Loggins – “Heart to Heart”

If Michael McDonald is the king of yacht rock, then Kenny Loggins is his trusted advisor and heir to the throne.

This track was co-written with Michael and also features him in backing vocals. The song is about how most relationships don’t stand the test of time, but some do.

14. Airplay – “Nothing you can do about it”

You might not remember the American group Airplay, but they had their moment on the yacht.

Comprised of David Foster (who also co-wrote the Kenny Loggins song above), Jay Graydon, and the brilliantly named Tommy Funderburk, this song was a cover of a Manhattan Transfer song and was a small hit in 1981 .

15. Michael Jackson – “Human nature”

A few non-rock artists have almost made this list (George Michael’s ‘Careless Whisper’ and Spandau Ballet’s ‘True’ are almost examples, but not quite), yet much of Polar relied heavily on the sound of yacht rock.

Jackson proved how popular the genre can become with several songs on the album, but this is the best example.

16. Christopher Cross – “Sailing”

We don’t put that here just because it’s called ‘Sailing’, it’s also one of the ultimate examples of the genre.

It reached number one in the United States in 1980, and VH1 later named it the most “softsational soft rock” song of all time.

17. Steve Winwood – “Valérie”


This song is probably as far back as you can get into pop rock without leaving the yacht rock dock entirely.

Legendary singer-songwriter Winwood recorded this gong on a man remembering a lost love he hopes to find one day. Eric Prydz then sampled it in 2004 for house number one track “Call on Me”, and introduced it to Winwood, who was so impressed that he re-recorded the vocals to better suit the song. track.

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