Smooth Music

Yacht rock refers to the soft rock that dominated FM radio airwaves in the late 1970s and early 1980s characterized by glossy production, breezy vocals, and bouncy rhythms.  The name “yacht rock” didn’t enter the popular imagination until decades after its heyday in the early 1980s.  Yacht Rock was a public access comedy show that gave this genre its name.  It was an 12-part series that followed the fictionalized lives and careers of American soft rock stars of the late 1970s and early 1980s which was created by JD Ryznar, Hunter D Stair and Lane Farnham.  It evoked the breezy marinas of southern California along with the soft rock stars of the late 1970s and early 1980s that were playing Smooth Music.  Some people consider this genre akin to musical wallpaper, marshmallow fluff, whiter-than-white bread snore-tunes or sax-heavy Sominex-inducing elevator Muzak, but these songs would sound great on a yacht as you sip your pina coladas and get caught in the rain.  Yacht Rock has been described as being as slick as an oil spill, part smooth pop, part light rock, that is both funky and jazzy with a little bit of bubblegum music added to it.  Songs that fit into the genre’s guidelines were determined by J. D. Ryznar, Steve Huey, Hunter Stair, and David Lyons, and they must have been released between 1976 and 1984, but you will know it when you hear it.  Most of the songs have tight harmonies, strong background singers, with added horns or strings.  It’s not lounge music, but it’s music to lounge to and something that you can tap your feet along with.  Some artists commonly included in the yacht rock genre are: The Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, Christopher Cross, Robbie Dupree, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Fleetwood Mac, Michael McDonald, Rupert Holmes, Toto, and Steely Dan.

Last week we had Latest Movement where the theme was to find New Wave Music songs.  This week the theme is to find Yacht Rock songs which was suggested by John Holton of The Sound of One Hand Typing.  Take some time to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this music challenge, and even better, read as many of them as you can as you will probably find many enjoyable songs and it is quite possibly that you will learn a thing or two.  Share your music with others and post a video, try do some research and let everyone know something about the song that you post.  Tell everyone why you like the song, whether it was a hit, or what you think the song is about.  Show the lyrics, let’s all listen to our favorite songs and explore some new music.  Try to find a song that fits the theme, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

• Try to use the prompt words or at least conform to a general theme, as you see it.  If the song you select does not meet the criteria, then please explain why you chose this song.
• It would be good if you could post the lyrics to the song of your choice, as this is helpful for the people that want to follow along with the music.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due. It would also be a good idea to give credit to the singer and the band associated with your song.
• Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be, but please try not to include too many videos as that just makes it take longer to look at all of the other posts.
• Link to the YouTube video, or you can pull it into your post, so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

This week I will be writing about The Doobie Brothers song ‘What a Fool Believes’, and next week, I will be writing about the song ‘Top of the World’ by the Carpenters.  The upcoming prompts will be:
February 12, 2023 – Sunshine Pop suggested by John Holton
February 19, 2023 – Bubblegum Pop suggested by John Holton
February 26, 2023 – Swamp Rock
March 5, 2023 – Rockabilly music

33 thoughts on “Smooth Music

  1. I admit to having my doubts about this one, Jim, but was pleasantly surprised to find one of my favourite bands included in the list of acts lumped under this incredibly wide heading.

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      1. One of my favourite bands. I think that proves either my lack of knowledge of what yacht rock is, or it makes my point that this is an American attribution that didn’t ever mean much to Brits. Maybe a bit of both!

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    1. Great choice, Glyn. ‘Kid Charlemagne’ was a supremely funky chronicle of the rise and fall of a countercultural legend, the San Francisco chemist Owsley Stanley, who was famous for manufacturing hallucinogenic compounds.

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