Yacht Rock

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I showed this to my co-worker who lived and partied on Balboa Island in Newport Beach during the late 70's early 80's and she loved it. Very fond memories of that boats n coke scene and all the clothing! hehe.

tylero (tylero), Friday, 8 July 2005 20:31 (fourteen years ago) link

I cannot *believe* somebody actually spent many hours of their lives making this little film. I am aghast. The fact that they made it is more absurd than the content! I love the part where Messina barfs at the music, though.

Orbit (Orbit), Saturday, 9 July 2005 16:47 (fourteen years ago) link

four weeks pass...
Episode 2 is even better!

Christopher Costello (CGC), Sunday, 7 August 2005 17:08 (fourteen years ago) link

they should play "yachting type" by the yachts (great sparks-like new wave song, 1979)

xhuxk, Sunday, 7 August 2005 17:36 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
I made Yacht Rock. It was not made in Williamsburg. It was made in Los Angeles. I lived in Williamsburg 5 years ago though. And I love this music.

JD Ryznar, Tuesday, 23 August 2005 06:16 (fourteen years ago) link

Thanks JD. I like Yacht Rock though I think episode 1 is better than episode 2. The Williamsburg comments were kind of strange considering the obvious Marina Del Rey shots.

walter kranz (walterkranz), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 06:33 (fourteen years ago) link


I'm Hi, Jared Fogle (ex machina), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 06:35 (fourteen years ago) link

JD Ryznar, you rule. "Smash Boys" is one of the funniest short films I've ever seen, and if I hear "This isn't over yet, Shitcack" a thousand more times, it won't get any less funny.

Pangolino 2, Tuesday, 23 August 2005 13:57 (fourteen years ago) link

"Skunk" Baxter! Nice...

Would this be the right place to request a Rough Guide to Yacht Rock?

Baaderonixx on a long black leash (Fabfunk), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 09:41 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Ok, first of all this is awesome, and "I love being in the Doobies. They're so smooth" has become a favorite joke between a friend and I.

RFI: I'm making a Yacht Rock mix, of all the good and the bad. Ferrinstance, "What a Fool Believes" is a great song. "Sweet Freedom" is bloody awful. I digress.

What is the song near the beginning of the first episode, the next song you hear after "Sweet Freedom," that starts playing just as the scene wipes in, with the tinkly guitar? It was a huge hit, I know. But what is it? It's like some kinda proto-lite-rock-song. I need it for my mix.

Also, I need some other gaps filled in. The list I have is too sparse. I have:

Kenny Loggins - This Is It
Steely Dan - Peg
Doobie Brothers - What a Fool Believes
Hall and Oates - Sara Smile
Christopher Cross - Sailing
Loggins and Messina - Whenever I Call You Friend
Steely Dan - Time Out of Mind
Doobie Brothers - How Do the Fools Survive?
Michael McDonald - Sweet Freedom
Kenny Loggins - I'm Alright

And some non-canonical stuff, like Spyro Gyra. Man, if that's not yacht, I don't know what is.

Anyway. Help would be appreciated. Thkx.

Paunchy Stratego (kenan), Monday, 19 September 2005 06:27 (fourteen years ago) link

Would this be the right place to request a Rough Guide to Yacht Rock?

Yes it would!

Paunchy Stratego (kenan), Monday, 19 September 2005 06:29 (fourteen years ago) link

How about:

Franke & the Knockouts, "Sweetheart"
Pablo Cruise, "Place in the Sun"
Little River Band, "Reminiscing"

p.s. "Whenever I Call You Friend" was Loggins & Nicks, not Messina. :)

Joseph McCombs (Joseph McCombs), Monday, 19 September 2005 06:46 (fourteen years ago) link

Not the way I downloaded it!

Little River Band is perfect.

Paunchy Stratego (kenan), Monday, 19 September 2005 06:48 (fourteen years ago) link

um... or not. I think Little River Band may be too lame to be Yacht Rock, if that's possible. I'm listening to "Reminiscing" right now, and it's unBELIEVably awful.

Paunchy Stratego (kenan), Monday, 19 September 2005 06:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Ooh! Ooh! Why not "Summer Breeze" by Seals and Croft?

Paunchy Stratego (kenan), Monday, 19 September 2005 07:01 (fourteen years ago) link

Are we talkin' about Sunset watchin' Rose drinkin' Jaint Smokin'
Coastal Jazz/Pop/Rock circa 80 ?

Lady Love - Jon Lucien
Help Me - Joni Mitchell
Honolulu City Lights - The Beamer Brothers

Bobby Peru (Bobby Peru), Monday, 19 September 2005 07:03 (fourteen years ago) link


Paunchy Stratego (kenan), Monday, 19 September 2005 07:09 (fourteen years ago) link

Should there be some Grover Washington, Jr. on this mix? Or is that too funky?

Paunchy Stratego (kenan), Monday, 19 September 2005 07:34 (fourteen years ago) link

Sausalito, though? I'm down...

Bobby Peru (Bobby Peru), Monday, 19 September 2005 07:35 (fourteen years ago) link

or "You Make Me Dance.

Bobby Peru (Bobby Peru), Monday, 19 September 2005 07:37 (fourteen years ago) link

Somebody last year made a "Rough Guide to 70's AM pop" that had quite a few choice cuts.

Baaderonixx and the hedonistic gluttons (baaderonixx), Monday, 19 September 2005 14:54 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
Did anyone catch the latest episode featuring Toto's Rosanna?

It took a couple of viewings, but I think it's up there with the back-alley songwriting dual.

first-time caller, long-time listener, Tuesday, 4 October 2005 14:07 (fourteen years ago) link

bunch of hacks. It was Steve Lukather that was getting his "brains fucked out" by Rosanna Arquette, not Steve Porcaro.

Between the hair and spectacles, Toto ruled.

dude of plenty, Tuesday, 4 October 2005 17:11 (fourteen years ago) link

Facts aside, I liked ep 4 a lot. But I wish Steve Perry didn't look so much like present-day Nikki Sixx, and I wish Jim Messina didn't look so much like present-day Adam Levine.

Joseph McCombs (Joseph McCombs), Tuesday, 4 October 2005 19:58 (fourteen years ago) link

Is Boz Skaggs yacht rock?

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 4 October 2005 20:02 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
Arquette was porcaro's girlfriend, not Lukather's. I looked into it. Look at the official Toto site.

JD Ryznar (JD Ryznar), Tuesday, 18 October 2005 21:02 (fourteen years ago) link

stop taking the fun out of it

Christopher Costello (CGC), Tuesday, 18 October 2005 21:54 (fourteen years ago) link

Thanks for putting the fun back into it!

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Wednesday, 19 October 2005 04:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Would any of the following be considered Yacht Rock-ish?
Andrew Gold
England Dan & John Ford Coley
"The Long Run" LP

Stay smooth!

late adopter, Wednesday, 19 October 2005 06:01 (fourteen years ago) link

For years now I have played Reminiscin',
Baby Come Back (yes, Baby Come Back by Player, the greatest Hall and Oates song Hall and Oates never wrote) and Ride Like the Wind on acoustic guitar to unreceptive and somewhat confused audiences. (Why, incidentally, does Steely Dan get a pass? Why is it perfectly acceptable to play through Deacon Blues or Kid Charlemagne in public, but playing Sailing is "Cheesy?" Food for thought).

Bless you J. D. Ryznar. I saw these films for the first time today. I have loved this intricate, ever so smooth, late 70's Fagen/McDonald inflected cheeseball music for such a long time, but never knew what to call it. Yacht Rock it is. I eagerly await the 5th installment, and the sure to be heavy dose of 80's Michael McDonald that it will contain (Sweet Freedom, I Keep Forgettin', Yah Mo Be There).

Since it seems you check on this thread from time to time:

The movies are brilliant, I particularly enjoy the use of Breezin' by George Benson in the first episode, Jeff Baxter's slow nod of understanding, Jeff Porcaro's three step plan to seduce Michael McDonald and the rage, passion and wild unkempt mane of John Oates.

I second the call for Seals and Croft (and Player, the Little River Band and "Games People Play" by the Spinners). If I was on the correct coast I would beesech you to let me play Jim Seals or...guy from Player...in an upcoming installment.

Air Supply needs to be in there somewhere don't they? Were they not the kings of Yacht Rock?

Cetera's savage beating at the hands of Oates notwithstanding, 80's Chicago should be featured prominently as well.

This music is brilliant, and your films are obviously a labor of love. Keep it up.

Ash (ashbyman), Tuesday, 25 October 2005 20:47 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't want to throw the idea here in fear the makers rejecting it (and we all know why it's wise for filmmakers to reject ideas from zealous fans), but there HAS to be a plot involving a certain solo artist from 1980 who musically borrowed heavily for HIS hit single, which was APTLY named, from a certain big doobies hit song from 1978 about somewhere back in her long something...

Here's my digital signature saying "this is a free idea to be used by the makers of yacht rock at their own will, although no offense taken if used, rejected, abused, or otherwise. :) "

iDonut B4 x86 (donut), Tuesday, 25 October 2005 21:27 (fourteen years ago) link

Haha - we were just talking about those two songs' similarity, along with the Pointer Sisters' "He's So Shy."

More Pablo Cruise, please!

Joseph McCombs (Joseph McCombs), Tuesday, 25 October 2005 21:52 (fourteen years ago) link

what's the song? is it by phil collins?

katrina vanden roffle (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 25 October 2005 22:47 (fourteen years ago) link

I can't say. It would be stealing giving it away.

iDonut B4 x86 (donut), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 00:11 (fourteen years ago) link

i nearly destroyed my keyboard during the hall & oates scenes due to spitting out my drink. HILARIOUS. keep up the good work.

maria tessa sciarrino (theoreticalgirl), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 02:11 (fourteen years ago) link

Ooops...I wasn't aware Mr. Ryznar was the creator of this channel 101 masterpiece when i posted "stop taking the fun out of it".
i thought you were some guy trying to take the fun out of the show.
I love how Steve Perry always runs away after singing his songs.

Christopher Costello (CGC), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 03:42 (fourteen years ago) link

i suppose that "sloop john b" and "banana boat song" would be TOO obvious for this thing ...

Eisbär (llamasfur), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 05:41 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
looking forward to episode #6. still ridiculously obsessed with this series.

maria tessa sciarrino (theoreticalgirl), Saturday, 19 November 2005 15:44 (thirteen years ago) link

I love this.

tokyo nursery school: afternoon session (rosemary), Saturday, 19 November 2005 16:22 (thirteen years ago) link

"that's what a FOOL believes!"

mimi in st. louis (Jody Beth Rosen), Saturday, 19 November 2005 17:38 (thirteen years ago) link

gah doctor casino was telling me about this at indie rock karaoke the other week, i'd assumed he'd revived the thread. apparently i need to see this.

j blount (papa la bas), Saturday, 19 November 2005 18:05 (thirteen years ago) link

yes, you do

tokyo nursery school: afternoon session (rosemary), Saturday, 19 November 2005 18:37 (thirteen years ago) link

this was totally awesome

j blount (papa la bas), Saturday, 19 November 2005 22:45 (thirteen years ago) link

Yacht Rock has been the only good thing that's happened to me this year. But I'm embarrassed to ask: Why does Donald Fagen speaks in an incomprehensible language that must be interpreted by Walter Becker? I thought I had a fairly thorough grounding in Dan Lore but I guess not.

Petroski (petroski), Sunday, 20 November 2005 04:37 (thirteen years ago) link


Once you actually read the lyrics to What a Fool Believes, you can understand its shittiness in totally new ways.

footlog, Sunday, 20 November 2005 21:35 (thirteen years ago) link

So what's the song that Michael McDonald sings in Ep #3 as he briefly gives chase to Loggins?

Brandon Mitchell (A.H.), Tuesday, 22 November 2005 07:52 (thirteen years ago) link

Yes, I'm looking for that one too to add to my comp...

57 7th (calstars), Sunday, 27 November 2005 02:22 (thirteen years ago) link

And also, what is the one in Ep 1 that Ryznar/McDonald does improptu, something like 'wicked woman...mistress/got a cold spell on me...' prompting a disapproving look from Skunk Baxter...

57 7th (calstars), Sunday, 27 November 2005 02:25 (thirteen years ago) link

A variation on the theme: Yacht-Pop.

Bobby Peru (Bobby Peru), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 18:10 (thirteen years ago) link

i thought the heart of the difference between soft rock and yacht rock was that the former was a melancholic and wistful or even maudlin clinging on to the hippie dream that said a peaceful world could exist here and now or sometime soon (setting off to look for america, me and you and a dog named boo loving and living off the land, making love in a chevy van, the open road and possibilities) and the latter was a hedonistic escape in response to the unease and ennui following the death of that dream making the here and now something uninhabitable (running off to a tropical island or out to the open sea or into the dark of night, stealing away to somewhere else).

slugbuggy, Friday, 27 June 2014 01:02 (five years ago) link

Good post. I think sorting out the various strands of post-hippie dreams in 70s smooth music of all shades would be really interesting. Not sure how much the first is maudlin, vs. just continuing, perhaps with a looming sense of (tragic) impossibility, or a revision of priorities: yes to peace for you and me and us, but peace for everybody may not yet be. And then with yacht-rock the sense is really more escape for me and mine. Escape on the sea rather than in a new society, or escape into the lushness of the sound itself. But this would have to be really complicated by, what did people listen to this music for (late night drives? making out? unwinding after a long day at the factory?) that may not relate directly to the artists, or their images as broadcast, or their images as parodied in Yacht Rock.

Doctor Casino, Friday, 27 June 2014 17:59 (five years ago) link

Whatever garbled story I'm telling there, I think "Please Come To Boston" is some kind of equally incoherent hinge: she's not down for living in his scrubby bohemian apartment and selling paintings on the street, or overlooking silent valleys in Colorado... but each other, they need each other anyway.

Doctor Casino, Friday, 27 June 2014 20:43 (five years ago) link


rushomancy, Saturday, 28 June 2014 20:34 (five years ago) link

one year passes...
six months pass...

The Yacht Rock guys have a podcast: "Beyond Yacht Rock"


Blowout Coombes (President Keyes), Friday, 29 January 2016 15:55 (three years ago) link

oh cool

calstars, Friday, 29 January 2016 17:39 (three years ago) link

I am working my way through these and enjoying them.

I made my own gigantic yacht mix on Spotify, it's my personal take on the genre, I put some jazz and r&b on it for a real 70's yacht party feel.

My grandma worked at a yacht club on Lake Michigan, and one thing no one points out as an influence is cocaine. On the Great Lakes, it was and is marijuana, though. Kept that in mind while making my mixes.

Fake Sam's Club (I M Losted), Monday, 1 February 2016 19:10 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

I'm loving this comp right now. One or two duds, but the ratio of great to meh is very high for a comp of this sort. The liner notes talk a lot about the Doobie Brothers, who I've always been indifferent to, but now I'm thinking I need to reevaluate the Doobies (whose only songs I know are the classic rock radio hits). The liners also talk a lot about people like James Taylor, but I'm hearing just as much Steely Dan, Bob Welch, John Lennon and Hall & Oates in here, and a lot less sensitive white guy with a Martin that I feared / was led to believe. Shit's funky!

Wimmels, Wednesday, 17 May 2017 15:01 (two years ago) link

this is good stuff

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 17 May 2017 17:04 (two years ago) link

That looks hella fun.

Been jamming Universal Cave's Soft Rock For Hard Times Vol. 1 mix lately, solid jam after solid jam

brimstead, Wednesday, 17 May 2017 19:04 (two years ago) link

the universal cave series led me to these two compilations called "americana: rock your soul", which is a weird name but man this is some primo soft rock shit. soft rock lovers should make a beeline for it.

Cyborg Kickboxer (rushomancy), Wednesday, 17 May 2017 23:06 (two years ago) link

Yes, Yes, Yes...No, No, No

groovypanda, Friday, 19 May 2017 13:07 (two years ago) link

Numero Group have also created a Yacht Rock playlist on Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/user/numerogroup/playlist/1SOw4LySLMLAFTcXx4qTLW

Jeff W, Friday, 19 May 2017 13:18 (two years ago) link

man i wish there was a way to see a spotify playlist without creating an account. i don't want to listen to it, just see what's on it!

Cyborg Kickboxer (rushomancy), Friday, 19 May 2017 15:01 (two years ago) link

The BYR guys are policing the borders of yacht rock pretty hardcore these days - no smooth jazz/jazz fusion, nothing proggy or sophisto-pop sounding, nothing too disco or AM gold. They focus a lot on a stable of session musicians - Jay Gradon, David Foster, Paulinho da Costa, Michael Boddicker, Victor Feldman - which paints an interesting picture but also disencourages finding interesting things in the same vein/spirit coming from elswhere.

Daniel_Rf, Saturday, 20 May 2017 08:52 (two years ago) link

that's a shame. the second UK record has some pretty swell yachty vibes at times (like on "rendezvous 6:02"). genre purism does nobody any favours.

Cyborg Kickboxer (rushomancy), Saturday, 20 May 2017 12:57 (two years ago) link

'policing the borders of yacht rock' XD

flopson, Saturday, 20 May 2017 13:13 (two years ago) link

Yeah, I mean it's half-joking (as I guess was their coinage of the term in the first place), but kinda limiting.

That being said, they do spread out sometimes:
Yacht Soul - http://www.yachtrock.com/podcast/2016/10/20/yacht-soul
Southern yacht - http://www.feralaudio.com/60-southern-yacht/

Daniel_Rf, Saturday, 20 May 2017 13:14 (two years ago) link

If you want a picture of what they've deemed Yacht, you can look at their Yachtski Scale, where anything scoring 50 or above is deemed as "Yacht":

MarkoP, Saturday, 20 May 2017 15:31 (two years ago) link

Nah it's cool, I see what they're getting at. Honing in on specific sessioneers makes it way more interesting and meaningful. You can still listen to sophistipop etc, they're not taking that music away from you. Make your own damn reality

brimstead, Saturday, 20 May 2017 16:17 (two years ago) link

seven months pass...


calstars, Sunday, 31 December 2017 13:10 (one year ago) link

once you get that taste...it's like you're a pilot...you're in trouble...you gotta fly..you gotta keep flying...

calstars, Sunday, 31 December 2017 13:18 (one year ago) link

and you can tell your little friends in TOTO

Newb Sybok (Doctor Casino), Sunday, 31 December 2017 13:25 (one year ago) link

I'm glad I've never used this term in any context.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 31 December 2017 13:30 (one year ago) link

^cake hunt

Daniel_Rf, Sunday, 31 December 2017 15:39 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

Just found the 2 part episode from the show Documentary Now! called "Gentle and Soft: The Story of the Blue Jean Committee" and loved it.

Could not find any place to discus this show/episode and really kinda think it is a sequel/tip of the hat to Yacht Rock and things like the Eagles documentary.

I thought it was really good. It all looked great and the Blue Jean Committee music is quite well done.

earlnash, Monday, 23 April 2018 22:11 (one year ago) link

soft is not smooth, and the blue jean committee is more like bread or seals and crofts than Toto or Loggins

calstars, Monday, 23 April 2018 23:43 (one year ago) link

You have Loggins, Hall and McDonald with parts in the BJC, which I thought was a fun coincidence. Daryl Hall gets one of the best lines in the movie.

earlnash, Tuesday, 24 April 2018 00:01 (one year ago) link

I've seen a listing for a cover band locally that does yacht rock called Yachtly Crew.

nickn, Wednesday, 25 April 2018 17:09 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

little feat is yacht rock i am not accepting questions at this time

mark s, Wednesday, 8 August 2018 11:43 (one year ago) link

yachts (on the bayou) rock

. (Michael B), Wednesday, 8 August 2018 11:56 (one year ago) link

I wonder which song in particular Mark is thinking of

calstars, Wednesday, 8 August 2018 13:47 (one year ago) link

little feet is not yacht rock get a grip

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 8 August 2018 13:48 (one year ago) link

"dixie chicken" could segue nicely into "the pina colada song"

. (Michael B), Wednesday, 8 August 2018 13:49 (one year ago) link

pina colada song is not yacht rock

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 8 August 2018 16:17 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

The NY-based yacht rock band A.M. Gold just played my little Jersey town square last night.

The rather front-loaded set list:

Takin' It to the Streets
Ride Like the Wind
Reelin' in the Years
Baby Come Back
What a Fool Believes
Steal Away
I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)
Escape (The Pina Colada Song)
Baker Street
Who Can It Be Now
Careless Whisper
Little Red Corvette
Private Eyes
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
All Night Long
The Power of Love
You Make My Dreams

OK, which song was more out of place, "Little Red Corvette" or "Wake Me Up"?

"What a Fool Believes" into "Steal Away" make it obvious just how much "Steal" is a pale rewrite of "Fool."

Hideous Lump, Friday, 24 August 2018 03:57 (one year ago) link

Local amateur musicians playing live through shitty PA systems aping professional musicians in million dollar studios is one of the hardest things for me to listen to. Ymmv

calstars, Friday, 24 August 2018 06:13 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

captain beefheart: yacht rock

mark s, Monday, 24 December 2018 14:01 (ten months ago) link


errang (rushomancy), Monday, 24 December 2018 14:40 (ten months ago) link

I rewatched all of Yacht Rock a couple months back. Justin Roiland's voice really jumps out now, after Rick and Morty. This is one of my favorite bits I completely forgot about: https://youtu.be/jGwJPqgA3N4

Vinnie, Tuesday, 25 December 2018 04:01 (ten months ago) link

five months pass...


No info on when it's gonna air tho

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 27 May 2019 13:14 (five months ago) link

That looks sexy

calstars, Monday, 27 May 2019 13:18 (five months ago) link

Starts this Friday on BBC4

groovypanda, Monday, 10 June 2019 11:50 (five months ago) link

once you get that taste...it's like you're a pilot...you're in trouble...you gotta fly..you gotta keep flying...

calstars, Monday, 10 June 2019 13:03 (five months ago) link

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