Yacht Rock Revisted: What Yacht Rock is—and isn't.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by LeftCoastGator, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. zebop

    zebop Well Known Member

    I'm not sure if Gino got to yacht rock until Nightwalker and songs like "Put The Weight On My Shoulders," "Sally" and "Living Inside Myself." At his best, he had a great soulfulness that was apparent in his voice if not the song structure and that what worked for him.

    On the other hand, a song that was earlier mentioned, Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack's "Tonight I Celebrate My Love" isn't yacht rock to me or quiet storm. I find it to be hideous crossover pop. Unlike a song like Bryson and Melisssa Manchester's great "Lovers After All" Bryson is neutered, there's little inherent in the Westcoast sound and it wasn't soulful enough for quiet storm stations.

    That said, there's a few songs that are quiet storm and Yacht Rock at the same time, it's rare but when it works, it's pretty cool.
     
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  2. driverdrummer

    driverdrummer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Irmo, SC
  3. zebop

    zebop Well Known Member

    Con Funk Shun- Love's Train- I love this song, it was too real when it was released, ha. My collection is filled with songs like this, from 1979-1989 or so (the '80s).

    Oddly enough, "Love's Train" is one of those songs that might not have gotten play on pop stations because it might have sounded too R&B. Of course that was no problem a few years before but was a problem for a while. On the other hand, when R&B singers got pop hits at the same time, they had to make themselves bland to "crossover." Atlantic Starr is a great example, they went from the horny genre classic "When Love Calls" to chaste "Always" and for a lot of us, it was a bridge too far.

    You know, "Love's Train" might really be an extension and a true component of the Westcoast sound as well as the Quiet Storm style. Interesting....
     
  4. zebop

    zebop Well Known Member



    Here's a few one I found in a record bins. I thought the cover was cool, played it and this one caught my attention. The great Joe Wissert (EWF, Boz Scaggs, Helen Reddy) produced it....
     
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  5. LeftCoastGator

    LeftCoastGator Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    94501
    I can tell this guy produced Boz Scaggs—has almost the same base line as "Lowdown."
     
  6. HeavensAbove

    HeavensAbove Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sacramento

    Another very West Coast-sounding track from ConFunkShun. Check out the Doobie-esque electric piano.
     
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  7. zebop

    zebop Well Known Member


    Yep :)
     
  8. zebop

    zebop Well Known Member


    That's cool, a few years earlier, that might have gotten for pop chart action.
     
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  9. zebop

    zebop Well Known Member

    I found this in my travels. Here's something from the late Laura Allan and her 1978 Elektra LP of the same name. This is such a nice album, great cover and back pics, cool personnel, the album's a gem.


     
  10. steelydanguy

    steelydanguy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arlington, VA, USA
    One of the more out-of-left-field entries in the West Coast genre (I wouldn't call this one Yacht Rock) is the album pictured below by Dara Sedaka, daughter of Neil Sedaka.

    As far as I can tell, "I'm Your Girl Friend" was released in 1982 but only in Japan. It was produced by David Foster, however, and features several of the usual L.A. session suspects from that era like Steve Lukather and Michael Landau (guitars), Steve Porcaro (synthesizers), Richard Page and Steve George (background vocals), Jerry Hey and Gary Grant (horns), and Foster himself on keyboards.

    The album is pretty much middle-of-the-road teen pop/rock, but it has that early 1980s West Coast sound because of the musicians involved. It's not that easy to track down since it's an import (I finally picked up a vinyl copy earlier this year), but if you're a fan of Foster's production work and/or the West Coast sounds from the early 1980s, it's worth getting.

    As a side note, one of the tracks on side two of this album -- "Try to See it My Way" -- was written by Bryan Adams and his songwriting partner Jim Vallance just before Adams hit it big. That song rocks a little bit harder, as you'd expect, and features Adams on background vocals.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    I shall once again endeavour to voice my displeasure at these ridiculous classifications in music.

    There.:fly:
     
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  12. Cyberhog9

    Cyberhog9 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Quad Cities IA
    Would David Sanborn's Straight From The Heart album be considered YR? Or is this more smooth jazz? I sure get a boaty feeling when hearing Smile.
     
  13. zebop

    zebop Well Known Member

    I remember Dara from a few years earlier from that duet with her father, Neil Sedaka, "Should Have Never Let You Go."
     
  14. soundboy

    soundboy Forum Resident

    No love for Bertie Higgins' "Key Largo"?

     
  15. Jimbino

    Jimbino Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Jose, CA, USA
  16. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Specialist In Yngwie & Ambient Worship

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Mentions of this album have had an upspike recently as Paul Gilbert mentioned how much he loves it Steve Lukather during a recent NAMM interview with a bunch of big shot guitarists. Seems as though Steve didn't even remember recording it.
     
  17. LeftCoastGator

    LeftCoastGator Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    94501
    Hmmm. That's kind of a tough one. On the one hand, it does have many of the hallmarks of the yacht rock sound, and Sanborn is often the go-to sax man for yacht tracks that have sax. On the other, it has (almost)l no lyrics and many of the songs are 6-minutes plus. It's also from 1984, which is on the trailing edge of the yacht era.

    To me, it's a yachty lite sax album that has several tracks that fit nicely into the overall Westcoast vibe.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
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  18. brent bomersbach

    brent bomersbach Active Member

    Location:
    midwest
    Yes a little.
    In case I missed the many previous pages. Is 10cc mentioned?
     
  19. LeftCoastGator

    LeftCoastGator Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    94501
    Surprisingly, this album comes up pretty frequently in discussions about lost yacht rock gems. It's a bit soft and sweet for yacht, but it's much better than you'd imagine, and the contributions from the yacht royalty are obvious in the sound.

    Here's *shudder* "Huggin'," which despite the execrable title, is a really nice slab o' yacht:
     
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  20. LeftCoastGator

    LeftCoastGator Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    94501
    Er… not much, no. Sorry. Although "Jamaica Me Crazy" is so bad it's great, an ironic classic. "Ja make-a me co-co-nuts" indeed.
     
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  21. LeftCoastGator

    LeftCoastGator Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    94501
    Noted.
     
  22. steelydanguy

    steelydanguy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arlington, VA, USA
    Considering the ridiculous number of recordings Lukather was appearing on during that era, it's not surprising that he might not remember that particular session. As per usual, though, his performance on that album is top-notch.

     
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  23. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Specialist In Yngwie & Ambient Worship

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Why can't you just spend a little bit of time to watch the series? You'll see that they hold the music in high regard.
     
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  24. steelydanguy

    steelydanguy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arlington, VA, USA
    Yes, the Dara Sedaka album sometimes is included on lists of quintessential late 1970s/early 1980s West Coast LPs.

    The fact that the LP was only released in Japan is interesting. But according to a David Foster fan website -- www.fozfan.com -- he did production and session work for some LPs that were only released in Japan, including for some records by Japanese artists. I guess that's not a big surprise considering that Japan loves the "West Coast" sound and its record companies do a better job of reissuing this kind of music than their U.S. counterparts!

     
  25. LeftCoastGator

    LeftCoastGator Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    94501
    Love me some Numero Group, and I was really excited to hear that when it came out, but I was a bit underwhelmed with the end product. A lot of very well-known "obscure" tracks and a lot of tracks that were really a stretch as far as yacht is concerned.

    That said, there were a few obscure tracks that were gold. The real gem of that album, IMHO, was "Islands" from the usually-not-very-yacht Danny O' Keefe. Not a stereotypical yacht track, but definitely one of my favorites—it's on my "top 50" playlist:

     

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