Yacht rock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the online video series, see Yacht Rock.
"West Coast Sound" redirects here. For the similar West Coast pop/rock aesthetic, see California Sound.

Yacht rock (earlier known as the West Coast Sound[2] or adult-oriented rock[3]) is a strain of soft rock music[4] that peaked in popularity between the 1970s and 1980s.[3] becoming one of the biggest genres of its era.[5] It is closely associated with high-quality production, clean vocals, and a focus on big-hearted melodies.[3] The term was coined in 2005 with the online video series Yacht Rock, created by J.D. Ryznar.[6][7] "Yacht rock" was initially used as a pejorative, but its stigma has lessened in later years.[3]


In part, "yacht rock" relates to the stereotype of the yuppie yacht owner, enjoying smooth music while out for a sail. Additionally, since sailing was a popular leisure activity in Southern California, many "yacht rockers" made nautical references in their lyrics, videos, and album artwork, particularly the anthemic track "Sailing" by Christopher Cross.[5] According to IGN's Spence D. and Brian Linder, the song "fits the whole concept of Yacht Rock to a 'T.'"[8]

Some of the most popular yacht rock acts included Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Steely Dan and Toto.[5] Ryznar commented that the term was intended to refer to the "more elite studio artists" of the period, such as Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins.[9] David B. Lyons, who co-produced Yacht Rock and played Koko Goldstein, noted that a friend of his devised the term "marina rock" in college to refer to a more "working-class" group of artists that didn't achieve the same high profile, such as Seals and Crofts, Bertie Higgins, Rupert Holmes, and Looking Glass.[10][not in citation given]

List of artists[edit]


  1. ^ Hinkes-Jones, Llewellyn (15 July 2010). "Downtempo Pop: When Good Music Gets a Bad Name". The Atlantic. 
  2. ^ Cross, Christopher (February 22, 2014). "Hall & Oates Are Genuine Rock Stars in My Book". Huffington Post. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bray, Elisa (June 5, 2014). "From Haim to Chromeo: The new wave of Yacht-rockers". Independent. 
  4. ^ Berlind, William (2006-08-27). "Yacht Rock Docks in New York". The New York Observer. Archived from the original on 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2008-07-29. "yacht rock" is now a legitimate subgenre of music criticism 
  5. ^ a b c Kamp, Jon (October 11, 2015). "Can You Sail to It? Then It Must Be 'Yacht Rock'". The Wall Street Journal. 
  6. ^ Crumsho, Michael (2006-01-09). "Finally, a name for that music: "Yacht Rock"". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  7. ^ a b Toal, Drew (June 26, 2015). "Sail Away: The Oral History of 'Yacht Rock'". Rolling Stone. 
  8. ^ Spence D.; Brian Linder (2006-05-30). "Top 10 Yacht Rock Songs Of All Time". IGN. Retrieved 2006-10-09. 
  9. ^ Matos, Michaelangelo (2005-12-07). "Talk Talk: J.D. Ryznar". Seattle Weekly. Archived from the original on 2006-04-14. Retrieved 2006-10-09. 
  10. ^ "GuyCharisma" [David Lyons] (2005-12-04). "yacht rock #5". Channel 101 Public Forum. Channel 101. Archived from the original on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2006-10-09.