Yacht rock (earlier known as the West Coast Sound or adult-oriented rock) is a strain of soft rock music that peaked in popularity between the 1970s and 1980s. becoming one of the biggest genres of its era. It is closely associated with high-quality production, clean vocals, and a focus on big-hearted melodies. The term was coined in 2005 with the online video series Yacht Rock, created by J.D. Ryznar. "Yacht rock" was initially used as a pejorative, but its stigma has lessened in later years.
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. According to IGN's Spence D. and Brian Linder, the song "fits the whole concept of Yacht Rock to a 'T.'"
Some of the most popular yacht rock acts included Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Steely Dan and Toto. 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. 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.[not in citation given]
List of artists
- Hinkes-Jones, Llewellyn (15 July 2010). "Downtempo Pop: When Good Music Gets a Bad Name". The Atlantic.
- Cross, Christopher (February 22, 2014). "Hall & Oates Are Genuine Rock Stars in My Book". Huffington Post.
- Bray, Elisa (June 5, 2014). "From Haim to Chromeo: The new wave of Yacht-rockers". Independent.
- 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
- Kamp, Jon (October 11, 2015). "Can You Sail to It? Then It Must Be 'Yacht Rock'". The Wall Street Journal.
- Crumsho, Michael (2006-01-09). "Finally, a name for that music: "Yacht Rock"". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-07-29.
- Toal, Drew (June 26, 2015). "Sail Away: The Oral History of 'Yacht Rock'". Rolling Stone.
- Spence D.; Brian Linder (2006-05-30). "Top 10 Yacht Rock Songs Of All Time". IGN. Retrieved 2006-10-09.
- Matos, Michaelangelo (2005-12-07). "Talk Talk: J.D. Ryznar". Seattle Weekly. Archived from the original on 2006-04-14. Retrieved 2006-10-09.
- "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.
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