Yacht Rock: The mere mention of the name brings to mind either mellow vibes of the 70’s and 80’s or the urge to violently empty the contents of your stomach. Not so much a genre as it is a playlist, the term was actually coined for J.D. Ryznar’s web series “Yacht Rock” (see what they did there?).
Having basically come of age during the era that Yacht Rock was birthed, I have some unique insight to this music. For a 16-year-old living in southern California, hell-bent on muscle cars and the pursuit of boobs, Yacht Rock was simply known as pop music – the stuff they played on The Mighty 690 AM station, mega-beamed from a zillion-watt blow torch in Tijuana. It was the stuff you had to listen to when your 8-track player was on the fritz.
Today, it feels like Yacht Rock is the Playlist For Remembering When The World Wasn’t Coming to An End – a way to harken back to easy going, easy listening times. A time when you could abandon your family and responsibilities and take off to Mexico (“Ride Like The Wind,” Christopher Cross), or when you and your girlfriend could cheat on each other and then laugh it off when you realize you’re cheating with each other (“The Pina Colada Song,” Rupert Holmes).
Ok, so maybe it wasn’t all light and frothy, but it sure feels like it today, and maybe that’s the point. Either way, on a special episode of the podcast, we take a deep dive off the boat to explore the Top Four Yacht Rock Songs of All Time (including the Babylonian era, which featured songs by The Little Nile River Band. Sorry. I’m tired and hopped-up on Bartles & Jaymes Wine Coolers).
Joining me on the podcast is my brother, Steve Taylor. As a lifelong musician and – I shit you not – a commercially licensed 3rd mate, Steve has a unique perspective on Yacht Rock. So unique, that our conversation veered off into weird places, so I decided to drop a Bonus Episode, just in case listening to two cis-white, middle-aged men talk about the pros and cons of The Alan Parsons Project is reeeeaaallly your thing.