NOW That’s What I Call Yacht Rock Volume 2
As with the first volume this is more a compilation of acceptable cheese than it is ‘Yacht Rock’. Yacht Rock’s dead anyway, it sunk – but not without traces. The wind changed. Maybe as soon as people started making compilations with the words ‘Yacht Rock’ in them.
That said, volume two does set sail in exactly the right way, pairing one of the kings of the alleged genre (Kenny Loggins) with one of the queens of cocaine (Stevie Nicks) for Whenever I Call You “Friend”. Then it’s to Michael McDonald and his peerless I Keep Forgetting (Every Time You’re Near). Magic.
After that winning one-two combo we get Baker Street.
Actually, no don’t.
But that’s where the winds of change affect the course and we get Chicago’s If You Leave Me Now which isn’t really yacht rock, and certainly isn’t rock – and exposes the problem here with this series…sneaking in cheesy nonsense under the guise of irony or coolness or cool irony or ironic coolness or whatever the fuck is the point behind labelling a bunch of 70s and 80s song we presume were studio-cooked with cocaine all under one genre-name.
To that end we get The Little River Bend’s Reminiscing. It’s a better choice than Cool Change from the first volume though.
That’s where NOW Yacht Rock 2 stays – correct-seeming band names (Toto) and fairly uninspired or incorrect choices (I’ll Be Over You) or things that really don’t fit but sound Guilty Pleasure enough (Gordon Lightfoot’s Sundown).
And then every now and then we get a radio staple that sure works when surrounded with its buddies – Seals and Crofts’ Summer Breeze, or more so Elvin Bishop’s Fooled Around And Fell In Love.
Monster power ballads Keep On Loving You by REO Speedwagon, All Out Of Love by Air Supply and All By Myself by Eric Carmen are all – frankly – incorrect. But I enjoyed hearing them in that order all in a row.
Better selections for the cause are buried deep, Atlanta Rhythm Section’s So Into You and Walter Egan’s Magnet and Steel are great.
But Santana’s Hold On and Captain & Tennille’s Love Will Keep Us Together are not. In fact the image of the Captain and Tennille is bugging enough, placing this compilation with the boomers that ditched this stuff long ago rather than with the Gen X, Y and Millennials that gave a lot of it the second run it possibly deserved.
Look, this all plays through brilliantly as a ‘whine and cheese’-styled comp. And I have no idea why I seem to think so much of it is not yacht rock when Yacht Rock is arguably dead and gone and was never real anyway. Why do I care? I don’t know but I’ve busted myself. I do. I really do. And I’m going to keep on loving this…