NOW That’s What I Call Yacht Rock
CUSTOM MARKETING GROUP
I think the perfect thing to sum up “YACHT ROCK” is that a good four years after people stopped giving a fuck about the name (and for the fairweather sailors much of the music too) there’s a compilation on the market called NOW That’s What I Call Yacht Rock riffing on/sitting adjacent to the popular “NOW” pop music collections that document the hits of any year. (They number in the hundreds now, by the way…)
Yacht Rock seemed a way of moving things from the guilty-pleasure pile into the irony pile. Or something.
But a lot of the music is stuff I’ve always enjoyed, so dumb name or not I was down with it. For the most part. And also, any music that I like on any level is instantly music where I imagine myself drunk on a motherfucking boat! So that’s also fine enough for me.
This album kicks off in about as fine of a way as it could with Feels So Good by Chuck Mangione. I’m in. Loving it.
So much so that I’ll gladly accept Toto’s Africa. And Kenny Loggins’ This Is It. Though I would have preferred for Loggins, one of the co-captains of any musical yacht, to have been represented by his great co-write What A Fool Believes (and preferably the Doobies’ definitive take, not the inferior Loggins original). But his song here is also fine enough.
Cool Change by Little River Band is simply not okay.
And Peter Frampton’s live version of Baby I Love Your Way seems a stretch too. And I say that as a fan of the song and a fan of Frampton. But he was poodle-haired guitar-wank rock. He is classic rock radio. He ain’t yacht rock.
Better things are chosen though – Baby Come Back by Player, Escape (aka The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes, Couldn’t Get It Right by Climax Blues Band (you might remember the Fun Lovin’ Criminals cover too) and How Long by ACE. These are all gold-standard/standard-issue.
Point too for Crazy Love by Poco but not sure it’s a shining example. And this boat trip crashes down hard toward the end with I’m Not In Love (10cc) and an appalling closing choice in Longer by Dan Fogelberg. I don’t wish this was longer, just better.
And I say all of that and I’ll probably play this over the summer holiday, getting drunk every weekend at the BBQ.
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