A Guide to Yacht Rock Music: What Is It and Why It’s Timeless 2023

Step aboard the melodic journey of a captivating musical phenomenon that has been sweeping listeners off their feet, leaving them yearning for more. What is Yacht rock music? This genre, with its intriguing name, has been cruising through the waves of time, inviting us to explore a sound that embodies elegance, smoothness, and sophistication.

Yacht rock is a genre of music that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United States. It refers to a style of soft rock, adult contemporary, and pop music that is characterized by its smooth, mellow, and polished sound.

The term “yacht rock” was coined in the 2000s and gained popularity through online discussions and comedic web videos.

The name “yacht rock” is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as it humorously suggests that the music is best enjoyed while cruising on a luxurious yacht or sailing the high seas. The genre is often associated with the laid-back and affluent lifestyle of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

What is yacht rock?

What is Yacht rock music?

Yacht rock is a distinct music style and aesthetic that gained popularity during the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, commonly associated with soft rock, which was one of the most commercially successful genres of that time. It draws influences from various sources, including smooth soul, smooth jazz, R&B, and disco.

The genre’s hallmark traits include high-quality production, clean vocals, and an emphasis on light, catchy melodies.

Interestingly, the term “yacht rock” was coined in 2005 by the creators of the online video series “Yacht Rock,” and it is linked to the leisure activity of sailing in Southern California, adding a touch of coastal lifestyle to its allure.

Among the notable yacht rock artists are Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, Hall & Oates, Toto, Michael McDonald, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and Rupert Holmes.

Over the years, yacht rock has experienced a resurgence in popularity, partly due to the online video series and its inclusion in the soundtrack of the film “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” As a result, the genre has found a new audience appreciating its smooth and easy-listening qualities.

The defining characteristics of yacht rock include its smooth and polished production, soulful and clean vocals, catchy melodies, and light, jazzy rhythms.

Furthermore, yacht rock often incorporates nautical references in its lyrics, music videos, or album artwork, further reinforcing its association with sailing and the coastal lifestyle.

It’s essential to distinguish yacht rock from other soft rock genres of the same era, such as adult contemporary or soft pop. While sharing some similarities, yacht rock tends to be more upbeat and danceable, with a stronger jazz influence permeating its sound.

If you’re looking for soothing and relaxing music, yacht rock is an excellent choice to unwind and enjoy a touch of coastal nostalgia.

When did yacht rock become popular?

Yacht rock is a genre of soft rock music that emerged in the late 1970s and gained popularity during the 1980s. The term “yacht rock” itself was coined much later, in the mid-2000s, when it was used to describe the smooth and polished sound of certain soft rock and adult contemporary songs from that era.

The yacht rock genre features songs with smooth melodies, intricate harmonies, and often incorporates elements of jazz, R&B, and funk. It is associated with a laid-back, luxurious lifestyle, evoking images of sailing on a yacht or relaxing by the beach.

While the term “yacht rock” was not used during its initial popularity in the late ’70s and ’80s, the genre’s characteristic sound was already present in the music of artists like Steely Dan, Hall & Oates, Toto, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross, and others.

As the genre’s popularity continued to grow, and with the rise of internet culture and online music communities in the 2000s, the term “yacht rock” was retroactively applied to this style of music, leading to a resurgence of interest in the genre and its classic hits.

Today, yacht rock has a dedicated fan base and continues to be celebrated for its smooth and nostalgic appeal.

Who are some popular yacht rock artists?

Yacht rock is characterized by its smooth and mellow sound, and there are several popular artists associated with this genre. Here are some of the key yacht rock artists:

  1. Steely Dan: Known for their jazz-influenced soft rock sound, Steely Dan is often considered one of the pioneers of yacht rock. Songs like “Do It Again,” “Peg,” and “Deacon Blues” are classic examples of their style.
  2. Hall & Oates: This duo achieved great success with their soulful pop and rock hits. Tracks like “Rich Girl,” “Sara Smile,” and “Maneater” are frequently associated with the yacht rock sound.
  3. Toto: Famous for their polished production and intricate musicianship, Toto’s hits “Africa” and “Rosanna” are prime examples of yacht rock favorites.
  4. Michael McDonald: With his distinctive and soulful voice, Michael McDonald is a quintessential yacht rock artist. Songs like “What a Fool Believes” and “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)” are among his most well-known tracks.
  5. Christopher Cross: Cross had a huge hit with his song “Sailing,” which embodies the yacht rock vibe perfectly. His self-titled debut album won several Grammy Awards in 1981.
  6. Kenny Loggins: Known for his smooth and melodic tunes, Kenny Loggins contributed to the yacht rock genre with songs like “This Is It” and “Footloose.”
  7. Ambrosia: This band created a blend of progressive rock and soft rock, producing hits like “Biggest Part of Me” and “How Much I Feel.”
  8. Rupert Holmes: Although best known for his hit “Escape (The Piña Colada Song),” Holmes also produced other yacht rock-style songs like “Him” and “Answering Machine.”
  9. Player: Their hit “Baby Come Back” is a staple of yacht rock playlists, featuring catchy hooks and smooth harmonies.
  10. Seals & Crofts: This duo produced hits like “Summer Breeze” and “Diamond Girl,” which fit perfectly into the yacht rock genre.

These are just a few of the many artists associated with yacht rock. The genre has a diverse range of performers, each contributing their own unique touch to the smooth and melodic sound that defines yacht rock.

What are the defining characteristics of yacht rock?

Yacht rock is a genre of soft rock music with specific defining characteristics that emerged during the late 1970s and continued into the 1980s. It is known for its smooth and polished sound, evoking a luxurious and laid-back vibe. Here are some of the defining characteristics of yacht rock:

  1. Smooth Melodies: Yacht rock songs feature smooth and melodic tunes, often driven by catchy hooks and memorable choruses. The melodies are easy on the ears and have a relaxed, soothing quality.
  2. Tight Harmonies: Yacht rock often incorporates intricate vocal harmonies, with smooth and precise blending of voices. The harmonies add depth and richness to the overall sound.
  3. Mellow Instrumentation: The instrumentation in yacht rock songs tends to be mellow and refined. Commonly used instruments include electric pianos, synthesizers, saxophones, smooth guitars, and sometimes brass sections.
  4. Jazz and R&B Influences: Yacht rock frequently incorporates elements of jazz and R&B, giving the music a sophisticated and soulful feel. This fusion of genres contributes to the genre’s unique sound.
  5. Lyrical Themes: The lyrics in yacht rock songs often revolve around romance, relationships, and a carefree lifestyle. Some songs may touch on themes of sailing, the ocean, or other leisurely activities.
  6. High Production Values: Yacht rock songs are meticulously produced, with a focus on achieving a clean and polished sound. The attention to detail in the production contributes to the genre’s overall smoothness.
  7. Association with Water and Boating: The term “yacht rock” itself suggests a connection with sailing and the ocean. Many songs in this genre have references to water, boating, or coastal living.
  8. Artists and Collaborations: Yacht rock artists often collaborate with one another, creating a network of musicians who contributed to the genre’s popularity. Certain producers, session musicians, and vocalists were frequent collaborators on many yacht rock hits.
  9. Late ’70s to Early ’80s Era: While yacht rock has seen resurgent popularity in later years, the genre’s classic period was during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Some classic yacht rock songs include “What a Fool Believes” by The Doobie Brothers, “Ride Like the Wind” by Christopher Cross, and “Sailing” by Christopher Cross.

However, it’s important to note that the term “yacht rock” was not used during the genre’s original popularity, but rather emerged later to describe this specific style of smooth soft rock.

What instruments are typically used in yacht rock?

What is Yacht rock music?

Yacht rock songs often feature a blend of instruments that contribute to the genre’s smooth and polished sound. While the specific instrumentation can vary from song to song and artist to artist, here are some of the instruments commonly used in yacht rock:

  1. Electric Piano (Rhodes or Wurlitzer): The electric piano, particularly the Fender Rhodes or Wurlitzer electric piano, is a staple of yacht rock. Its warm and mellow tone adds a smooth texture to the music.
  2. Synthesizers: Yacht rock frequently incorporates synthesizers, which were popular during the late ’70s and ’80s. Synths add lush layers of sound, providing a polished and atmospheric feel.
  3. Electric Guitar: Smooth, jazzy electric guitar lines often feature in yacht rock songs. The guitar work can range from understated and melodic solos to rhythmic chord progressions.
  4. Saxophone: Saxophone solos or sections are common in yacht rock. The saxophone adds a touch of sophistication and soulfulness to the music.
  5. Bass Guitar: The bass guitar in yacht rock is usually groovy and laid-back, providing a solid foundation for the melodies and harmonies.
  6. Drums: Yacht rock drums are typically played with a relaxed feel, focusing on smooth grooves rather than heavy rhythms. Often, a combination of acoustic and electronic drum sounds is used.
  7. Percussion: Subtle percussion elements, such as congas, shakers, and tambourines, can be found in yacht rock tracks, adding to the tropical or coastal vibe.
  8. Brass Section: Some yacht rock songs incorporate brass sections (e.g., trumpets, trombones, saxophones) to provide extra depth and flair to the arrangements.
  9. Keyboards and Organ: Besides the electric piano, other keyboard instruments like the Hammond organ are occasionally used to enrich the sound.
  10. Backing Vocals: Yacht rock songs often feature tight and harmonious backing vocals, creating a lush vocal arrangement that complements the lead singer’s voice.
  11. Strings: In certain yacht rock ballads or more orchestral arrangements, string sections may be included to add an elegant touch.

It’s worth noting that yacht rock’s smooth and mellow sound is also attributed to the skilled studio musicians and session players who contributed to many of these songs. These talented musicians, known as the “West Coast AOR” or “L.A. Studio” musicians, played a significant role in shaping the yacht rock genre’s distinctive musical landscape.

What is the typical tempo of yacht rock songs?

Yacht rock songs typically have a relaxed and laid-back tempo, contributing to their smooth and mellow sound. The genre is known for its easygoing and leisurely vibe, which often evokes images of sailing or lounging by the beach.

While there can be variations, the typical tempo range of yacht rock songs generally falls between 70 to 100 beats per minute (BPM).

Songs in the lower end of the tempo range, around 70 to 80 BPM, create a slow and steady groove that allows for smooth vocals, lush harmonies, and intricate instrumental arrangements. This tempo range is common in many classic yacht rock ballads and mid-tempo tunes.

In the upper end of the tempo range, around 90 to 100 BPM, you might find more upbeat yacht rock tracks that still maintain a relaxed feel but with a slightly more energetic rhythm. These songs often incorporate elements of funk and R&B, while still retaining the smoothness characteristic of yacht rock.

It’s important to note that not all yacht rock songs strictly adhere to this tempo range, and there can be exceptions. Yacht rock is more of a stylistic classification based on the overall sound and feel of the music, rather than a rigid set of musical parameters.

What is the typical lyrical content of yacht rock songs?

The lyrical content of yacht rock songs often revolves around themes that complement the genre’s smooth and luxurious sound. Many yacht rock lyrics focus on romantic relationships, love, and the carefree lifestyle associated with leisurely activities like sailing and coastal living.

Some common lyrical themes found in yacht rock songs include:

  1. Romance and Love: Yacht rock often features songs about love and relationships. These can range from heartfelt ballads to more upbeat and optimistic tunes celebrating the joys of romantic connections.
  2. Escapism and Leisure: The genre frequently explores themes of escape and leisure, with lyrics that evoke a sense of carefree relaxation and enjoying life’s pleasures. References to sailing, beaches, and tropical destinations are not uncommon.
  3. Nostalgia and Memories: Yacht rock songs sometimes tap into feelings of nostalgia and reminiscence, reflecting on the past and cherished memories.
  4. Longing and Reflection: Some yacht rock ballads delve into deeper emotions, exploring themes of longing, introspection, and self-discovery.
  5. Freedom and Adventure: Yacht rock lyrics often convey a sense of freedom and adventure, with imagery of open waters and the open road.
  6. Relationship Challenges: While many yacht rock songs have a positive and optimistic tone, some delve into the challenges and complexities of relationships.
  7. Positive Vibes: Yacht rock is generally known for its upbeat and positive vibes, promoting a relaxed and happy state of mind.
  8. Sophistication and Class: The lyrics often reflect a sense of sophistication and elegance, matching the polished and refined sound of the music.
  9. Sailing and Maritime References: Given the association of yacht rock with sailing and coastal living, lyrics may contain references to boats, sailing, the ocean, and maritime imagery.

It’s important to remember that yacht rock, like any genre, encompasses a diverse range of songs and lyrical themes. While the aforementioned themes are common in many yacht rock songs, there can be exceptions and variations depending on the individual artist’s style and creative expression.

What is the typical production style of yacht rock songs?

The production style of yacht rock songs is a key element that contributes to the genre’s smooth and polished sound. Yacht rock emerged during the late 1970s and continued into the early 1980s, coinciding with significant advancements in recording technology and studio techniques.

The typical production style of yacht rock songs includes the following characteristics:

  1. High-Quality Studio Production: Yacht rock songs are often meticulously produced with a focus on achieving a clean and professional sound. They were usually recorded in well-equipped studios using high-quality equipment.
  2. Smooth Instrumentation: The instrumental arrangements in yacht rock songs are characterized by smooth and mellow tones. Instruments like electric pianos (e.g., Fender Rhodes or Wurlitzer), synthesizers, saxophones, electric guitars, and smooth bass lines play a prominent role.
  3. Polished Vocal Production: Yacht rock is known for its strong vocal performances, both in lead vocals and harmonies. The lead vocals are usually smooth and soulful, with precise enunciation and a focus on clear delivery.
  4. Layered Harmonies: Yacht rock often incorporates intricate vocal harmonies, creating lush and sophisticated arrangements. These harmonies add depth and richness to the songs.
  5. Rich Chord Progressions: Yacht rock songs often feature sophisticated chord progressions, influenced by jazz and R&B, contributing to the genre’s musical sophistication.
  6. Clean and Balanced Mix: Yacht rock songs are mixed to achieve a balanced and coherent sound, with each instrument and vocal part occupying its own space in the mix.
  7. Use of Session Musicians: Many yacht rock songs feature highly skilled session musicians known as the “West Coast AOR” or “L.A. Studio” musicians. These professionals brought their expertise to numerous recordings, contributing to the genre’s consistent and top-notch production quality.
  8. Relaxed Grooves: The tempo of yacht rock songs tends to be relaxed, with smooth and groovy rhythms that add to the genre’s laid-back feel.
  9. Use of Studio Effects: Yacht rock songs may incorporate subtle studio effects like reverb, chorus, and delay to create a spacious and atmospheric sound.
  10. Attention to Detail: Yacht rock producers and engineers paid close attention to detail, ensuring that each element of the song contributed to the overall smoothness and sophistication.

What is the cultural significance of yacht rock?

What is Yacht rock music?

Yacht rock holds cultural significance as a genre that emerged during a specific period and captured the essence of a particular lifestyle and musical aesthetic. Its impact and cultural significance can be understood in several ways:

  1. Nostalgia and Revival: Yacht rock is nostalgic for many listeners who experienced its original popularity during the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the 2000s, the term “yacht rock” was coined to describe this style of music, leading to a revival of interest in classic soft rock and adult contemporary hits from that era. This revival brought the genre back into the spotlight and introduced it to younger generations.
  2. Cross-Generational Appeal: Yacht rock’s smooth and melodic sound resonates with a broad audience, appealing to both older listeners who experienced its original era and younger generations discovering it anew. The genre’s timeless quality has allowed it to transcend generational boundaries.
  3. Online Communities and Memes: The internet played a significant role in the resurgence of yacht rock’s popularity. Online communities and social media embraced the genre, leading to the creation of memes, parody videos, and fan-driven content, further elevating its cultural relevance.
  4. Smooth Music Aesthetic: Yacht rock’s emphasis on polished production, smooth melodies, and intricate harmonies has had a lasting impact on the music industry. Many contemporary artists draw inspiration from yacht rock’s musical sensibility, incorporating elements of the genre into their own music.
  5. Rediscovering Artists and Studio Musicians: The yacht rock revival brought attention to the talented studio musicians and session players who contributed to many of the genre’s hits. These musicians, often part of the “West Coast AOR” or “L.A. Studio” scene, gained newfound recognition and respect for their invaluable contributions to the music industry.
  6. Influence on Pop Culture: Yacht rock’s cultural significance is evident in its impact on pop culture. It has been featured in films, TV shows, commercials, and video games, further embedding its smooth and nostalgic sound into the collective consciousness.
  7. Themed Events and Yacht Rock Parties: The resurgence of yacht rock popularity has led to themed events, parties, and concerts dedicated to celebrating the genre. These gatherings offer a unique atmosphere and opportunity for fans to come together and enjoy the music in a fun and communal setting.
  8. Revisiting a Carefree Lifestyle: Yacht rock’s association with sailing, coastal living, and a carefree lifestyle resonates with listeners seeking an escape from the pressures of modern life. The genre provides a sonic escape, transporting listeners to a more relaxed and luxurious mental space.

Why has yacht rock experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years?

Yacht rock has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years due to several key factors:

  1. Nostalgia and Rediscovery: Yacht rock holds strong nostalgic appeal for those who lived through its original era in the late 1970s and early 1980s. As the years passed, listeners began rediscovering the genre, seeking to relive the music of their youth and to share it with younger generations.
  2. Online Culture and Memes: The internet and social media have played a significant role in the resurgence of yacht rock. Online communities and fan-driven content, including memes, parody videos, and playlists, have helped spread awareness of the genre and create a sense of shared nostalgia.
  3. Streaming Services and Playlists: The availability of music streaming services has made it easier for listeners to access yacht rock songs and discover new artists from the genre. Curated playlists on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have also helped introduce yacht rock to broader audiences.
  4. Sampling and Influences: Yacht rock’s smooth and melodic sound has become a source of inspiration for contemporary artists. Some popular modern songs sample yacht rock tracks or draw heavily from the genre’s musical elements, contributing to a renewed interest in the original genre.
  5. Pop Culture References: Yacht rock has been referenced and celebrated in various forms of pop culture, including movies, TV shows, commercials, and video games. These references have brought the genre to the attention of new audiences.
  6. Themed Events and Parties: Yacht rock-themed events, parties, and concerts have become popular, providing a fun and nostalgic experience for fans. These gatherings offer a unique atmosphere where people can enjoy the music together and celebrate the genre’s smooth and carefree vibes.
  7. Music Critics and Documentaries: Music critics and documentaries have highlighted the cultural significance and musical contributions of yacht rock. These works have provided context and analysis of the genre, sparking further interest and appreciation.
  8. Vintage Aesthetic: Yacht rock’s polished and luxurious sound aligns with the growing interest in vintage aesthetics and retro trends. The genre’s image of a laid-back and elegant lifestyle has resonated with a new generation seeking a break from fast-paced modernity.
  9. Yacht Rock Cover Bands and Tribute Acts: Yacht rock cover bands and tribute acts have emerged, performing classic hits in the genre. These live performances have added to the genre’s revival and created opportunities for fans to experience the music in a live setting.

Overall, yacht rock’s resurgence in popularity can be attributed to a combination of nostalgia, online culture, streaming accessibility, contemporary influences, and a broader interest in retro aesthetics.

Its smooth and timeless sound continues to captivate listeners, making yacht rock a beloved genre for both longtime fans and new enthusiasts alike.

What are some of the best yacht rock albums?

Yacht rock is known for its smooth and melodic tunes, and there are plenty of classic songs that exemplify the genre’s essence. Here are some of the best yacht rock songs that are beloved by fans:

  1. Christopher Cross – “Sailing”
  2. Toto – “Africa”
  3. Steely Dan – “Deacon Blues”
  4. Hall & Oates – “Rich Girl”
  5. Kenny Loggins – “This Is It”
  6. Michael McDonald – “What a Fool Believes”
  7. Ambrosia – “Biggest Part of Me”
  8. Player – “Baby Come Back”
  9. The Doobie Brothers – “Minute by Minute”
  10. Rupert Holmes – “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”
  11. Boz Scaggs – “Lowdown”
  12. Ace – “How Long”
  13. Gerry Rafferty – “Baker Street”
  14. Steely Dan – “Peg”
  15. Robbie Dupree – “Steal Away”
  16. Little River Band – “Reminiscing”
  17. Orleans – “Dance with Me”
  18. Exile – “Kiss You All Over”
  19. Stephen Bishop – “On and On”
  20. Al Stewart – “Year of the Cat”

This is just a selection of some of the most popular and iconic yacht rock songs. The genre offers a wide range of smooth and enjoyable tunes, and there are many more gems waiting to be discovered. Yacht rock’s timeless appeal continues to resonate with listeners, making it a beloved and nostalgic genre cherished by music enthusiasts of all ages.

What are some of the best yacht rock songs?

Yacht Rock is a genre of music that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, characterized by smooth, melodic, and often soft rock songs with a nautical or laid-back vibe. It gained popularity in the United States during the yacht-owning culture of that era.

Here are some of the best-known and influential yacht rock albums:

  1. “Aja” by Steely Dan (1977) – This album is considered a classic of the yacht rock genre, featuring hits like “Peg” and “Deacon Blues.”
  2. “The Nightfly” by Donald Fagen (1982) – Donald Fagen, one of the founders of Steely Dan, released this album as a solo project, and it captures the essence of yacht rock with tracks like “I.G.Y.” and “New Frontier.”
  3. “Silk Degrees” by Boz Scaggs (1976) – This album includes yacht rock favorites such as “Lowdown” and “Lido Shuffle.”
  4. “Toto IV” by Toto (1982) – Toto is synonymous with yacht rock, and this album features iconic tracks like “Africa” and “Rosanna.”
  5. “Christopher Cross” by Christopher Cross (1979) – This self-titled debut album won multiple Grammy Awards and includes yacht rock classics like “Sailing” and “Ride Like the Wind.”
  6. “Gaucho” by Steely Dan (1980) – Another notable album by Steely Dan, featuring tracks like “Hey Nineteen” and “Time Out of Mind.”
  7. “Hotel California” by Eagles (1976) – While the Eagles’ sound encompasses various styles, this album has some tracks that fit the yacht rock style, such as the title track “Hotel California.”
  8. “Little River Band” by Little River Band (1975) – This Australian band is known for its yacht rock hits like “Reminiscing” and “Lonesome Loser.”
  9. “Weekend in L.A.” by George Benson (1978) – This live album by the jazz guitarist includes smooth tracks like “On Broadway” and “The Greatest Love of All.”
  10. “Phoenix” by Dan Fogelberg (1979) – This album features the hit single “Longer” and other mellow, easy-listening tracks.

Yacht rock has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years, leading to the creation of new yacht rock-inspired music and the appreciation of these classic albums. Whether you’re a fan of the yacht lifestyle or simply enjoy smooth, relaxing music, these albums are worth a listen.

What is Yacht rock music?

Where can I listen to yacht rock music?

You can listen to yacht rock music on various platforms, including music streaming services, radio stations, and curated playlists. Here are some popular options to enjoy yacht rock:

  1. Music Streaming Services: Platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music have a vast collection of yacht rock songs and playlists. You can search for “yacht rock” or specific artists and songs to discover a wide range of tracks.
  2. Yacht Rock Radio: Some radio stations have dedicated channels or programs that focus on playing yacht rock music. You can listen to these stations online or through radio apps.
  3. Yacht Rock Playlists: Many users and music curators create yacht rock playlists on streaming services. Look for playlists with titles like “Yacht Rock Essentials” or “Smooth Sailing” for a collection of classic yacht rock hits.
  4. Yacht Rock Radio Stations: Some online radio platforms specialize in yacht rock music. These stations offer a continuous stream of yacht rock hits and related soft rock and adult contemporary tunes.
  5. Yacht Rock Concerts and Tribute Bands: Check local event listings for yacht rock-themed concerts, events, or tribute band performances in your area. These live performances can be a fun way to experience yacht rock music in a live setting.
  6. Yacht Rock YouTube Channels: YouTube has channels dedicated to yacht rock music, where you can find classic videos, live performances, and fan-created content related to the genre.
  7. Yacht Rock Podcasts: Some podcasts discuss the history, impact, and notable songs of the yacht rock genre. These podcasts can be an informative and enjoyable way to delve deeper into the world of yacht rock.

Remember that while “yacht rock” has become a recognizable term for this genre, some songs and artists may not be explicitly labeled as such. Nevertheless, searching for specific artists known for yacht rock or soft rock will likely lead you to a treasure trove of smooth and nostalgic tunes.

How can I learn more about yacht rock?

To learn more about yacht rock, you can explore a variety of resources and media that delve into the history, artists, and impact of the genre. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  1. Read Books and Articles: Look for books and articles that focus on the history of yacht rock, its key artists, and the cultural context of the genre. Several music history books cover the soft rock era and may include sections on yacht rock. Online music publications and blogs may also have insightful articles on the topic.
  2. Watch Documentaries: Search for documentaries or video features that specifically discuss yacht rock. Some documentaries explore the genre’s origins, its signature sound, and the musicians who contributed to its popularity.
  3. Listen to Podcasts: There are podcasts dedicated to discussing and celebrating yacht rock. These podcasts often feature in-depth discussions about iconic songs, artists, and the genre’s cultural impact.
  4. Explore Online Communities: Join online communities and forums where fans of yacht rock gather to share music, discuss their favorite artists, and exchange information about the genre.
  5. Follow Yacht Rock Playlists: Keep an eye on curated yacht rock playlists on music streaming platforms. These playlists are often created by enthusiasts or experts in the genre and can introduce you to classic hits and lesser-known gems.
  6. Attend Yacht Rock Events: If possible, attend yacht rock-themed events, concerts, or tribute band performances. These gatherings can offer a live experience and a chance to meet other yacht rock enthusiasts.
  7. Check Out Yacht Rock Radio Stations: Some radio stations, both online and traditional, specialize in playing yacht rock music. Tune in to these stations to immerse yourself in the genre’s smooth sounds.
  8. Explore Music Platforms: Use music streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music to discover yacht rock artists, albums, and related genres. You can explore individual artists and their discographies to gain a deeper understanding of the genre.
  9. Follow Social Media Pages: Follow social media pages dedicated to yacht rock to stay updated on the latest news, events, and interesting facts related to the genre.

What is your favorite yacht rock song?

My favorite yacht rock song is “Sailing” by Christopher Cross. It’s the perfect song for a lazy day on the water, with its smooth vocals, catchy melody, and laid-back vibe. I also love the lyrics, which are about finding peace and escape in the open sea.

Here are some other yacht rock songs that I love:

  • “What a Fool Believes” by The Doobie Brothers
  • “Rosanna” by Toto
  • “Lonely Boy” by Andrew Gold
  • “Summer Breeze” by Seals and Crofts
  • “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes
  • “Reminiscing” by Little River Band
  • “Africa” by Toto
  • “I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders

I could go on and on, but these are just a few of my favorites. If you’re looking for some smooth, relaxing music to listen to, I highly recommend checking out some yacht rock.

How can you tell if a song is yacht rock?

What is Yacht rock music?

There are a few key characteristics that can help you tell if a song is yacht rock. These include:

  • Smooth vocals: Yacht rock songs often feature smooth, soulful vocals that are easy to listen to.
  • Catchy melodies: Yacht rock songs typically have catchy melodies that are easy to sing along to.
  • Laid-back rhythms: Yacht rock songs have a laid-back, relaxed feel to them. They’re not too fast or too slow, and they’re perfect for listening to while you’re chilling out.
  • Jazz and R&B influences: Yacht rock songs often borrow from jazz and R&B, which gives them a sophisticated sound.
  • Use of electric piano: The Fender Rhodes electric piano is a common instrument in yacht rock songs. It’s a smooth, mellow instrument that helps to create the genre’s laid-back sound.
  • Lyrics about love, loss, and the good life: Yacht rock songs often deal with themes of love, loss, and the good life. They’re often about relationships, heartbreak, and finding happiness.

Of course, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to yacht rock. Some songs may not fit all of these criteria, but they can still be considered yacht rock if they have the overall feel of the genre.


What is Yacht rock music? Yacht rock is a genre of soft rock music that emerged during the late 1970s and continued into the early 1980s. Known for its smooth melodies, tight harmonies, and polished production, yacht rock evokes a laid-back and luxurious lifestyle associated with sailing and coastal living.

The genre’s signature sound features a blend of jazz, R&B, and pop influences, creating a sophisticated and timeless musical aesthetic.

Over the years, yacht rock has experienced a resurgence in popularity, capturing the hearts of both nostalgic listeners and new enthusiasts alike. Its smooth and melodic tunes continue to evoke feelings of relaxation, escapism, and romance, making it a cherished and enduring genre in the world of music.