Yes, I’ve landed on a new theme: YACHT ROCK. I did a playlist’s worth of songs yesterday that are typically considered representative of that genre, and there was some confusion as to what actually comprises it. So, what did I do? Consult The Blogger’s Best Friend ™. Here’s what it told me:
Yacht rock (originally known as the West Coast sound or adult-oriented rock) is a broad music style and aesthetic identified with soft rock. It was one of the commercially successful genres of its era, existing between the mid-1970s and early 1980s. Drawing on sources such as smooth soul, smooth jazz, R&B, funk, and disco, common stylistic traits include high-quality production, clean vocals, and a focus on light, catchy melodies. Its name, coined in 2005 by the makers of the online video series Yacht Rock, was derived from its association with the popular Southern Californian leisure activity of sailing.
Yacht Rock is a genre on both Spotify and Pandora, and there’s a channel called Yacht Rock on Sirius/XM radio that plays during the summer months.
The first artist I’d like to cover is Christopher Cross. Christopher had incredible success when he released his eponymous 1979 album, which contained his first #1 song, “Sailing.” It won him five Grammy awards in 1980 (Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Best New Artist, and Best Arrangement ). The album went 5x Platinum in the US and Platinum in the UK. Here is “Sailing.”
Christopher wrote (with Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, and Peter Allen) and performed “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” for the 1981 film Arthur starring Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, and Sir John Gielgud. It reached #1 on the Hot 100 and the AC chart that year.
Christopher’s second album, 1983’s Another Page, produced three more singles, “All Right” (#3 AC), “No Time For Talk” (#10 aC), and “Think of Laura” (#1 AC). Here’s “Think of Laura.”
Cross’s luck took a turn for the worse thanks to MTV. His music didn’t fit the style of the network and in general was going out of vogue. He has continued to release albums (his most recent being 2017’s Take Me As I Am) and to do concerts, often as an opening act. Last month, he told his Facebook followers that he had contracted the Covid-19 virus but that he was healing well from it.
Christopher Cross, your Two for Tuesday, May 5, 2020.