Five For Friday: Stephen Bishop (Yacht Rock)

Do you remember the scene in National Lampoon’s Animal House with the guy sitting on the steps of the fraternity house, playing the guitar and singing to a bevy of young ladies, only to have Bluto (John Belushi) grab the guitar from him and smash it to pieces? The young man whose guitar is destroyed is today’s featured artist, Stephen Bishop. Stephen had considerable success on the Adult Contemporary chart in the late ’70’s and early ’80’s, both as a performer and as a songwriter who has written songs for Art Garfunkel, Eric Clapton (who considers Bishop one of his favorite singer-songwriters), Barbra Streisand, Patti Austin, Diane Schuur, and Yvonne Elliman, among others. According to his website, he’s still at it, and his most recent album is 2019’s We’ll Talk About It Later In The Car. His Linktree pages has links to all his social media

  1. “Save It For A Rainy Day”: Stephen’s first song to chart in the US (#22 Hot 100, #6 AC) and Canada (#20 RPM Hot Singles, #8 AC) featured Eric Claptoin on guitar and Chaka Khan on backing vocals. From his 1976 album Careless.
  2. “On And On”: Also from Careless, this is his most successful single (#11 US, #2 US AC, #6 Canada, #3 Canadian AC).
  3. “Everybody Needs Love”: From his 1978 release Bish, this finished out of the Top 20 on the main U and Canadian charts, but #5 on the US AC chart and #2 on the Canadian AC chart.
  4. “It Might Be You”: After releasing his third album, Red Cab To Manhattan, in 1980, his career hit a low point, but he stayed busy recording on other people’s albums and writing songs. In 1983, he was asked to record “It Might Be You,” written by Dave Grusin and Alan & Marilyn Bergman for the movie Tootsie starring Dustin Hoffman and Jessica Lange. It reached #1 on both the US and Canadian AC charts and was his last Top 40 single.
  5. “Unfaithfully Yours (One Love)”: Written for the 1984 movie of the same name which starred Dudley Moore and Nastassja Kinski, this song reached #4 on the AC chart in the US the same year.

Stephen Bishop, your Five For Friday, August 7, 2020.

Five For Friday: Eric Carmen (Yacht Rock)

Eric Carmen is a classically-trained pianist who taught himself to play guitar when he was 15. He played with a couple of bands in the Cleveland area before forming The Raspberries in the early ’70’s. When the band broke up in 1975, Eric embarked on a solo career, both as a performer and a songwriter. He wrote “Almost Paradise” for Mike Reno and Ann Wilson (from the movie Footloose) and “Hey Deanie” for Shawn Cassidy, and had several of his songs covered by other artists, including “I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips” by Louise Mandrell.

  1. “All By Myself”: Eric’s first hit, it was based on Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2 in C minor. He ended up having to share some of the profits with Rachnmaninoff’s family, because even though the piece was in public domain in the US it wasn’t in much of the rest of the world. It reached #2 on the Hot 100, kept out off the top spot by The Four Seasons’ “December 1963 (Oh What A Night)” (Cash Box and Record World both had it at #1), and #6 on the Adult Contemporary chart, #1 in Canada, and #12 in the UK in 1975-76. Both this and the next song were from his eponymous 1975 debut album.
  2. “Never Gonna Fall In Love Again”: Carmen based this on the third movement (adagio) of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony #2, who’s liusted as the co-writer. This reached #11 on the Hot 100, #9 on the Cash Box Top Singles chart, #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #1 on RPM‘s Top Canadian Singles and Adult Contemporary charts in 1976.
  3. “Change Of Heart”: Title track from his 1978 albnum. It reached #6 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the US and #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart in Canada.
  4. “I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips”: From Eric’s second eponymous 1984 album, after he moved from Arista Records to Geffen Records. He wrote this with Dean Pitchford. It reached #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the US and #17 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart in 1985.
  5. “Hungry Eyes”: From the 1987 soundtrack album for the film Dirty Dancing starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. Written by Franke Previte and John DeNicola, it reachned #4 on the Hot 100 and #6 in Canada. While not released in the UK, import sales brought it to #82 there.

Ericv Carmen, your Five for Friday, July 31, 2020.

Five For Friday: Toto (Yacht Rock)

Toto is roughly halfway through their 43rd trip around the sun, and while the band is currently on hiatus they’ve built a legacy of fourteen studio albums, a half dozen Grammys, and a Crystal Globe award for sales in excess of five million units outside the United States. Their website has their history and other fan information, including links to their Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channel.

  1. “Hold The Line”: Their first hit, from their eponymous 1978 debut album. It reached #5 in the US and Canada and earned a Platinum record for sales of 1 million in the US.
  2. “99”: Weritten as a tribute to George Luvcas’s film THX 1189, from their 1979 album Hydra. Only reached #26 in the US and #17 in Canada, but a personal favorite.
  3. “Rosanna”: From their 1982 album Toto IV, this reached #2 on the Hot 100, #4 in Canada, and #3 in The Netherlands and Switzerland. Cynthia Rhodes is the woman in the red dress, ostensibly playing Rosanna. David Paich, who wrote the song, said that Rosanna was based on several women he knew, despite rumors that it was about Rosanna Arquette, who was dating Steve Porcaro at the time.
  4. “Africa”: Possibly their biggest hit and their only #1 on the Hot 100, this was also from Toto IV.
  5. “I’ll Be Over You”: From 1986’s Fahrenheit, this reached #11 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Toto, your Five For Friday, July 24, 2020.

Five For Friday: Little River Band (Yacht Rock)

The Little River Band, from Melbourne, QLD, Australia, were most popular in my “just-married guy, working nights” days, so of course they hold a special place in my heart. Funny, though, until just a couple of years ago I thought the only song they did was “Reminiscing.” Guess I wasn’t paying attention when the announcers on the radio were announcing who did the last song. Or maybe the announcers weren’t so good about who did the last song…

LRB’s original lineup included Beeb Birtles on guitar and vocals, Graham Goble on guitar and vocals, Glenn Shorrock on vocals, Ric Formosa (and later Dave Briggs) on guitar and vocals, Roger McLachlan on bass, and Derek Pellici on drums. None of the original members are with the current lineup. Their biggest hits were recorded between 1977 and 1982, and are still being played tofday.

  1. Reminiscing (1978, #3)
  2. Lady (1979, #10)
  3. Lonesome Loser (1979, #6)
  4. Cool Change (1980, #10)
  5. The Night Owls (1981, #6)
  6. Take It Easy On Me (1982, #10)

Little River Band, your Five For Friday, July 17, 2020.

Five For Friday: Hall & Oates (Yacht Rock)

Welcome to the first installment of Five For Friday! One of the reasons I decided to move Two For Tuesday to Friday was that I sometimes had a difficult time holding myself to just two songs. In fact, I have six songs in today’s playlist, since these guys had six #1 singles over the years.

Daryl Hall and John Oates have been around since the early ’70’s, and their ascent to stardom coincided with the years that most of the music we call “yacht rock” was being made. Their music is a blend of pop, rock, dance, and R&B. They had sixteen hit singles during the period, six of which were certified Gold by RIAA, as were four of their studio albums. In addition, four of their albums were certified Platinum, and two reached Double Platinum status.

I debated whether to present each song individually, as I had with Two For Tuesday, or whether to present them as a playlst, sine five is generally getting into playlist territory. I chose the latter, but if you prefer the former, let me know. Anyway, here are H&O’s #1 hits.

  1. “Rich Girl”: Their first #1 was from their 1976 album Bigger Than Both Of Us and was released in 1977. It also reached #6 in Australia, #5 in Canada, and #15 in The Netherlands, and was certified Gold.
  2. “Kiss On My List”: It was four years until Hall and Oates had their second #1 hit. From their 1980 album Voices, It topped the Hot 100 in 1981, and also came in at #16 on the Adult Contemporary chart, #13 in Australia and #6 in Canada. It was certified gold in the US and Canada.
  3. “Private Eyes”: Title track from their 1981 album, the song also reached #6 in Canada and the Top 20 in Australia and New Zealand, picking up Gold records in the US and Canada.
  4. “Maneater”: From 1982’s H2O, this also reached #4 in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, #5 in Sweden, and #6 in the UK. It was certified Gold in the US and Canada and Silver in the UK.
  5. “Out Of Touch”: From 1984’s Big Bam Boom, this also reached #1 on the Dance chart and #4 in Canada, where it was certified Gold.
  6. “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”: Also from Private Eyes, this also reached #1 on the R&B and Dance charts, #2 in Canada, #5 in New Zealand, and #8 in the UK, certified Gold in the US and Canada and Silver in the UK.

And that’s Five For Friday for July 10, 2020.