Shimmering guitars, breezy horns, smooth keyboards, and crisp vocals on well-crafted songs with catchy choruses: all of those qualities might have once described “soft rock” or “adult-oriented rock,” but more recently the genre has experienced a resurgence as “yacht rock.” Though the term was originally intended in a pejorative way, it’s come to be accepted by many of the progenitors of the genre including Michael McDonald and John Oates. There’s an entire book on the yacht rock phenomenon, a touring group known as The Yacht Rock Revue, and a popular yearly SiriusXM radio station that sets sail every summer. Now, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group are getting into the act with a new volume of their jointly-produced, long-running series. NOW That’s What I Call Yacht Rock features 18 of the most popular songs associated with yacht rock. It’s due on August 2, the same date as NOW That’s What I Call Music! 71.
NOW That’s What I Call Yacht Rock is packed with classic, melodic delights from artists steeped in pop, rock, R&B, and jazz (not to mention country and the blues) – reflecting the diversity of the so-called yacht rock genre. Alongside Kenny Loggins’ anthem “This Is It” (co-written by, and featuring, Michael McDonald), the set includes radio staples from bands (Toto’s “Africa,” Looking Glass’ “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl),” Climax Blues Band’s “Couldn’t Get It Right,” Little River Band’s “Cool Change”) and singer-songwriters (Dave Mason’s “We Just Disagree,” Dan Fogelberg’s “Longer,” Rupert Holmes’ “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”) alike. Never mind that many of these songs and artists don’t fit into one simple box or even style, and most of the tracks are quite sophisticated in composition and production; 10cc’s “I’m Not in Love” is a masterpiece of studio wizardry while Holmes’ “Escape” is a witty, urbane story song. What these 18 songs have in common is their ability to transport listeners, decades later, to a time when melody reigned supreme in popular music.
NOW That’s What I Call Yacht Rock hits stores on CD, LP, and digital platforms on August 2. You can pre-order and peruse the track listing below.
- Feels So Good – Chuck Mangione
- Africa – Toto
- This Is It – Kenny Loggins
- Cool Change – Little River Band
- Baby I Love Your Way (Live) – Peter Frampton
- Baby Come Back – Player
- Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) – Looking Glass
- Escape (The Piña Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes
- What You Won’t Do for Love – Bobby Caldwell
- Couldn’t Get It Right – Climax Blues Band
- How Long – Ace
- I Just Wanna Stop – Gino Vannelli
- We Just Disagree – Dave Mason
- Crazy Love – Poco
- Jackie Blue – The Ozark Mountain Daredevils
- Love Will Find a Way – Pablo Cruise
- I’m Not in Love – 10cc
- Longer – Dan Fogelberg