Monday, March 1, 2021

First, There was Yacht Rock. Now Get Ready for Yacht Soul?!

*(Via Soul Tracks) – You’ve heard of Yacht Rock? Now there is “Yacht Soul

Visit just about any suburban boomer backyard summer party, and you’re likely to hear a healthy dose of “Yacht Rock.”

The seemingly pejorative term was popularized in a series of parody videos more than a decade ago, and has stuck as a descriptor of the smooth, California sound of the late 70s and early 80s from such artists as Christopher Cross, The Eagles and Michael McDonald.

And it is huge with its middle-aged, mostly Caucasian demographic. The Yacht Rock playlist on Spotify has nearly 700,000 followers, and Sirius Radio dedicates an entire station to it.

More recently, there has been much talk about a similar style of R&B music that peaked about the same time, now labeled as “Yacht Soul,” and it got me wondering: Is that really a thing? For me, it began when I was invited to the Yacht Soul Facebook Group, and heard about a dedicated radio show in the UK. Paul Clifford (who himself discovered the term from a Katie Puckrick documentary) created the Solar Radio Yacht Soul show, and he is passionate about the style of music that it represents:

Smooth, well-crafted, super-engineered with the sprinkling of perfect musicianship. It is where soul music from the late 70s and album oriented rock collided to create a perfect blend that has stood the test of time – thanks in large part to the meticulous songwriting and producing of the era.”

Clifford, with Richard Searing, compiled a massive Yacht Soul playlist, and he believes that the most representative songs are “Turn Your Love Around” by George Benson, “After The Love Is Gone” by Earth Wind & Fire, and “Why I Came To California” by Leon Ware.

Get the rest of this story at Soul Tracks.

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