THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; Yacht Rock

 |   |  1 min read

Love is a Mystery, by Robbie Dupree
THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; Yacht Rock

Yes, it's a genre and the very name tells you what you need to know. This is music from – and for – guys who consider white boat shoes, long shorts and a Hawaiian shirt appropriate evening wear, and sing about their “beautiful lady”.

It's mostly soft rock from the late Seventies and Eighties by people with neatly trimmed beards and the songs are excellent background music at cocktail hour around the pool. Or on the yacht.

Its perpetrators include people like Christopher Cross and Michael McDonald (solo out of the Doobie Brothers) at the low end and the great Boz Scaggs and Steely Dan at the top end. At least that is how it is broadly defined on Wikipedia although we'd rather not mention Boz and the Dan in this context.

Never having owned an England Dan and John Ford Coley album (never wanted to) we can't attest as to whether they are part of this Old Spice cabal, but we suspect they are.

This collection has albums by Bread (On the Waters) whose David Gates is a fine songwriter, Hall and Oates (Abandoned Luncheonette), Orleans (Let There Be Music), Chicago (16) and Robbie Dupree (his self-titled debut from '80 which included his rather cruisy hit Steal Away and backseat love of Hot Rod Hearts).

Much of this music has all the adhesion of Teflon, but that's the point of most of it. Tasteful but tasteless.

It is pleasant, well crafted mainstream pop calculated to give no offense but provide just enough attention-getting guitar passages to remind you that it is still playing as you check the spinnaker or look around for that fellow who was supposed to bring you that margarita four long minutes ago.

So why might we tell you about this when there is so much more gripping music out there?
Well, because the weather is on the turn and summer days – yacht, pool and beach days – aren't too far off.

JB_logoAnd if you can't stand the thought of equally vacuous barbecue reggae in the months ahead then this is actually quite a pleasing retro-sound for the longer warm evenings ahead.

It's also just $15 for this five-CD set at JB Hi-Fi stores here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   The Bargain Buy articles index

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: What happened to hippies?

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: What happened to hippies?

Indeed, just what did happen to hippies? Well, some stayed true to the code, others became yuppies, some argued computer technology was the new path to universal peace through better... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Patti Smith; Original Classic Album Series

THE BARGAIN BUY: Patti Smith; Original Classic Album Series

Although few have done it as successfully, or with such frequent inspiration, Patti Smith has had her followers, acolytes and copyists. Which makes it a little harder to come to her innovative... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Ayam Pongteh (Chicken and Potato Stew, Malaysian style)

Ayam Pongteh (Chicken and Potato Stew, Malaysian style)

In late 2007 I spent a couple of weeks travelling around Malaysia -- and notably went to Melaka, the food capital of the country where Baba Nyonya food is a local speciality. Baba Nyonya is the... > Read more

GUEST WRITER NICK SMITH gets blown away by Bach's little big one

GUEST WRITER NICK SMITH gets blown away by Bach's little big one

The history of music is the history of revolution. Sometimes the change is technological – the invention of the piano caused a massive upheaval in the way people wrote and played music... > Read more