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Yacht Rock!!!!!


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#21 BSLZackKiesel

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:48 AM

Christoper Cross is a bit of an oddity in the Yacht Rock community. He doesn't have the backgrounds that typical Yacht Rockers have as studio musicians. He began his musical career in Texas, and became an immediate solo success with his first album. He did connect with a lot of the typical personnel, most notably Michael McDonald. McDonald sang background vocals on 2 of the songs on his first album, most famously on "Ride Like the Wind". He did so again on Cross' second album, on "All Right" and the song below, "No Time for Talk".

 

Both of Cross' first two albums were produced by Yacht Rock monster Michael Omartian, who also played keyboards and percussion. "No Time for Talk" features personnel like Steve Gadd on drums, Paulinho de Costa and Lenny Castro on percussion, and Abe Laboriel on bass. While Cross doesn't have the typical backstory of other Yacht Rockers, his sound is definitively Yacht.

 

"Ride Like the Wind", "Sailing", "All Right", "Arthur's Theme", "Never Be the Same", and "Say You'll Be Mine" are his best, along with this one: "No Time for Talk".

 


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#22 BSLZackKiesel

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:45 AM

Toto is the best band to ever take part in the Yacht Rock scene. Featuring some of the best studio musicians to grace American recording studios, they wrote and performed some of the smoothest music ever recorded. David Paich, Steve Lukather, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Porcarco, and Bobby Kimball made up Toto. Before forming their own group, each of them made their marks in the studio with some of the smoothest musicians of the day. Paich, Jeff Porcaro, and Lukather worked with Boz Scaggs, with Porcaro also working with Steely Dan. Interestingly enough, in 1982, the band was heavily involved in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album, with Steve Porcaro co-writing the hit song "Human Nature" (making that one of Jackson's few Yacht Rock songs). He's the one responsible for the legendary synthesizer intro.

 

They had immediate success with songs like "Hold the Line", "I'll Supply the Love", and "Georgy Porgy". Their second album, "Hydra", featured "99", one of my favorite Toto songs. In 1982, "Toto IV" was released, featuring their biggest hits, "Africa" and "Rosanna", as well as "I Won't Hold You Back".

 

"I'll Be Over You" is one of the smoothest songs ever to be released onto American airwaves, and it was released by Toto in 1986. Lukather co-wrote the song with Yacht Rocker Randy Goodrum, and he also sang lead vocals. But what makes the song so smooth is the presence of Michael McDonald on backing vocals. He is the best backing vocalist in music history, and this song is one of his best performances. Also on this song are legendary Yacht Rock percussionists Lenny Castro and Paulinho de Costa.

 


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#23 BSLZackKiesel

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 07:26 AM

I've been looking for an Elton John Yacht Rock song for a long time now, and I think I've finally found it. "White Lady White Powder" comes from Elton's 21 at 33 album that he released in 1980, smack dab in the middle of the Yacht Rock era. No surprise that he did a song about cocaine, but this was around the time that Elton was experimenting with other sounds and moving further away from his traditional backing band. Davey Johnstone didn't play at all on this album, and this song was one of just two that Nigel Olsson played. As always, this song was co-written by John and Bernie Taupin.

There is some very nice Yacht Rock personnel on this song. Lenny Castro is on congas, and he started his career with Boz Scaggs, then moving on to Toto and also playing with Steely Dan, Christopher Cross, David Sanborn, and Kenny Loggins, along with many, many others. Victor Feldman is on tambourine, and he's worked with The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs, and Gino Vannelli, along with many others. Richie Zito is on guitar. While he isn't a big Yacht Rocker, he has played with Eric Carmen and Diana Ross.

To me, this song sounds exactly like a Doobie Brothers song, especially in the chorus. Interestingly enough, the Eagles (Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Timothy B. Schmit) sang background vocals. But can't you imagine Michael McDonald singing the response in the chorus? It sounds like it was written for him.
 


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