Named well after the historic moment had passed -- and thus subject to some pop revisionism -- Yacht Rock is less a musical genre than a feeling. A smooth, sexy feeling. A feeling like: "Hot damn, I should grab my girl, throw a party aboard some sort of sea-going vessel, then end the evening with sweet love-making to the sound of pounding surf and/or Michael McDonald."
If you have such feelings -- and you should -- this is your soundtrack.
Christopher Cross "Sailing"
Asexual, yet captures the yacht ethos just about perfectly. Good lead-in.
Kenny Loggins "I'm All Right"
Conveys a sense of independence that yacht rockers crave.
Steely Dan "Peg"
Asks: "How much saxophone is too much?" Answers: "None."
Manfred Mann's Earth Band "Blinded by the Light"
This Springsteen song was just about the opposite of yacht until Mann got his hands on it, drowning the music industry critique in synths.
Obvious pick, but there's nothing more yacht than sightseeing and romance in tropical and/or economically depressed nations and/or continents
Jethro Tull "Bungle in the Jungle"
An "Africa" substitute. And, perhaps, the precedent for Edward Said's thesis in Orientalism.
Doobie Brothers "What a Fool Believes"
Penned by Loggins and McDonald at their lady-landing best.
Looking Glass "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)"
A little too blue-collar to be true yacht rock (frat band, sure, but from Rutgers ... ew). Include this if your girl has a populist streak.
Michael McDonald "I Keep Forgetting"
A breakup song that's so sexy, if played at the right moment, it'll make your girl want never to break up.
*AVOID: Kenny Loggins "House at Pooh Corner"
Has the pedigree, but it's about children and childhood and whatnot. Wrong vibe for our (sexy, smooth) purposes.
Hear it live, when Kenny Loggins plays Northern Quest Casino on Friday, May 9, at 8:30 pm. $50-$60. Visit ticketswest.com or call 325-SEAT.