Yacht Rock: a BBC Radio 2 Special presented by Katie Puckrik

The AOR revival continues here in the UK with a two-hour BBC Radio 2 special which was aired last Friday night. Presented by Katie Puckrik the show calls yacht rock the "luxury pop-soul soundtrack to your imaginary millionaire lifestyle". Puckrik is a witty and clued-up host who does a great job of explaining this music to beginners - the "sonic sophistication" of the production, the "ennui deluxe" of the ballads, the inherent decadence of the genre - and the playlist has a number of surprises too. 

Alongside some obvious but essential tracks by the likes of The Doobie Brothers, Boz Scaggs and Toto the new discoveries for us include The Duckworth Lewis Method, Rilo Kiley and an excellent Feist cover version of The Bee Gees' Inside and Out. Plus there are some lesser known 1970s classics by acts such as Sanford Townsend Band and Dave Mason. 

The absence of yacht rock colossus Kenny Loggins from the playlist, however, is bizarre - as is the inclusion of Rio by Duran Duran. Puckrik says she gives this song a "a pass into the Yacht Rock Hall of Hame" but we'd turn it away at the harbour. Rio surely owes more to New Wave than it does to Westcoast and as for Duran Duran it takes much more than posing on a yacht in a music video to join the ranks of the truly smooth (as the keyboardist Nick Rhodes found out when he was seasick during the filming). 

Let's not quibble though. This show is another step forward in the "rehabbing of yacht rock", as Puckrik puts its, and it clearly deserves a regular slot in the Radio 2 schedule. 

1) Peg - Steely Dan
2) Moonlight Feels Right - Starbuck
3) Jessie - Zoot Woman
4) The Hissing of Summer Lawns - Joni Mitchell
5)What a Fool Believes - The Doobie Brothers
6) Can We Still Be Friends - Todd Rundgren
7) Inside and Out - Feist
8) Every Kind of People - Robert Palmer
9) The Boom Boom Bap - Scritti Politti
10) Just a Song Before I Go - Crosby, Stills and Nash
11) Lowdown - Boz Scaggs
12) Georgy Porgy - Toto
13) You Belong To Me - Carly Simon
14) When The Morning Comes - Hall and Oates
15) Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty
16) Out In The Middle - The Duckworth Lewis Method
17) Smoke from a Distant Fire - Sanford and Townsend
18) Is It Love That We're Missing? - Quincy Jones and the Brothers Johnson
19) We Just Disagree - Dave Mason
20) Fly Like an Eagle - Steve Miller Band
21) Castles In The Sand - Seals and Crofts
22) Rio - Duran Duran
23) Dreamworld - Rilo Kiley
24) Sail On Sailor - The Beach Boys
25) Don'tcha - The Internet
26) Sailing - Christopher Cross

 Listen in the UK until 3rd of January 


Katie Puckrik said…
Ah! Thanks so much for the collegial support from a fellow mellow-head, much appreciated. And I'm excited to find out about your blog and show - we are clearly on the same smooth journey. I have no real defence to your Rio quibble, other than it was a request from a nostalgic youngster in the studio who couldn't make the distinction between Duran Duran's style (trés yacht) and sound (so not yacht). But I'd argue that the lyrics and saxophone lend a yacht nuance. I Yacht Rock has a future, and if so, Kenny Loggins will be amply represented!
Thanks Katie. Let's never speak of Duran Duran again (although you're right - they do win a few points with the yacht rock clothes and saxophone). And glad to hear there'll be some Loggins next time. Congrats on a great show - and good luck with the series!
Anonymous said…
I really like this compilation.
Unfortunately it wasn't available on BBC anymore so I reassambled a Spotify Playlist with all the tracks:
Enjoy, disco

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