Yacht Rock Favorites: Volume 6 Songbook

Sail away with the Yacht Rock Favorites: Volume 6 songbook featuring ten ultra-smooth soft rock hits from the 1970s and 80s like "Dreams," "Takin' It to the Streets," "All Out of Love," and "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)." These piano solo arrangements by Jennifer Eklund are appropriate for intermediates and up.

This post is part seven of the Yacht Rock Favorites Songbook Series.
Yacht Rock Favorites: Volume 6 Songbook

🛥️ What is Yacht Rock?

“Yacht Rock” wasn’t a thing when the music it describes was popular between 1975 and 1984. Imagine smooth tunes enjoyed by fancy yacht owners-that’s it. The term was cooked up in 2005 by J. D. Ryznar and his pals in a years-long online video series called “Yacht Rock.” Initially kind of an insult, it playfully referred to yuppie yachties grooving to mellow music at sea, often with lyrics about the ocean. Think Christopher Cross’s “Sailing” (1979). The genre got teased for being cheesy, but that’s less of a thing nowadays.

A music guru named Matt Colier defined yacht rock in 2014 with some cool rules: keep it smooth, catchy, and light even when it gets sad. Journalist Katie Puckrik added that yacht rock takes you on an aspirational escape, like in Cross’s “Ride Like the Wind” (1979).

The origins of the genre are often traced back to the Beach Boys as their vibes were “scavenged” by folks like Rupert Holmes. The 1970s were kind of a separate bubble from politics, and yacht rock captures that personal escape vibe, all boosted by F.M. radio. Popular yacht rockers included Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Steely Dan, and Toto. So, picture breezy tunes, good times, and the open sea. The most important criteria? It has to be smoooooooooth (oh, and there’s a high probability you’ll hear the velvety vocals of Michael McDonald somewhere in the mix)!

There’s a lot of disagreement about which groups, artists, and songs actually belong to the genre because the definition is quite liquid (all pun intended). For my intents and purposes, I have included songs I’ve heard on the SiriusXM Yacht Rock station (channel 311).

🎶 Yacht Rock Favorites: Volume 6 Songbook

The following songs are included in the Yacht Rock Favorites: Volume 6 songbook. These are all available as separate singles, but you get the most value by purchasing the whole collection. All of these arrangements are appropriate for intermediates and up.

  1. All Out of Love (Air Supply)
  2. Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) (Looking Glass)
  3. Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)
  4. How Much I Feel (Ambrosia)
  5. Lotta Love (Nicolette Larson)
  6. Only a Fool Would Say That (Steely Dan)
  7. Rich Girl (Hall & Oates)
  8. Somebody’s Baby (Jackson Browne)
  9. Takin’ It to the Streets (The Doobie Brothers)
  10. Tequila Sunrise (The Eagles)

🎹 Watch a performance of selections from this volume:

Let’s dive deeper with some more details about a few of my personal favorites from Yacht Rock Favorites: Volume 6!

“Rich Girl” (Hall & Oates)

Worth a watch just to marvel at Daryl Hall’s sunglasses:

“Rich Girl” is a song by the American music duo Hall & Oates. It was released as a single in 1977 and is one of the duo’s most well-known and iconic hits. The song was written by Daryl Hall, the lead vocalist of the group, and it appears on their album titled “Bigger Than Both of Us.”

The song’s lyrics tell the story of a young woman who comes from a wealthy background but lacks emotional depth and genuine happiness. The chorus of the song, with the catchy line “You’re a rich girl, and you’ve gone too far, ‘cause you know it don’t matter anyway,” reflects the idea that material wealth doesn’t necessarily lead to a fulfilling life. The song’s narrator expresses a sense of frustration and resignation towards the titular “rich girl,” who seems to rely on her money to get by without truly valuing relationships or personal growth.

“Rich Girl” is characterized by its upbeat and catchy melody, featuring a blend of pop, rock, and R&B elements that were signature to Hall & Oates’ sound. The song’s production incorporates piano, guitar, and distinctive vocal harmonies, contributing to its timeless appeal.

Upon its release, “Rich Girl” became a massive commercial success, reaching the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. The song’s popularity solidified Hall & Oates’ position in the music industry and marked a turning point in their career, leading to further hits and widespread recognition.

“Lotta Love” (Nicolette Larson)

It’s a Neil Young tune originally, but it’s her version that made it big and landed her a spot on the boat.

“Lotta Love” is a song by American singer Nicolette Larson. It was released as a single in 1978 and became one of her most well-known and successful songs. The song was written by Neil Young, a renowned singer-songwriter, and it appeared on Larson’s self-titled debut album, “Nicolette.”

Nicolette Larson’s version of “Lotta Love” has a distinctive soft rock and pop sound, characterized by its smooth vocals, catchy melody, and polished production. The song features prominent use of keyboards, guitars, and a driving rhythm that gives it a feel-good and uplifting vibe.

Her rendition of “Lotta Love” achieved significant commercial success, reaching the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. The song’s popularity helped elevate Larson’s profile as a solo artist and introduced her to a wider audience.

“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” (Looking Glass)

Classic maritime storytelling through early 70s animation!

“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” is a song by the American rock band Looking Glass. It was released in 1972 as a single from their self-titled album. The song was written by Elliot Lurie, who was the lead vocalist and guitarist of the band.

The song tells the story of a woman named Brandy who works as a barmaid in a coastal town. The lyrics describe her beauty, charm, and popularity among the sailors and locals who visit the bar. Despite her many admirers, Brandy’s heart belongs to a sailor who is always out at sea, and she remains faithful to him even though they can’t be together.

“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” is characterized by its catchy melody, folk-rock sound, and maritime-themed lyrics. The song features a prominent acoustic guitar riff, vocal harmonies, and a sing-along chorus that contributed to its widespread popularity. The upbeat and melodic nature of the song made it a radio-friendly hit during the early 1970s.

The song was a commercial success, reaching the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in August 1972. The song’s popularity helped Looking Glass gain recognition and established them as a one-hit wonder, as the song remains their most famous and enduring track. Its catchy melody and maritime storytelling have made it a classic of the 1970s soft rock era.

“Dreams” (Fleetwood Mac)

A video without the signature “twirl” - it’s like a finding a unicorn!

“Dreams” is a song by the British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac. It was released in 1977 as the second single from their critically acclaimed album “Rumours.” The song was written by the band’s vocalist and keyboardist, Stevie Nicks.

“Dreams” is one of Fleetwood Mac’s most iconic and recognizable songs. It is known for its distinctive and hypnotic rhythm, featuring a steady drumbeat and a laid-back groove. The song is driven by its memorable melody, Nicks’ distinctive vocals, and the emotional depth of its lyrics.

The lyrics of “Dreams” reflect themes of heartache, reflection, and the complexities of relationships. Nicks wrote the song during a tumultuous period in her personal life, and the lyrics are often interpreted as an exploration of her feelings towards her relationship with Lindsey Buckingham, her bandmate and romantic partner at the time. The chorus of the song, with the lines “Thunder only happens when it’s raining / Players only love you when they’re playing,” captures a sense of vulnerability and disillusionment.

“Dreams” became a massive commercial success for Fleetwood Mac. It reached the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, becoming the band’s first and only song to achieve this feat. The success of “Dreams” contributed significantly to the widespread popularity of the “Rumours” album, which remains one of the best-selling albums of all time.

🌊 Ready to set sail with more great Yacht Rock?

👋 Did I miss one of your favorites? I’m always open to requests so drop me a comment!

Jennifer Eklund
Written by Jennifer Eklund
Jennifer Eklund holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music from California State University, Long Beach. She is an avid arranger, composer, and author of the Piano Pronto® method books series as well as a wide variety of supplemental songbooks. She is also a Signature Artist with Musicnotes.com with a large catalog of popular music titles for musicians of all levels.


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