For our last official “summer post” this season, Mirror80 celebrates the yacht rock phenomenon. Sailing into our lives in 2005, the term “yacht rock” coincided with the broadcast of an online video series of the same name. Yacht Rock featured humorous, fictionalized accounts of the overlapping songwriting adventures of music legends like Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, and Toto. The term caught on, as it perfectly characterized the smooth music emerging from Southern California during the late ’70s and early ’80s.
If this is your first encounter with yacht rock and your interest is piqued, Google the term and enjoy the wealth of information at your fingertips, from the above-mentioned video series to numerous blog posts and a yacht rock homage band called the Yacht Rock Revue. Songs like “Sailing” by Christopher Cross and “Hey Nineteen” by Steely Dan will frequently be mentioned.
But Mirror80 is well aware that the yacht rock “revival” is anything but a new phenomenon. However, it’s summer, and this is an ’80s style blog in its relatively early days. So we ask, “How could we not do a yacht rock post?!” We thought we’d put a different spin on the coverage and focus on three yacht rock acts that packed a powerful punch. So powerful, their stage presence seemed more riveting than smooth. Let’s call these standouts the captains of the ship, then revel in their large personalities and ’80s-fabulous fashion choices.
We’ll start with Kenny Loggins (shown above), whose ensemble for a 1982 HBO special gave new meaning to the phrase “eye catching.” Dressed in a pastel sport coat with rolled sleeves in a contrasting hue, Loggins performed his hit “Heart to Heart.” Overhead stage lights tinted the ensemble, which is why we hesitate to call the outfit a pink and purple getup. Nonetheless, a striped tee, fitted pants, and sneakers (not pictured) polished off the look. This is what everyone wishes they looked like when they sported skinny jeans. To hear the song and see the expressive performance in its entirety, click “play.”
Next we have Boz Scaggs, who added a super soulful element to the yacht rock scene. He is smokin’ in the video for his 1980 hit “Jojo.” Sporting a “touch of ’70s” suit that is crisply white, Scaggs also dons a saucy red collar shirt. Our favorite: the blue pocket handkerchief. Brown dress loafers add a finishing touch. Here’s the video:
The outfit is definitely a highlight, but the true star of the video is Scaggs and his larger-than-life stage presence, which you just can’t beat! Seriously–you need to watch the video.
Finally, we have Daryl Hall and John Oates, whose music has experienced a major resurgence in recent years. But what about their wardrobe? Let’s turn to the video for their 1981 hit “Private Eyes.” Once again, we have the sport coat phenomenon. Check out the shoulder pads on Daryl Hall’s olive green jacket. The black tee is slick (and a bit Miami). And then you have John Oates’ white blazer with the black collared shirt, another bold statement. Don’t miss the video below:
Love the spontaneous clapping. Love the ’80s attire. Most of all, love the energy! Yacht rock was definitely smooth, but Loggins, Scaggs, Hall, and Oates brought a real performance element to the genre. Once the ’80s hit, it became clear that a nice sport coat was the attire of choice for these yacht rock captains. I guess skipper caps were reserved for a day at sea…
Enjoy your sail into Fall!