We had a request from a reader to write about our sailing mix. Since I’d much rather be thinking about sailing than whether our new boat cover will arrive before the next major snowfall, I thought this might be a good time.

To begin to understand our sailing mix (mixes, actually, since there are a few), it’s important to first understand Yacht Rock. Yacht Rock is the most important online series ever created. It shines a light on the complicated and inbred world of smooth music from the late 70s and early 80s. Originally appearing on Channel101.com, creators J. D. Ryznar and Hunter D. Stair explore the relationships that we could previously only access via the liner notes of our vinyl collection: How did Jimmy Messina take it when Kenny Loggins left Loggins & Messina? How did Michael McDonald get to co-write Kenny Loggins’ This is It and do the backup vocals on Steely Dan’s Peg? What’s the Steely Dan/Toto connection with Jeff Porcaro? Why are Hall & Oates so mean?

Before we ever thought of literally having a yacht, we had memorized most of Yacht Rock and incorporated Vincent Price’s pronunciation of “smyooth music” into our daily discourse. We got Fortuitous in August of 2009, and only had a couple months of sailing before we had to put her away for a long and brutal winter. In the downtime, we set out to craft some sailing mixes for the boat.

“Smooth Sailing” is a general mix of songs that are either from Yacht Rock or generally meet the smoothed out vibe that we’re usually going for on the boat. “Songs About Sailing” is, as you might expect, songs that literally mention sailing or sailing things. It contains some songs that we don’t actually like all that much, but we wanted a complete list. There’s actually also a third playlist, not enumerated here, called “Smooth Sailing, No Raggae,” for situations in which we want to more strictly stick to Koko Goldstein’s image of smooth music.

Smooth Sailing

  1. Baby We’ve Got A Date, Bob Marley
  2. What A Fool Believes, Doobie Brothers
  3. Sara Smile, Hall & Oates
  4. Hard To Say, Dan Fogelberg
  5. Reminiscing, Little River Band
  6. Sail On, The Commodores
  7. You Belong To Me, Doobie Brothers
  8. You’re the Only Woman, Ambrosia
  9. Deacon Blues, Steely Dan
  10. Summer Breeze, Seals & Crofts
  11. Three Little Birds, Bob Marley
  12. On and On, Stephen Bishop
  13. Rosanna, Toto
  14. Sailing, Christopher Cross
  15. Right Down The Line, Gerry Rafferty
  16. Is This Love, Bob Marley
  17. Dance with Me, Orleans
  18. How Much I Feel, Ambrosia
  19. Mother And Child Reunion, Paul Simon
  20. Baby Come Back, Player
  21. I Love You, The Climax Blues Band
  22. Lost In Love, Air Supply
  23. Steal Away, Robbie Dupree
  24. Pressure Drop, Toots and the Maytals
  25. Peg, Steely Dan
  26. Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Tears For Fears
  27. Biggest Part of Me, Ambrosia
  28. Country Roads, Toots and the Maytals
  29. Do That to Me One More Time, Captain & Tennille
  30. Josie, Steely Dan
  31. I’d Really Love To See You Tonight, England Dan and John Ford Foley
  32. Down Under, Men At Work
  33. Africa, Toto
  34. Lowdown, Boz Scaggs
  35. If You Leave Me Now, Chicago
  36. Easy, The Commodores
  37. It’s Sad To Belong, England Dan & John Ford Coley
  38. It Might Be You (From “Tootsie”), Stephen Bishop
  39. Holding Back The Years, Simply Red
  40. Escape (The Pina Colada Song), Rupert Holmes

Songs About Sailing

  1. Sailing, Christopher Cross
  2. Southern Cross, Crosby, Stills & Nash
  3. Summer Breeze, Seals & Crofts
  4. Sail On, The Commodores
  5. Come Sail Away, Styx
  6. Wooden Ships, Stephen Stills
  7. Brandy, Looking Glass
  8. Caribbean Queen, Billy Ocean
  9. Son Of A Son Of A Sailor, Jimmy Buffett1
  10. Sailin’ The Wind, Loggins & Messina
  11. Sail Away, Neil Young
  12. Sloop John B, The Beach Boys2
  13. (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay, Otis Redding
  14. Friggin’ in the Riggin’, Sex Pistols
  15. Love Boat, from the TV show
  16. I’m on a Boat, The Lonely Island

Editor’s Note: Since the writing of this log entry, we’ve compiled all of the Yacht Rock episodes and our current playlists here:

/yacht_rock
/playlists

 


1.  In the words of James Ingram, Jimmy Buffett is “Mellow, but not smooth. And kind of shitty.”

2.  “And then he took and he ate up all of my corn,” is a real lyric in this song. Fail.

 

“Prepare to fend off the bridge abutment.”