The concept here is collecting songs — in this case rediscovered soul and R&B cover versions — that fit that nebulous, slick, smooth, West-coast soft rock “yacht” aesthetic. You may feel that the continual rebranding of old music as newly named genres is not much more than cynical marketing and you may be right, but personally, I love how retro-applied genres like “yacht rock” or “yacht soul” make links between tracks that may have been previously overlooked, re-contextualising them and, of course, giving people like me access to them.

The time period here is early/mid-’70s to early/mid-’80s, the production quality high, opulent even, and although the mood is soulful, smooth and laid back, there are some superb dance floor tracks included: the source of Stardust’s “Music Sounds…” sample, one of Chaka Khan’s 1980s dance floor slayers “Fate,” Dionne Warwick at her funkiest on “Dedicate This Heart,” the Isley Brothers’ chunky, Hammond-flavoured take on the Doobie Brothers’ “Listen To The Music,” and John Edwards soaring soulful rare groover “Tin Man.”

Other highlights include Esther Phillips’ “I Hope You’ll Be Very Unhappy Without Me,” one of the sweetest, smoothest, killer diss tracks ever recorded, Roy Ayers’ sophisticated take on Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do For Love,” and Mel & Tim’s beautifully light soul stroller “Keep The Faith” (check those strings on the intro, just exquisite.)

⚪️ Yacht Soul: The Cover Versions 2 Tracklisting

Various: Yacht Soul - The Cover Versions 2 (Too Slow To Disco / Double 12" vinyl / CD / Digital)
1. MEL & TIM - Keep The Faith (03:56)
2. IMPACT - Sara Smile (04:26)
3. BILLY PAUL - It’s Too Late (04:30)
4. ESTHER PHILLIPS - I Hope You’ll Be Very Unhappy Without Me (03:46)
5. JOHN EDWARDS - Tin Man (03:45)
6. ROY AYERS - What You Won’t Do For Love (05:37)
7. ARNOLD MCCULLER - Gringo (05:43)
8. RICHIE HAVENS - Dreams (04:43)
9. BRENDA RUSSELL - I Want Love To Find Me (02:55)
10. PATTI LABELLE - Monkey See - Monkey Do (05:11)
11. THE MAIN INGREDIENT - Euphrates (04:43)
12. THE ISLEY BROTHERS - Listen To The Music (04:04)
13. DIONNE WARWICK - Dedicate This Heart (04:03)
14. CHAKA KHAN - Fate (03:14)
15. KENI BURKE - Love Is The Answer (05:33)

⚪️ Disclosure Statement

This record was submitted as a promo.


5 Mag Issue 211
Out January 2024

RESOLUTION: This was originally published in 5 Mag Issue #211 featuring Anané, Toribio, Black Eyes, Danny J Lewis, Beppe Loda and more. Help keep the vibe alive by becoming a member for $2/month and get every issue in your inbox right away!

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