I have a confession: I have always hated the music from the 70s. If the music of the 60s was revolutionary and the music of the 80s was new wave and punk, the sounds of the 70s were dominated by excessive overproduced smoothness. What started musically in the 60s metastasized in the 70s until the spike of punk put an end to it. I was glad for that.
Lately, I have had a change of heart (ear?) and started to revisit and soften my stand towards that old 70s music. Maybe it was the Bee Gees documentary I recently watched that got me thinking. Or the notion that many of the bands I loved in the 80s got their start in the 70s, or that for every bad disco song there were songs from Bowie and Springsteen. Perhaps it was listening to just the good yacht rock artists like Hall and Oates, Robert Palmer, George Benson, and more. Whatever the cause, the more I listened to it, the more I thought I had thrown the baby out with the bath water, music-wise.
It also helped that I, along with many other people, have been bopping along to Harry Styles and his music. There’s elements to his songs that reminds me of best of the 70s. You could easily slide his songs into a Yacht Rock playlist and hardly notice the jump in time that occurs between those hits and his.
in fact you could take Harry S (seen below) and place him alongside Robin Zander of Cheap Trick or any of the androgynous rockers of the 70s and he would fit right in:
Now I don’t think Styles is going to lead to a great revisiting of the music of that era, other than for people like me. But who knows? Maybe the music as it was from back then will return for a spell. That would be golden.
For more on Yacht Rock, click here. Spotify users can click on the playlist above. Image of Styles from The New York Times.