• Yachts
  • Yachts (Radar/Polydor) 1979 
  • Yachts Without Radar (Radar/Polydor) 1980 

Liverpool’s Yachts were capable of alternating a scaled-down version of pomp-rock (faster, more cheaply tricked out, no instrumental exhibitionism) and ’60s-influenced rock with leader Henry Priestman’s cheesy organ sound. And that in the service of humorously melodramatic caricatures of the usual boy/girl lyric fodder: love by letter (“Box 202”), unfair romantic competition (“Yachting Type,” “Semaphore Love,” etc.). Despite sympathetic production by Richard Gottehrer, Yachts sounds a bit tinny, and the group was unable to equal their mini-classic Stiff debut single (“Suffice to Say”), though the potential to do so is evident.

Not being taken seriously because of funny lyrics may have taken its toll; on Without Radar, the jokes and even the previously solid songwriting sound as thin as Martin Rushent’s uncharacteristically poor production.

[Jim Green]

See also: Christians, It's Immaterial