The Top Ten Smoothest Songs

The Top Ten Smoothest Songs

The exact opposite of metal.

There are many styles of song within the vast range of “classic rock.” My personal favorite of these styles is the smooth approach: sometimes called soft rock or yacht rock. There’s many a smooth tune to be found in this genre.

Now, what exactly makes a song smooth? I will tell you.

In order for something to be smooth, it has to be soft and relaxing. There may be an individual who thinks that AC/DC is relaxing. They are, however, not smooth. In order for something to be smooth, it has to be quiet. You cannot blast smooth music. (Well, you can, but it won’t have the effect you want.) Now, let us examine the smoothest tunes of all time.

10: “Africa” by TOTO

You have probably heard this song before, as it is played often on the radio. TOTO emerged during the arena rock period of the late 70s, but changed their sound when this song was released on TOTO IV in 1982. The song is definitely smooth, but gets very loud and intense during the chorus. Replacing the expected guitar solo with a flute solo gives it an especially smooth touch. Many consider this song to be TOTO’s greatest song of all time, even though its lyrics make absolutely no sense.

9: “My Life” by Billy Joel

Some know Billy Joel for his piano ballads and other songs, but he did, for a brief moment, enter into the Smooth Way. I don’t know many other songs of his that are smooth. One of the things that makes this song smooth is the fact that it stays very quiet and calm throughout the song.

8: “Sailing” by Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross is very much a Yacht Rock artist. “Sailing” is his masterpiece. It is very smooth and relaxing. The only thing that wouldn’t make this perfectly smooth is the fact that the chorus gets a little loud. This is probably where the name “Yacht Rock” got its name.

7: “This Is It” by Kenny Loggins

You may know Kenny Loggins as the man who wrote that song for Top Gun. Little did you know that he is not, in fact, a one-hit wonder. “This Is It” is a very smooth song. Like others, however, it gets a little loud during the chorus. It features Michael McDonald on backup vocals.

6: “Babylon Sisters” by Steely Dan

This is not my first time writing about a Steely Dan song. “Babylon Sisters” was made in the latter half of Steely Dan’s career, and goes more in an electronic jazz direction, which is why it is so smooth. It gets loud during the chorus as well.

5: “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac

I am sure that some who are reading this know this song, as it is by no means obscure, and in fact became a meme just a few years ago. This is one of Fleetwood Mac’s not many famous smooth tunes. It also becomes a bit loud during the chorus. During the interlude, however, it stays relatively soft.

4: “Do It Again” by Steely Dan

This song is incredibly smooth. “Do It Again” was actually recorded for Steely Dan’s first album, Can’t Buy a Thrill, which was well before their electronic jazz era. What makes this song especially smooth is the fact that the melodies are just faint enough for you to hear. The loudest instruments in this song (which aren’t even that loud) are the percussion, Donald Fagen’s voice, and the solo instruments.

3: “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)” by Michael McDonald

Before Michael McDonald went on his own, he sang for the Doobie Brothers in the latter part of the 70s. I can only think of one song from that era that was smooth. This song takes the electronic jazz style, and is very smooth. It gets a little loud during certain parts, but the times that it gets loud are perfectly planned. The song is about someone who keeps forgetting that he isn’t in love with someone anymore (hence the name). It has a very smooth guitar solo.

2: “I Can’t Tell You Why” by the Eagles

We don’t often think of the Eagles as a yacht or soft rock band, but they had their fair share of smooth tunes. “Hotel California” is actually very smooth if you think about it. “I Can’t Tell You Why” may be one of the greatest and smoothest songs of all time, recorded for the album The Long Run in the late 70s. This is certainly one of my favorite Eagles songs. Timothy B. Schmitt (who I didn’t know sung the song until recently) sings the lyrics very softly and skillfully. The song stays thoroughly smooth. There are two guitar solos (one at the middle, and one at the end) that are simple but amazing solos, smooth and taunting.

1: “Sara Smile” by Daryl Hall and John Oates

Simply the smoothest song ever. Hall and Oates were known for their great 80s hits, such as “Maneater” or “You Make My Dreams (Come True),” but in the 70s, they were incredibly smooth. This may be my favorite song of theirs, period. Everything about this song is smooth. Even the parts where it gets a little loud are smooth (possibly because, even when it gets loud, it is mezzo forte as opposed to forte.). There is one guitar solo at the beginning of the song that is brief, but still smooth and just a little taunting, as well as an orchestra solo at midpoint that is perfectly executed in time. The lyrics in this song are incredibly smooth. Overall, the whole song is just perfect. This may be Hall and Oates’ best song. It is certainly their smoothest.

The next time you consider listening to Led Zeppelin, maybe consider listening to the “Rain Song.” That’s pretty smooth.

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