Gentle rock gets the spotlight in Paramount+ doc ‘Sometimes When We Touch’

The collection offers historical context to the gentle rock revolution, noting that after the tumultuous 1960s, “America was in have to have of aid and gentle rock was there like a sonic colonic,” the documentary’s narrator Pete Sepenuk mentioned early in the to start with episode.

The first episode breaks down how the keyboard dominates the delicate rock audio vs. the guitar for harder rock. The audio is even described as “The Doobie bounce,” which has an R&B inflection, exemplified by the 1979 tune “What a Fool Thinks.”

“It was fascinating to me listening to from studio industry experts and musicians how a great deal technologies instigated and fueled this motion,” Toffler explained.

The mini-profiles of key acts offer no lack of intriguing tidbits. Toni Tennille of Captain & Tennille (”Love Will Maintain Us Together”) invested yrs in a loveless relationship with the emotionally distant “Captain” Daryl Dragon. “I couldn’t make him drop in appreciate with me,” she claimed in the doc. “I hoped he would.”

Dan Hill was just 19 when he wrote “Sometimes When We Touch” to consider to woo an more mature lady. Her response when he performed it to her? “You’re way way too rigorous.” And she moved in with a football participant, he reported.

Ray Parker Jr., lengthy ahead of he turned a popular solo artist, toured with Stevie Wonder just before creating a treacly hit “You Make Me Truly feel Like Dancing” for Leo Sayer (but been given no writing credit score.)

There are random stats. The Carpenters outsold Jimi Hendrix, CCR, the Intercourse Pistols and Lynyrd Skynyrd combined in document gross sales. And Firefall’s debut album in 1976 went gold quicker than any album in the heritage of Atlantic Information, beating Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Led Zeppelin.

The series also features musicians in other genres expressing their really like for comfortable rock, which includes Stewart Copeland of The Police, Daryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run DMC, Nancy Wilson of Coronary heart, Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles and Sheryl Crow.

And there are a several Atlanta faces across the three episodes including the city’s possess Yacht Rock Revue, Air Supply’s Russell Hitchcock — who lives in Marietta — and Large Boi of OutKast conversing about hip-hop sampling of comfortable rock tunes.

Credit rating: Akili-Casundria Ramsess

Credit: Akili-Casundria Ramsess

The second episode focuses on how uncool delicate rock turned when MTV arrived. “It grew to become survival of the photogenic,” mentioned the decidedly unphotogenic Holmes of “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” fame. The third episode is all about how the genre is now beloved in numerous circles, how common yacht rock has grow to be and how present-day artists this kind of as Dua Lipa, Harry Designs and The Weeknd funnel smooth rock in their existing audio.

The comeback in the 1990s and 2000s also came in aspect owing to rap functions. Toffler reported so many hip-hop acts these types of as Drake and Warren G grew up with dad and mom playing smooth-rock songs, so sampling those people tunes was normal. “This audio was not maligned,” he mentioned. “They ended up just wonderful melodic music by the most effective musicians of that time. Daryl DMC enjoys Sarah McLachlan.”

The doc was not in a position to get every single large smooth rock act offered to chat to them. They skipped rather push-shy McDonald and prickly Daryl Corridor of Corridor & Oates. But they did get Kenny Loggins, Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Hearth and Robert “Kool” Bell of Kool & the Gang.

“My biggest regret is we didn’t get Richard Carpenter,” Toffler said. “He experienced just created a ebook. He was carried out talking about it. The Carpenters ended up such a prosperous element of that genre. That to me was a skipped possibility.”

Toffler credits director Lauren Lazin for enabling the sequence to circulation so perfectly. Lazin did dozens of MTV “rockumentaries” for him. “We have a 20-30 calendar year heritage of carrying out things with every single other,” he mentioned. “That produced it definitely at ease and uncomplicated.”

The bottom line, he said, is the finest of gentle-rock music continue to retains up a long time afterwards.

“I’m just surprised how good these songs are and how great the participating in is,” Toffler mentioned. “It has a lasting influence. I hope men and women not just appreciate the new music they listen to in this documentary but all the good tales all over the tunes.”


“Sometimes When We Contact,” obtainable on Paramount+