The Soul Music Trends of the 1980s

While ratchet and trillwave styles still reign supreme in hip-hop production, soul samples can occasionally be heard at genre-specific DJ sets. Producers such as Kanye West and Just Blaze have utilized soul samples from artists like Lionel Richie, Al Green and Aretha Franklin over time for use in their productions.

Gaye and Robinson both advocated for increased social awareness. They addressed issues related to race and class that often went neglected in popular R&B music.

The Early Years

Soul music emerged in America during the 1950s from African American church music known as gospel. Church music featured African Americans singing rhythmically while clapping and dancing to its beat; often they would also express deep emotions such as longing for God’s love. Gospel also served as the basis for doo wop singing styles which began appearing early 1950s that focused on harmony.

Motown record label in Detroit first popularized soul music in America. Producers such as Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland perfected their craft by producing hit records with artists like the Miracles, Four Tops and Martha and Vandellas that featured catchy hooks, lush orchestration and memorable melodies – traits which would go on to influence contemporary funk, dance music and R&B genres alike.

Other forms of soul music would soon emerge alongside Motown. Memphis soul was one such style, characterized by melancholic yet melodic horns, Hammond organ, and bass; its recordings can be heard on Al Green albums on Hi Records as well as Booker T & the M.G’s Stax releases. Furthermore, Hi’s house band known as Hi Rhythm Section would eventually create hard-edged Southern soul tracks with driving sonic thrust.

At the same time, a more pop-oriented style of soul developed under the influence of white artists like the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Their versions of Miracles’ “Twist and Shout” by The Miracles and Aretha Franklin’s “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” by Aretha Franklin made R&B more accessible to white audiences.

The Juno Awards recognized the rapidly increasing popularity of soul music with the introduction of an R&B/soul category in 1985. Toronto singer Liberty Silver made history when she won this category with her single, “Any Other Way”, becoming the first black artist ever to triumph in Canadian soul history. Additionally, her song featuring Celine Dion as duet partner also marked a historic collaboration between English and French speakers for Canadian R&B/soul recordings.

The TriMax Years

Soul was inspired by both rock and jazz music’s increasing maximalism at the close of the 1960s, both genres reaching for higher degrees of experimentation, sweeping melodrama, and protracted songform. Bold advances in studio technology allowed soul to move beyond its early trebly transistor radio quaintness to embrace an album-oriented conceptualism with artists like Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder as well as more experimental psychedelic experiments from artists like Ashford & Simpson Odyssey Shalamar and Sister Sledge recordings.

As the soul music movement expanded, several subgenres emerged. Deep soul and southern soul generally refer to an energetic style combining R&B’s energy with Southern United States gospel music sounds. Memphis label Stax created its signature sound for their soul recordings by placing vocals further back in the mix and using more prominent horn parts than found on contemporary R&B records; its house band comprised of Booker T & the MG’s, Steve Cropper, and bassist Duck Dunn helped give this sound its distinctive personality.

Northern Soul first emerged during the late 1960s and ’70s as a popular dance and music style that featured obscure 1960s and 1970s American soul records with fast tempos from those recorded between 1966-1972, played by DJs across Northern England and English Midlands nightclubs. DJs would frequently spin these records at nightclubs throughout Northern England and English Midlands; many DJs played them by DJs known as Northern soul DJs in nightclubs throughout those regions. Additionally, subgenres of soul included string-laden sweetness of blue-eyed soul singers like Blue Magic; upbeat rhythmic uptempo performances by Bloodstone, The Emotions, or The Spinners among others.

Quiet storm soul, on the other hand, is a creamier form of soul music with influences drawn from fusion and adult contemporary genres. Popularized by producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff for Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes (later Bluenotes Delfonics O’Jays), Daptone Records in Brooklyn and Nashville Easy Eye studio are keeping this sound alive today through Daptone Records and Easy Eye studio respectively.

The ’70s

By the late 1960s, soul music had taken over R&B charts in America and many of its hits even made it onto pop charts. Due to its immense popularity, other forms of music began adopting its style such as funk and disco; within soul itself there emerged subgenres like Memphis Soul which featured shimmery vocals combined with rhythm-and-blues rhythms from New Orleans; as well as Neo Soul which blended 1970s soul vocals with contemporary R&B and hip-hop beats.

Soul music stands out for its distinct vocals, which convey emotions with honesty and sincerity. Great soul artists possess an uncanny talent for connecting with their audiences through shared experiences of love, heartbreak and longing – making their powerful performances essential components of American musical landscape.

Mid-1960s saw the genre fragment. Some soul musicians gravitated toward developing funk while others created more refined styles of R&B that included elements from disco and pop music – among these artists were Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Ray Charles, Gladys Horton & the Marvelettes and Patti LaBelle who rose to fame due to this style.

Stax Records of Memphis, Tennessee was known for cultivating a distinct soul sound in the 1960s and 70s. Their recordings featured a shimmering, sultry style that combined R&B energy with gospel sounds of southern United States gospel music. Their house band Booker T & the MGs produced some of its most beloved recordings – featuring Booker T Jones, Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn.

At some point in the late 1970s and early 1980s, soul music began to incorporate electronic influences, creating a sleeker and slicker style of R&B called Neo Soul. This genre blended classic soul vocals with more modern R&B, hip-hop beats, poetic interludes and poetic interludes while featuring Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric piano “pads”, as well as grooved drums featuring rim shot snare sounds and deep bass frequencies.

The ’80s

In the 1980s, soul music took several distinct directions. First was quiet storm, which featured relaxed tempos and soft melodies with elements drawn from fusion and adult contemporary styles such as Smokey Robinson, EW&F and the Commodores; another direction was Neo Soul which fused 1970s-style vocals and instrumentation with contemporary R&B sounds and hip-hop beats popularized by artists such as Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross and Kenny Loggins.

As Maximalist soul was coming to an end, new performers emerged who embraced more traditionalist elements. Some revived songwriterly form, while others advanced it further with advanced degrees of sonic experimentation and emotional drama. Barry White and Isaac Hayes offered long-layered excursions; Curtis Mayfield’s album-oriented conceptualism; Marvin Gaye’s conceptual album releases; as well as Norman Whitfield’s roster (The Temptations/Undisputed Truth). This era was epitomized by long layered excursions by these artists from this era (Barry White/ Hayes); Barry White’s long layered excursions; Curtis Mayfield/Marvin Gaye albums/projects/melodrama). This period was epitomized by Norman Whitfield (The Temptations/Undisputed Truth); album conceptualism by Marvin Gaye/ Curtis Mayfield/Marvin Gaye/Marvin Gaye’s albums/melodrama as well as Norman Whitfield/Marvin Gaye stables psych/melodrama/melodic arrangements). This period was epitomised by lengthy, layered excursions of Barry White/ Isaac Hayes stable; album conceptualism from Curtis Mayfield/Marvin Gaye stables as well as Norman Whitfield roster of The Temptationss/Undisputed Truth).

As well as these variations in style, Memphis soul was also popular. This genre typified itself through melancholic yet melodic horns, Hammond organ, bass and drums; frequently heard on Hi Records’ Al Green recordings or Stax Records’ Booker T & the M.G’s releases; though Motown’s Miracles also fit that mold perfectly.

These artists had incredible singing voices that often left audiences speechless. Divas such as Deniece Williams and Minnie Riperton showcased a wide array of vocal talent; from high-octave quiverings of Deniece Williams and Minnie Riperton; gutsy rasps from Betty Davis, Millie Jackson, Tina Turner and the Temptations; to full range acrobatics by Patti LaBelle, Jean Carne, Cheryl Lynn and Loleatta Holloway.

Numerous artists were part of what has come to be known as the blue-eyed soul movement, which encompassed white singers who performed R&B and soul music similar to that produced by Motown and Stax records. Notable examples include The Righteous Brothers, Platters, Spencer Davis Group and Van Morrison & Them as early stars of blue-eyed soul; over time this term expanded to encompass other pop singers like Hall & Oates, David Bowie, Teena Marie Hamilton.