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Soul and RnB

Top R&B and Soul Music Albums

Posted: April 29, 2014 at 10:24 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
Top Rhythm and Blues Music Albums

Top Rhythm and Blues Music Albums

Rhythm and Blues, also known as R&B, r’n’b’ or RnB is a type of popular music produced and made primarily for African Americans.  It evolved through the fusion of jazz, blues and gospel.  RnB is associated with sub-genres such as rap, Motown, funk, disco, doo wop, black rock and roll, and soul.

Soul music is a style of rhythm and blues that was popular in the 1960’s.  It developed from the merging of such genres as blues, gospel, doo-wop, and sophisticated jazz standards.  After the 60’s, soul evolved into many directions, including funk and disco, hence, the genre label soul is now applied only to the 60’s golden era.  This era produced the studio-sophisticated Motown sound (Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Mavin Gaye) the earthy, spontaneous Southern Stax/Atlantic sound (Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King, Wilson Pickett), and the gospel-influenced Chicago soul (The Impressions).

RnB developed from the new urbane sounds produced for black Americans who migrated from the rural South to Northeast, Midwest and West Coast cities in the 40’s.  In the 50’s RnB mutated to Rock and Roll.  Ray Charles, who released his first single “Confession Blues” through the fusion of jazz, blues and gospel invented Soul music.  Sam Cooke, from Mississippi, further introduced innovations to soul music through his crossover of gospel and pop.   In 1956, Georgia’s James Brown released his vocally intense “Please Please Please”.  His flamboyant sexual display, raw energy, bravura dance moves,  and his ability to transform African-derived rhythm into accessible musical language became very influential to future artists such as Michael Jackson and Prince, as well as other hip-hop and dance music artists.

RnB styles, though very varied, share some common musical elements. Rhythm-wise, it uses a lot of syncopation and back beat.  It uses timbre variety– alternating between gentle and harsh, for instance – to sustain interest.  Also, except for rap, most R&B performing ensemble are divided into the rhythm section and the horn section.  In fact, the prominence of the horn section gave R&B a distinction from white rock music.  R&B styles include the Classic Soul Era, Northern Soul, Funk Soul, Funk, Urban Soul, and Contemporary


Marvin Gaye What’s Going On

Below is a list of definitive Soul and R&B albums:

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