|Cultural origins||Late 1970s, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.|
The Minneapolis sound is a hybrid mixture of funk, rock, pop, synthpop and new wave, that was pioneered by Prince in the late 1970s. Its popularity was given a boost throughout the 1980s, thanks to his musical adherents, including The Time, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Morris Day, Vanity 6, Apollonia 6, Ta Mara & the Seen, Sheila E., Jesse Johnson, Brownmark, Mazarati, and The Family.
Prince's third album Dirty Mind from 1980 also earns credit. Pepe Willie, who brought his brand of music to Minneapolis from Brooklyn, New York, in the mid-'70s, is credited with being the first to bring Prince into the studio professionally to play on his group, 94 East's, demo. Owen Husney, Prince's first manager is credited with managing many of the Minneapolis artists at the time, recording them in his American Artists studio, and securing contracts for them with major labels.
Some artists who came from Minnesota were influenced by Prince's work and some came from other parts of the U.S. or world, such as Scottish star Sheena Easton, Flint, Michigan's Ready for the World and Los Angeles, California's Cherrelle. The music is also known as a form of funk rock.
While the "Minneapolis sound" was a form of funk, it had some distinguishing characteristics:
- Synthesizers generally replaced horns, and were used more as accent than as fill or background.
- The rhythm was often faster and less syncopated than traditional funk, and owed much to new wave pop music.
- Guitars, while usually (but not always) played "clean" for rhythm parts, were frequently much louder and more aggressively processed during solos than in most traditional funk.
- The "bottom" of the sound was less bass-heavy than traditional funk; drums and keyboards filled more of the "bottom".
- The drums were more highly processed than in traditional funk.
Artists associated with the Minneapolis sound
- Apollonia 6
- Ingrid Chavez
- André Cymone
- Morris Day
- Dez Dickerson
- Sheila E.
- The Jets
- Sheena Easton
- The Family
- The Human League (the Crash album)
- Janet Jackson (Control and Rhythm Nation 1814 albums)
- Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
- Jesse Johnson and Jesse Johnson's Revue
- Lipps Inc.
- Bruno Mars
- Alexander O'Neal
- 94 East
- St Paul
- Ready for the World
- The Revolution
- Mark Ronson
- Ta Mara and the Seen
- The Time
- Vanity 6
- Wendy & Lisa
- Henderson, Alex. "The Minneapolis Sound". Allmusic.
- Ohmes, Jeremy (June 4, 2009). "The Minneapolis Sound". PopMatters.