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Stax and Atlantic Soul

Stax Records and Atlantic Records were independent labels that produced high-quality dance records featuring many well known singers of the day. They tended to have smaller ensembles marked by expressive gospel-tinged vocals. Brass and saxophones were also used extensively. Stax Records, founded by siblings Estelle and James Stewart, was the second most successful record label behind Motown Records. They were responsible for releasing hits by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, The Staple Singers and many more. Ahmet Ertegun, who had anticipated being a diplomat until 1944 when his father died, founded Atlantic Records in 1947 with his friend Herb Abramson. Ertegun wrote many songs for Ray Charles and The Clovers. He even sang backup vocals for his artist Big Joe Turner on the song, "Shake Rattle and Roll.

Motown Soul

Dominated by Berry Gordy's Motown Records empire, Detroit soul is strongly rhythmic and influenced by gospel music. The Motown sound often includes hand clapping, a powerful bassline, violins and bells. Motown Records' house band was The Funk Brothers. All Music cites Motown as the pioneering label of pop-soul, a style of soul music with raw vocals, but polished production and toned-down subject matter intended for pop radio and crossover success. Artists of this style included Diana Ross, the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, and Billy Preston. Popular during the 1960s, the style became glossier during the 1970s and led to disco.

Southern Soul 

The terms deep soul and southern soul generally refer to a driving, energetic soul style combining R&B's energy with pulsating southern United States gospel music sounds. Memphis, Tennessee label Stax Records nurtured a distinctive sound, which included putting vocals further back in the mix than most contemporary R&B records, using vibrant horn parts in place of background vocals, and a focus on the low end of the frequency spectrum. The vast majority of Stax releases were backed by house bands Booker T and the MGs (with Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, and Al Jackson) and the Memphis Horns (the splinter horn section of the Mar-Keys, trumpeter Wayne Jackson and saxophonist Andrew Love).

Memphis Soul

Memphis soul is a shimmering, sultry style of soul music produced in the 1960s and 1970s at Stax Records and Hi Records in Memphis, Tennessee. It featured melancholic and melodic horns, Hammond organ, bass, and drums, as heard in recordings by Hi's Al Green and Stax's Booker T. & the M.G.'s. The latter group also sometimes played in the harder-edged Southern soul style. The Hi Records house band (Hi Rhythm Section) and producer Willie Mitchell developed a surging soul style heard in the label's 1970s hit recordings. Some Stax recordings fit into this style, but had their own unique sound.

Birmingham Soul

Impactful and underrated Birmingham soul is a driving and strongly rhythmic style that combined elements of gospel music with the uptempo energy of R&B. As a soul city it is thoroughly influenced by the hard driving "southern soul" of the Civil Rights Movement era and the musical and social legacy of that time. The rise of Muscle Shoals Alabama as a recording center was in part influenced by professional musicians coming north from Birmingham such as Barry Beckett of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section also known as the "Swampers" and bringing their musical influence with them to the Tennessee Valley. Similarly Detroit soul is influenced to a large extent by Birmingham and its downhome soul roots because many of its performers had migrated north from Alabama as well. The most notable are 3/5 of the Temptations, Melvin Franklin of Montgomery, and Paul Williams, and Eddie Kendricks both of Birmingham.

New Orleans Soul

The New Orleans soul scene directly came out of the rhythm and blues era, when such artists as Little Richard, Fats Domino, and Huey Piano Smith made a huge impact on the pop and R&B charts and a huge direct influence on the birth of Funk music. The principal architect of Crescent City's soul was songwriter, arranger, and producer Allen Toussaint. He worked with such artists as Irma Thomas ("the Soul Queen of New Orleans"), Jessie Hill, Chris Kenner, Benny Spellman, and Ernie K. Doe on the Minit/Instant label complex to produce a distinctive New Orleans soul sound that generated a passel of national hits. Other notable New Orleans hits came from Robert Parker, Betty Harris, and Aaron Neville. While record labels in New Orleans largely disappeared by the mid-1960s, producers in the city continued to record New Orleans soul artists for other mainly New York City- and Los Angeles-based record labels—notably Lee Dorsey for New York–based Amy Records and the Meters for New York–based Josie and then LA-based Reprise.

Chicago Soul

Chicago soul generally had a light gospel-influenced sound, but the large number of record labels based in the city tended to produce a more diverse sound than other cities. Vee Jay Records, which lasted until 1966, produced recordings by Jerry Butler, Betty Everett, Dee Clark, and Gene Chandler. Chess Records, mainly a blues and rock and roll label, produced a number of major soul artists, including The Dells and Billy Stewart. Curtis Mayfield not only scored many hits with his group, The Impressions, but wrote many hit songs for Chicago artists and produced hits on his own labels for The Fascinations, Major Lance, and the Five Stairsteps.

Philadelphia Soul

Based primarily in the Philadelphia International record label, Philadelphia soul (or Philly Soul) had a lush orchestral sound and doo-wop-inspired vocals. Thom Bell, and Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff are considered the founders of Philadelphia soul, which produced hits for The O'Jays, The Intruders, The Delfonics, The Stylistics, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, and The Spinners.

Psychedelic Soul

Psychedelic soul, sometimes known as "black rock", was a blend of psychedelic rock and soul music in the late 1960s, which paved the way for the mainstream emergence of funk music a few years later. Early pioneers of this subgenre of soul music include Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, and Stevie Wonder.While psychedelic rock began its decline, the influence of psychedelic soul continued on and remained prevalent through the 1970s.

Blue-eyed Soul

Blue-eyed soul is R&B or soul music performed by white artists. The meaning of blue-eyed soul has evolved over decades. Originally the term was associated with mid-1960s white artists who performed soul and R&B that was similar to the music released by Motown Records and Stax Records. The term continued to be used in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly by the British media to refer to a new generation of singers who adopted elements of the Stax and Motown sounds. To a lesser extent, the term has been applied to singers in other music genres that are influenced by soul music. Artists like Hall and Oates, David Bowie, George Michael, Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse and Adele are known as Blue-eyed soul singers.

British Soul

Soul has been a major influence on British popular music since the 1960s including bands of the British Invasion, most significantly The Beatles. There were a handful of significant British Blue-eyed soul acts, including Dusty Springfield and Tom Jones. American soul was extremely popular among some youth sub-cultures like the Northern soul and Modern soul movements, but a clear genre of British soul did not emerge until the 1980s when a number of artists including George Michael, Sade, Simply Red, Lisa Stansfield and Soul II Soul enjoyed commercial success. The popularity of British soul artists in the U.S., most notably Amy Winehouse, Adele, Estelle, Duffy, Joss Stone and Leona Lewis, led to talk of a "third British Invasion" or soul invasion in the 2000s and 2010s

Neo Soul

The term neo soul is a marketing phrase coined in the early 1990s by producer and record label executive Kedar Massenburg to describe a blend of 1970s soul-style vocals and instrumentation with contemporary R&B sounds, hip-hop beats and poetic interludes. The style was developed in the early to mid-1990s. A key element in neo soul is a heavy dose of Fender Rhodes or Wurlitzer electric piano "pads" over a mellow, grooving interplay between the drums (usually with a rim shot snare sound) and a muted, deep funky bass. The Fender Rhodes piano sound gives the music a warm, organic character.

Northern Soul & Modern Soul

The phrase northern soul was coined by journalist Dave Godin and popularised in 1970 through his column in Blues and Soul magazine. The term refers to rare soul music that was played by DJs at nightclubs in northern England. The playlists originally consisted of obscure 1960s and early 1970s American soul recordings with an uptempo beat, such as those on Motown Records and more obscure labels such as Okeh Records. Modern soul developed when northern soul DJs began looking in record shops in the United States and United Kingdom for music that was more complex and contemporary. What emerged was a richer sound that was more advanced in terms of Hi-Fi and FM radiotechnology.

Hyper Soul

Hyper soul can be described to be a medley of soul and dance music. It maintains the vocal quality, techniques and style but includes a movement towards technology, materialism, and heightened sexuality and sensationalism in the rhythm and lyricism. It is also remarkable for possessing a more euro sound influence than the other subgenres of soul. The subgenre provides more roles that may be adopted by the song's female subjects and more space to express different facets of gender experience as compared to traditional soul, through the reversal of male-female dynamics and the embrace of dominating and confrontational attitudes. Great pioneers of this genre included Timbaland, Aaliyah, Whitney Houston and Destiny’s Child. Hypersoul maybe also be seen as a precursor to modern R&B