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Subject: "Is there such a thing as Black soft-rock?" Previous topic | Next topic
obsidianchrysalis
Member since Jan 29th 2003
7464 posts
Fri Jun-26-20 11:22 PM

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"Is there such a thing as Black soft-rock?"


  

          

There are hard rock bands (Jimi Hendrix, Living Colour), punk (Bad Brains), funk-rock (Fishbone), and alt-rock (TV on the Radio) that feature Black artists. But can you think of a Black soft-rock band?

I'm not too familiar with rock as a genre so there could be an obvious act out there. But outside of Hootie & the Blowfish nothing else comes to mind.

Like is there a Black Weezer or Belle and Sebastian out there?

<--- Me when my head hits the pillow

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
Tracy Chapman
Jun 27th 2020
1
Her musical style and career matches up with the ideal of 'soft-rock'
Jul 04th 2020
13
Chocolate Genius
Jun 27th 2020
2
This is an amzaing song
Jul 04th 2020
14
David Ryan Harris
Jun 27th 2020
3
Jeffrey Gaines
Jun 27th 2020
4
You Know, That's A Good Question
Jun 27th 2020
5
Correct
Jun 27th 2020
7
I can think of a decent list...
Jun 27th 2020
6
im gonna add Alana Davis to this list...
Jun 27th 2020
8
      RE: im gonna add Alana Davis to this list...
Jul 01st 2020
10
"soft rock" is pretty meaningless
Jun 27th 2020
9
A.R. Kane
Jul 04th 2020
11
Res?
Jul 04th 2020
12

c71
Member since Jan 15th 2008
11068 posts
Sat Jun-27-20 12:13 AM

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1. "Tracy Chapman"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrRA7WMI1ks

  

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obsidianchrysalis
Member since Jan 29th 2003
7464 posts
Sat Jul-04-20 07:06 PM

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13. "Her musical style and career matches up with the ideal of 'soft-rock'"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

<--- Me when my head hits the pillow

  

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c71
Member since Jan 15th 2008
11068 posts
Sat Jun-27-20 12:19 AM

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2. "Chocolate Genius"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-wdYGNuCPg

  

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obsidianchrysalis
Member since Jan 29th 2003
7464 posts
Sat Jul-04-20 07:07 PM

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14. "This is an amzaing song"
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

Hadn't heard of him but I'm intrigued to listen to more of his stuff

<--- Me when my head hits the pillow

  

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c71
Member since Jan 15th 2008
11068 posts
Sat Jun-27-20 12:34 AM

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3. "David Ryan Harris"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NKPAe-BVBo

  

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c71
Member since Jan 15th 2008
11068 posts
Sat Jun-27-20 12:39 AM

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4. "Jeffrey Gaines"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyH2DkIdoGk

  

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Dj Joey Joe
Member since Sep 01st 2007
13400 posts
Sat Jun-27-20 01:00 AM

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5. "You Know, That's A Good Question"
In response to Reply # 0
Sat Jun-27-20 01:03 AM by Dj Joey Joe

  

          

I've always felt that r&b acts basically did everything from doo wop, soul, disco, funk, yauht-rock, boogie, electro-funk, smooth jazz, new jack swing, & pop, but record labels never considered their music in the same category as their white counterparts who did soft rock, blue-eyed soul, shoegaze, new wave, etc.

It's tons of r&b artists who had guitars in their music or had rock elements in their sound but they still were considered r&b and soul artists regardless.

Once in a while you will find artists like Michael Jackson, Sade, Prince, Aaron Neville, Mother's Finest, Seal, Terence Trent D'Arby, & Meshell Ndgeocello, either in rock or r&b section of a record store and sometimes in both depending on the management.


https://DjJoeyJoe.bandcamp.com/album/Emerald-Dust

---------
"We in here talking about later career Prince records
& your fool ass is cruising around in a time machine
trying to collect props for a couple of sociopathic degenerates" - s.blak

  

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Boogie Stimuli
Member since Sep 24th 2010
12670 posts
Sat Jun-27-20 04:17 AM

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7. "Correct"
In response to Reply # 5


          

>I've always felt that r&b acts basically did everything from
>doo wop, soul, disco, funk, yauht-rock, boogie, electro-funk,
>smooth jazz, new jack swing, & pop, but record labels never
>considered their music in the same category as their white
>counterparts who did soft rock, blue-eyed soul, shoegaze, new
>wave, etc.
>


This was very much the case. Different artists have spoken on this. James Brown said Sam Cooke's "You Send Me" wasn't an R&B song at all but a Pop song and was only called R&B because he was black. If I recall correctly, they spent a good bit of time on that topic in the documentary I watched. Any music back then by a black person was just "Black Music" or "Race Music" as they'd call it.



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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtNhsGgEk54
Everything's turning out perfectly

  

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Boogie Stimuli
Member since Sep 24th 2010
12670 posts
Sat Jun-27-20 04:12 AM

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6. "I can think of a decent list..."
In response to Reply # 0


          

Laura Love
Black, Native American, and white. She's been described as "afro-celtic" (which just looks to me like the refuse to refer to someone who looks like her as simply "celtic") or bluegrass. She doesn't get the credit she deserves. "Bang Bang" is one of my favorite songs by her.

Labi Siffre
No doubt his most recognizable song would be "I Got The..." because the second half was sampled by Dr. Dre for Slim Shady, but he's mostly a folk artist. His other most recognizable songs might be "It Must Be Love" and "Loving Laughing Crying Lying" due to the covers. Imo he's one of he most brilliant singer songwriters the industry has ever seen and would be a bonafied legend if he were white... and straight.

Cree Summer
She only made one album (Street Fairie) but it was very much soft rock, and I loved it.

Kenna
You probably know of him. Really outside the box, musically and found some success with Neptune production. His whole songwriting approach is very much alternative rock.

Lenny Kravitz
No explanation needed there

The Family Stand
Their first album "Moon In Scorpio" had more rock on it, but even on the more R&B leaning "Connected" they had joints like "What Must I Do Now" and "Don't Ask Why."

On that note, here are more who were either genre benders with many rock songs or albums in their catalogs or classified as something other than rock simply due to them being black.


Prince

Ike & Tina Turner (recorded "Drift Away" in the middle of an album and it didn't sound out of place at all)

Shuggie Otis (the original Strawberry Letter 23 could be this post's theme song)

Terence Trent D'arby aka Sananda Maitreya

India.Arie

Me'Shell Ndegeocello (an album like "Weather" for instance)

Van Hunt

Gnarls Barkley

N.E.R.D.






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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtNhsGgEk54
Everything's turning out perfectly

  

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Voodoochilde
Charter member
3265 posts
Sat Jun-27-20 06:59 AM

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8. "im gonna add Alana Davis to this list..."
In response to Reply # 6
Sat Jun-27-20 07:28 AM by Voodoochilde

          

to be clear, im a 'fight the genre' guy but for fun, i'll join in the game here

....starting with her first stellar record "Blame it On Me" in the 90s (which was one of my faves back then, and STILL sounds as refreshing today as it did then) id say, yeah, Alana Davis should be added to this list too...

also another artist who first broke out in the 90s, Dionne Farris...add her too.

and as you mentioned, Meshell too of course, some of her stuff surely would fit into that 'soft rock' genre .... well, you know, if one HAS to do the 'genre thing' that is

  

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drhodes777
Member since Jul 04th 2013
23 posts
Wed Jul-01-20 10:18 PM

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10. "RE: im gonna add Alana Davis to this list..."
In response to Reply # 8


          

>to be clear, im a 'fight the genre' guy but for fun, i'll
>join in the game here
>
>....starting with her first stellar record "Blame it On Me"
>in the 90s (which was one of my faves back then, and STILL
>sounds as refreshing today as it did then) id say, yeah,
>Alana Davis should be added to this list too...
>
>also another artist who first broke out in the 90s, Dionne
>Farris...add her too.
>
>and as you mentioned, Meshell too of course, some of her stuff
>surely would fit into that 'soft rock' genre .... well, you
>know, if one HAS to do the 'genre thing' that is
>
>
Bruh,
I still play her first album on a fairly regular basis. I don't know how she wasn't bigger as an artist.

  

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thebigfunk
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9628 posts
Sat Jun-27-20 08:50 AM

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9. ""soft rock" is pretty meaningless"
In response to Reply # 0


          

as a genre label, I think. And I don't mean that as a dismissive comment, just to suggest that the question itself might not work if the core of the question ("soft rock") is ambiguous. It held enough weight to describe radio formats but I'm not sure that it offers anything coherent as a genre descriptor, especially across larger swaths of time. The most coherent period for the label is probably the more singer-songwriter leaning stuff of the '70s - Carole King, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Carpenters, etc - but where does it go in the 80s? In the 90s? You can argue certain trajectories (Hall & Oates/"yacht rock") but I that sound is distinct enough that I'd hesitate to lump it in with soft rock...

All of that said, I think you could make a good argument that at least a certain section of 70s and 80s soul effectively intersected with "soft rock" as it came to be tagged and labeled -- I'm thinking of folks like Roberta, Donny, Minnie, maybe even Nina Simone -- like, you can hear it all right alongside each other and it makes perfect sense, there's no disconnect, and of course there's plenty of explicit cross-pollination in terms of covers, studio musicians, etc. Of course, the racial politics of the music business meant it probably didn't get played in that way very often... (although maybe it did more than we realize -- you hear all sorts of anecdotes about how radio in the 70s and early 80s was more eclectic in formatting than now)

The other thing I thought, taking it into the late 70s and 80s, is Quiet Storm -- which again, probably isn't so much a genre as a radio format (though much more coherent than soft rock itself probably every was).

-thebigfunk

~ i could still snort you under the table ~

  

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amplifya7
Member since Feb 07th 2010
2952 posts
Sat Jul-04-20 10:53 AM

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11. "A.R. Kane"
In response to Reply # 0


          

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEtp80EQOgw

Bandcamp/IG/FB/Twitter: @hecticzeniths

  

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spitfire
Charter member
1331 posts
Sat Jul-04-20 04:28 PM

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12. "Res?"
In response to Reply # 0


          

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