Minneapolis sound Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minneapolis_sound

The Minneapolis sound is a subgenre of funk rock with elements of synth-pop and new wave, that was pioneered by Minneapolis, Minnesota based musician Prince in the late 1970s.[1] Its popularity was given a boost throughout the 1980s thanks to Prince and groups he organized or produced (including the Time, Vanity 6, Apollonia 6, Sheila E., the Family) and the offshoots from his band the Revolution, Wendy & Lisa and Brownmark. After leaving the Time, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Morris Day, and Jesse Johnson all moved on to successful careers. Minneapolis acts not directly associated with Prince also utilized this musical style, including Ta Mara & the Seen, Mazarati, the Jets.

According to the Rolling Stone Album Guide, "the Minneapolis sound... loomed over mid-'80s R&B and pop, not to mention the next two decades' worth of electro, house, and techno."[2]

Those inspired by the style were not necessarily from Minneapolis, despite the subgenre's origins. Some artists who came from Minnesota were influenced by Prince's work. Others came from other parts of the U.S., such as Flint, Michigan's Ready for the World.

Identifying characteristics[edit]

While the "Minneapolis sound" was a form of funk, it had some distinguishing characteristics:

  • Synthesizers generally replaced horn sections of trumpets and saxophones, 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 music.
  • Guitars, while usually 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, and on recordings were often replaced with a drum machine.

See also[edit]


  • Henderson, Alex. "The Minneapolis Sound". Allmusic. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011.
  • Ohmes, Jeremy (June 4, 2009). "The Minneapolis Sound". PopMatters.


  1. ^ Campbell, Michael (2008). Popular Music in America: The Beat Goes On. Cengage Learning, 2008. p. 300. ISBN 0495505307.
  2. ^ Prince: Biography : Rolling Stone

External links[edit]