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Psychedelic soul

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Title: Psychedelic soul  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Psychedelic music, Cloud Nine (The Temptations album), Puzzle People, Song of Innocence, The Pendulum Vibe
Collection: Psychedelic Music, Soul Music Genres
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Psychedelic soul

Psychedelic soul, sometimes called black rock,[1] is a subgenre of Funkadelic and Parliament ensembles.


  • History 1
    • Origins 1.1
    • Development 1.2
    • Decline and influence 1.3
  • Notable psychedelic soul artists 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4



The Chambers Brothers shown in 1970

Following the lead of Jimi Hendrix in psychedelic rock, in the late 1960s psychedelia began to have a widespread impact on African American musicians, particularly the stars of the Motown label.[2] Influenced by the civil rights movement, it had a darker and more political edge than much acid rock.[2] Building on the funk sound of James Brown, it was pioneered by Sly and the Family Stone with songs like "Dance to the Music" (1968), "Everyday People" (1968) and "I Want to Take You Higher" (1969), which had a sound that emphasized distorted electric rhythm guitar and strong basslines.[3] Also important were the Temptations and their producer Norman Whitfield, who moved from a relatively light vocal group into much more serious material with "Cloud Nine" (1968), "Runaway Child, Running Wild" (1969) and "Psychedelic Shack" (1969).[3]


Other Motown acts soon followed into psychedelic territory, including established performers like the Supremes with "Reflections" (1967), "Love Child" (1968), and "Stoned Love" (1970).[4] Psychedelic influences could also be heard in the work of Stevie Wonder[2] and in Marvin Gaye's socially conscious work from What's Going On (1971).[5] Acts that broke through with psychedelic soul included The Chambers Brothers with "Time Has Come Today" (1966, but charting in 1968),[4] The 5th Dimension with a cover of Laura Nyro's "Stoned Soul Picnic" (1968),[4] Edwin Starr's "War" (1970) and the Undisputed Truth's "Smiling Faces Sometimes" (1971).[2]


Decline and influence

While psychedelic rock began to waver at the end of the 1960s, psychedelic soul continued into the 1970s, peaking in popularity in the early years of the decade, and only disappearing in the late 1970s as tastes began to change.[2] Acts like Earth, Wind and Fire, Kool and the Gang and Ohio Players, who began as psychedelic soul artists, incorporated its sounds into funk music and eventually the disco which partly replaced it.[7]

Notable psychedelic soul artists

Parliament-Funkadelic performing in 2006

See also


  1. ^ a b J. S. Harrington, Sonic Cool: the Life & Death of Rock 'n' Roll (Milwaukie, MI: Hal Leonard Corporation, 2002), ISBN 0-634-02861-8, pp. 249–50.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Psychedelic soul", Allmusic, retrieved 27 June 2010.
  3. ^ a b R. Gulla, Icons of R&B and Soul: an Encyclopedia of the Artists who Revolutionized Rhythm, Volume 2 (London: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008), ISBN 0-313-34046-3, pp. 278–81.
  4. ^ a b c d e G. Case, Out of Our Heads: Rock 'n' Roll Before the Drugs Wore Off (Milwaukie, MI: Hal Leonard Corporation, 2010), ISBN 0-87930-967-9, pp. 70–1.
  5. ^ J. Ankeny, "Marvin Gaye", Allmusic, retrieved 3 July 2010.
  6. ^ V. Bogdanov, C. Woodstra and S. T. Erlewine, All Music Guide to Rock: the Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul (Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, 3rd edn., 2002), ISBN 0-87930-653-X, p. 226.
  7. ^ a b c A. Bennett, Rock and Popular Music: Politics, Policies, Institutions (Abingdon: Routledge, 1993), ISBN 0-203-99196-6, p. 239.
  8. ^ Caramanica, Jon (September 24, 2003). "Erykah Badu". Rolling Stone, retrieved 3 June 2014.
  9. ^ S. Huey and J. Bush, "Black Merda", Allmusic, retrieved 3 July 2010.
  10. ^ J. Ankenyhttp, "Marvin Gaye", Allmusic, retrieved 3 July 2010.
  11. ^ S. Huey, "Mandrill", Allmusic, retrieved 3 July 2010.
  12. ^ S. Huey, "Buddy Miles", Allmusic, retrieved 3 July 2010.
  13. ^ Martens, Todd (March 19, 2009). "SXSW Day 2 afternoon report: Get to know Janelle Monae". Los Angeles Times, retrieved 12 May 2013.
  14. ^ J. Ankeny, "Minnie Riperton", Allmusic, retrieved 3 July 2010.
  15. ^ V. Bogdanov, C. Woodstra and S. T. Erlewine, All Music Guide to Rock: the Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul (Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, 3rd edn., 2002), ISBN 0-87930-653-X, p. 1206.
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