Minneapolis Sound

In the early 1980s a new musical sound began to emerge from artists in the Minneapolis area. It was called the "Minneapolis Sound" and Prince is credited as its originator (Henderson). This sound was a combination of funk, punk, new wave, R&B, pop and experimental rock. The Minneapolis sound incorporated synthesizers in place of horns and drum machines instead of live drummers (Ohmes).


Throughout the decade, many musical groups and artists were known for this sound.  These included The Time, Morris Day, Vanity 6, Apollonia 6 and Sheila E. Even Janet Jackson’s albums Control and Rhythm Nation 1814 incorporated the Minneapolis Sound on tracks “Nasty”, “Escapade” and “What Have You Done for Me Lately” (Henderson). Considering these albums were recorded and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, original members of the Time who toured with Prince as his opening act, this fact is not surprising.

This new sound was extremely important for establishing the Minneapolis music scene. Prior to the "Minneapolis Sound", Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit and Ohio all had their own "sounds" of R&B and funk (Henderson).