Quiet Storm Essentials

Quiet Storm Essentials

Starting in the mid-’70s, urban radio DJs began filling the late-night airwaves with a silky new brand of R&B ballad; it was rooted in the soulful vocal expressions of the ‘50s and ‘60s but featured an unprecedented degree of plushness and smoothness. Named after a stellar track by Smokey Robinson and epitomized by such iconic artists as Al Green, Roberta Flack, and Anita Baker, the Quiet Storm format soon caught on nationwide, showcasing many of the era’s most versatile and emotive singers at their most sensitive and most seductive. Spacious arrangements, laidback grooves, and sumptuous strings all became trademarks of the sound. Delivering performances that were direct and sincere yet never too aggressive, specialists like Teddy Pendergrass and Patti LaBelle helped give vivid new life to even the most familiar of love-song sentiments.

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