Sydney Recording Studio: In the mid to late 70’s, Rick James began to funk the world with his party music. James was known for his discofunk song “You And I” in the late 70’s and the major hit “Superfreak” in the early 80’s. Rick James‘ fun and sexy style of music, blended with the dance grooves of the times, was a major influence to many different races of people, including people at our Sydney Recording Studio.
Sydney Recording Studio: Prince
But by far, the most influential artist to all people in regards to funk and dance music, was Prince. Prince released his first full-length record in 1978, titled “For You”, and from there would go on to blend many styles of music together into a danceable and soulful presentation of art. His self-titled release “Prince” was funky and sexy, but without talk of drug use or “sexploitation”. The album artwork featured him riding nude on a white horse, which was very controversial to the media. This controversy continued, and Prince released “Dirty Mind” in 1980, “Controversy” in 1981, and “1999” in 1982, and many, many more since then that have charted #1 hits.
Dirty Mind has been said to be one of the most musically influential albums of the last 50 years (from SPIN and Rolling Stone magazines) and many of his other albums have been added to that list. Prince was the only artist to blend all of the previous genres (that contributed to funk) together with many other genres of music, like disco/dance, European/new romantic, new wave, folk, techno/electronic, Latin and world music, and hip-hop. This new genre of music that emerged from Prince’ unique blend was called New Funk. As the generations went on, many sydney recording studio musicians of all colors started listening to the music of the original African-American pioneers and were mainly influenced by them. However, Prince was one of the few remaining artists who continued the traditions of previous soul artists.
Political messages in music were very rare to be heard in mainstream music and on the radio. The social revolution that the soul, funk, and R&B artists of the 60’s and 70’s had worked so hard to create was dying. Some disco funk supergroups like Chic (they still to this day have the #1 selling single of all time on Warner Brothers with “Le Freak”) who were successful in the late 70’s and early 80’s had since faded. Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers of Chic went on to produce big pop/funk artists like Madonna. However, the new political leaders of the Reagan generation seemed to stifle social music (especially music that uplifted and educated the lower and middle classes; disco and funk) from becoming well known by the mass public.