Soul, for a majority of the 1960’s could be seen as the umbrella term for popular black music. Soul became the term adopted to describe that type of music as it evolved from the 1960’s into the 1970’s. For most people, it was essentially a new term for Rhythm and Blues, however it quickly dominated America in a different way. Soul music returned to the roots and heart of black music, incorporating blues styles and music heard in church.
It uses the many aspects of blues such as the intensity of vocals and the emotional honesty. Soul music is known to be pretty political and controversial at some times but that was a way soul artists got their message across. A form of soul that is well known is Motown, which came from Detroit. Motown was created as a lighter, more pop oriented sound, with the purpose to appeal to a much broader audience. Because of this Motown was deemed less authentic than the traditional Soul sound for many years, although both are still similar in many aspects. Amongst some of the many successful artist produced at Motown, Marvin Gaye and the many different girl groups made a huge contribution to this type of music as a whole.
Berry Gordy was the mind behind Motown Records and was known to control each artist to ensure they were the exact product he wanted them to be. The girl groups were a prime example of this, many of the girl groups did not write their own lyrics, but were just given already written material to record.Apart from Motown Soul music is heavily influenced by gospel, using things like organ lines, shouting, high emotions and much more. Some examples of soul artists would be Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Amy Winehouse and so on. The Motown Sound definitely use some of the elements of soul and other types of music but overall Motown had a more polished sound. Motown Record was a record label that combined R, pop and even pieces of soul music trying to come up with a blend of music that was going to be commercially successful with both white and black audiences. The sound that Motown emphasized was a 4/4 beat, with a tambourine on the 2 and 4 of every beat, bouncing bass lines, and pop friendly sounding instruments such as bells or vibraphones. It was heavily polished and songs were subject to multiple revisions and weekly marketing reviews before release.
This sound became the common sound in many artists between 1963 and 1972. These artists include groups like The Temptations, The Supremes, and The Vandellas. Motown was first known as only a product of Motown Records but now refers to a style of music as a whole. In terms of the lyrics, songs produced at Motown Records were easily recognizable from other records labels because they incorporated their new and unique sound. The link between Motown and Soul is that there were soul songs recorded at Motown Records, yet soul music is not limited to only Motown because it has many different roots.