R&B  •  Contemporary R&B »

Quiet Storm

In 1975, Smokey Robinson released a smooth, sensuous solo LP of romantic adult soul titled A Quiet Storm. The album eventually gave its name to a style and radio format that aimed to create very similar moods. Quiet Storm also drew inspiration from Marvin Gaye's lush Let's Get It On LP, the orchestrations of Philly soul, and the gentle, ultra-smooth recordings of Al Green. In a way, quiet storm was R&B's answer to soft rock and adult contemporary -- while it was primarily intended for black audiences, quiet storm had the same understated dynamics, relaxed tempos and rhythms, and romantic sentiment. However, there was also an urbane sophistication and subdued soulfulness that marked quiet storm as unmistakably rooted in R&B. Some artists concentrated near-exclusively on the style, but most recorded more uptempo tracks in addition to the ballads that fit the requirements of the radio format. Quiet storm remained popular from the late '70s into the early '90s, when mainstream R&B took on a harder-edged hip-hop influence; as a result, quiet storm found virtually no new practitioners.

Quiet Storm Song Highlights