Minneapolis may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of the history of music in America. But without the sounds that grew from the city’s Battle of the Bands contests, cafés, record shops and lesser-known studios, the world would not have had much of the music of the late 20th and 21st centuries.
The city can stake a claim to exerting influence in a wide range of musical genres. It is famous for folk – Bob Dylan, a native of another Minnesota city, Duluth, spent time here before going on to forge his career in New York. But he also returned to Minneapolis to record his seminal album, Blood on the Tracks, at the city’s renowned Sound 80 Studio.
Minneapolis has a legendary heritage for producing some of the pioneering names in the 1990s underground punk rock scene including The Replacements, Hüsker Du, and Soul Asylum, who went on to have a breakthrough hit on the Billboard chart with Runaway Train.
Minneapolis is arguably most famous for funk. It’s here that Prince was born and spent most of his life. Along with associated acts like Morris Day and The Time, he brought rock, pop and modern funk grooves straight from Minneapolis’ streets to the world. You can learn more about him in our comprehensive Prince Tour.
But the city’s musical credits don’t end there. Led by Prince – seen as the godfather of the genre – but pioneered by a host of other local artists, the city developed its own music genre, The Minneapolis Sound, in the 1980s. It’s here in Minneapolis that Janet Jackson found her Control, ably assisted by supremo record producing duo, Jam and Lewis. And where artists including Jellybean Johnson, Andre Cymone, Sue Ann Carwell and many more contributed to this fusion of rock, funk, jazz and New Wave.
The Minneapolis Sound didn’t only transform the music of the 1980s but its influence can be seen today with artists like Beyonce, Janelle Monae and Bruno Mars injecting the “Sound” into their own anthemic hits, as you can hear on our Minneapolis Sound Tour.
But first, let us take you there… on a top spots tour of the city of Minneapolis’ Downtown. Click Start Tour to dive right in.
No artists detailed here or mentioned in this tour, including the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson are affiliated, associated, or connected with SoundAround nor have any of these parties endorsed or sponsored SoundAround and this Musical Minneapolis Downtown tour. Further, no artist, nor the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson, has licensed any of its intellectual property to the owners of SoundAround and its Musical Minneapolis Downtown tour.