Sounds Of Blackness

Sounds Of Blackness

A 40-person choir and ten-piece orchestra led by Gary Hines, combined traditional African music with urban soul to become one of the most distinctive and popular contemporary gospel groups. Over the course of their career, the group won many awards, from organizations as diverse as the Grammies and the NAACP.

Russel Knighton formed the group, The Macalester College Black Chores, that would prove to be the origins of Sounds of Blackness in 1969 at St. Paul, Minnesota's Macalester College. In 1971, Gary Hines was hired as their musical director and the group began developed its own identity. They opened the group up to the entire community and expanded their musical scope to concentrate on all aspects of black music. They designed the group as a way to embrace all manners of African-American music and create rich, diverse music to celebrate God and the human spirit, as well as make social statements. With their new direction in mind, the group renamed themselves Sounds of Blackness.

For the first decade and a half of the group's existence, Sounds of Blackness primarily played around Minneapolis, often opening for acts as diverse as The Jackson 5 and Hampton Hawes. They frequently released their own records, which helped them strengthen their local following.

Partially by choice, Sounds of Blackness remained a regional attraction until 1989, when Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the hot Minneapolis-based production team, brought Janet Jackson to one of their concerts. Jackson's enthusiastic response inspired Jam & Lewis, who were already in negotiations with Sounds of Blackness, to sign the group to Perspective Records/A&M Records immediately. Before the Perspective deal, any major label interested in the Sounds Of Blackness asked the group to streamline their sound to include only gospel or R&B, or asked them to change their name to "Sounds Of Music"; it wasn't until Perspective that they were allowed to keep their style and sound intact.

The group's national debut album, "The Evolution Of Gospel", was largely produced by Jam & Lewis and received strong reviews. The pair produced the group's next two records, 1992's "The Night Before Christmas" (A Musical Fantasy) and 1994's "Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum", as well.

Sounds Of Blackness Discography


S80-719-35765 Sounds Of Blackness Images Of Blackness(LP) Sound 80 S80-719-35765 USA & Canada 1974 Sell This Version
none Sounds Of Blackness Images II(LP, Album) Not On Label none US 1975 Sell This Version
CPO 398 Sounds Of Blackness The Night Before Christmas - A Musical Fantasy (Album) ASI Records CPO 398 US 1978 Sell This Version
395 361-1 Sounds Of Blackness The Evolution Of Gospel (Album) Perspective Records 395 361-1 Netherlands 1991 Sell This Version
549 009-1 Sounds Of Blackness Africa To America; The Journey Of The Drum (Album) Perspective Records 549 009-1 UK & Europe 1994 Sell This Version
POCM-1134 Sounds Of Blackness Remix Collection: Journey Of The Drum(CD, Album) Polydor POCM-1134 Japan 1995 Sell This Version
31454 9029 2 Sounds Of Blackness Time For Healing (Album) Perspective Records 31454 9029 2 US 1997 Sell This Version
ZINC-734479-2001-27 Sounds Of Blackness Reconciliation (Album) Zinc Records ZINC-734479-2001-27 US 1999 Sell This Version
ATKSOB-11021 Sounds Of Blackness Kings & Queens / Message Music From The Movement(CD) Atomic K Records ATKSOB-11021 US 2007 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

28968 1207-1 The Sounds Of Blackness* Testify (Single, Maxi) Perspective Records 28968 1207-1 US 1991 Sell This Version
PERSS 816 Sounds Of Blackness The Pressure (Pt. 1) (Single, Maxi) Perspective Records PERSS 816 US 1991 Sell This Version
PERDJ 786 Sounds Of Blackness Optimistic (Maxi, Single) Perspective Records PERDJ 786 UK 1991 Sell This Version
AMDJ 061091 Sounds Of Blackness / Amy Grant Sounds Of Blackness / Amy Grant - Optimistic / Every Heartbeat(12", Promo) A&M Records AMDJ 061091 US 1991 Sell This Version
PERDJ 7414 Sounds Of Blackness Soul Holidays / Joy (Single) Perspective Records, Columbia Pictures PERDJ 7414 UK 1992 Sell This Version
PERDJ 849 Sounds Of Blackness Optimistic / Testify (Single) Perspective Records PERDJ 849 UK 1992 Sell This Version
31458-8069-1 Sounds Of Blackness Joy (Single) Perspective Records 31458-8069-1 US 1992 Sell This Version
PERDJ 425 The Sounds Of Blackness* I'm Going All The Way (Single, Maxi) Perspective Records, A&M PM PERDJ 425 UK 1993 Sell This Version
587 425-2, 587 425-2 DJ The Sounds Of Blackness* I'm Going All The Way(CD, Single, Promo) A&M Records, A&M PM, Perspective Records, A&M Records 587 425-2, 587 425-2 DJ UK 1993 Sell This Version
HARD 1 Sounds Of Blackness The Harder They Are The Bigger They Fall (E-Smoove Remixes)(12", Promo) A&M PM, A&M Records, Perspective Records HARD 1 UK 1993 Sell This Version
31458 8345 1 Sounds Of Blackness Everything Is Gonna Be Alright (Single, Maxi) A&M Records, Perspective Records, A&M PM 31458 8345 1 US 1994 Sell This Version
PSSAD 0018 2 Sounds Of Blackness Black Butterfly (Maxi) Perspective Records PSSAD 0018 2 US 1994 Sell This Version
Glory 1 Daryl Hall And Sounds Of Blackness Daryl Hall And Sounds Of Blackness - Gloryland - The Official Theme Song Of WorldCup USA 94 (Maxi, Single) Mercury Glory 1 1994 Sell This Version
31458 7457-2 Sounds Of Blackness I Believe (Single, Maxi) Perspective Records 31458 7457-2 US 1994 Sell This Version
AMDJ060694 Zhané / Sounds Of Blackness Zhané / Sounds Of Blackness - Sending My Love / I Believe(12", Promo) A&M Records, Motown, Perspective Records AMDJ060694 US 1994 Sell This Version
54166-0 Sounds Of Blackness Children Of The World (Theme From PEOPLE) - The Junior Vasquez Mixes (Maxi) Lightyear Entertainment 54166-0 US 1995 Sell This Version