When Oakland’s own Tony! Toni! Toné! titled their third album Sons of Soul, it certainly wasn’t by accident. It couldn’t be more fitting, as they were rooted in the tradition of yesteryear soul bands and brought those influences to a new generation.
With Sons of Soul, Raphael Wiggins (popularly known as Raphael Saadiq), his brother D’Wayne Wiggins, and their cousin Timothy Christian Riley became R&B’s defining revivalists, crafting a kaleidoscopic, thirteen-song soul trip that melded vintage sounds of the Isley Brothers, James Brown, and Sly Stone with the sultry dancehall and hip-hop styles of the current. Coming off the heels of their breakthrough album, 1990’s The Revival, the trio managed to eschew their earlier experiments with New Jack Swing, while redefining their own Oakland funk vision that furthered the possibilities of classic funk and soul in the 1990s.
While next year marks the 25th anniversary of its initial release back in 1993, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) and Motown Records reissued Sons of Soul last week as part of Universal’s acclaimed ‘Respect the Classics’ campaign. This reissue marks the first time in two decades that the album has made its way on to vinyl. Original pressings of the album are largely sought after and command high prices among collectors and enthusiasts alike. Collectors will be proud to know that this reissue is pressed as a double, standard weight-vinyl set, with original artwork to boot.
A commercial and critical watershed, Sons of Soul peaked at #38 on Billboard’s 200 chart and #3 on its R&B/Hip-Hop chart. It was the Tonies’ best-selling album, becoming a multi-platinum success and positioning them as one of R&B’s most popular and revered acts. The album also spawned the classic singles “Anniversary,” “Slow Wine,” “If I Had No Loot,” “(Lay Your Head on My) Pillow,” and “Leavin’.”
You can put your “loot” down on a copy of this classic reissue from Oakland’s finest now, and in the meantime, reminisce by checking out some throwback visuals below.
BUY Tony! Toni! Toné!’s Sons of Soul via Amazon