RNB, also known as rhythm and blues is a genre of African American music. Its origins take us back to the 1940s, when record companies used it for the first time to describe jazz music with great beats. In the 1950s, RNB was used to describe mostly blues music, but later, the term was also used for gospel and soul. In the 1970s, RNB was the description used for soul and funk and since the 1980s, a new sub-genre named contemporary RNB appeared. In Great Britain, RNB developed in the early 1960s. Many bands were trying to imitate the recordings of American artists, that gained an immense popularity during the Cold War, especially in some English ports like London, Belfast and Liverpool. The British music was rawer than the American one. Alexis Korner was one artist that had a major influence on the British RNB.
Alexis Korner was the mentor of the members of several important bands of his years, like The Yardbirds, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and Graham Bond Organisation. British rock musicians also showed an important interest in RNB and Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Jimmy Page adopted some of the features of this type of music. The most successful British RNB band was The Rolling Stones. In 1964, they released and eponymous album adopting this style. Through it, they attacked the American charts and became the second most popular British band in the world, following The Beatles.
All through the years, the music that The Rolling Stones produced was influenced by RNB. Thanks to them, other bands adopted this trend: The Animals, The Moody Blues, Small Faces and The Who. Even if The Rolling Stones had great success in America, most of the RNB singing bands following them did not achieve the same. The British RNB was still extremely different from the original American sound and these bands needed to move on and leave this genre behind. Some of them were influenced by rock music and put the pillars of psychedelic, progressive and hard rock genres, but in the end, the RNB was a huge component of their sound.