Living Colour “Vivid”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#351 in the Series) is Living Colour, Vivid

Yesterday I mentioned that I felt that Lyle Lovett was a musician that had quite the unique sound.  Well, let’s continue on that “unique” trend with Living Colour. Yeah, I guess an all-African-American metal band would fit the bill.

I know we don’t like to pigeonhole bands. I know it’s also somewhat clichéd to point out musicians by their race.  But I also feel it’s impossible to mention Living Colour and not mention how rare it was and 22 years later, to see an all-African-American metal band, at least one as good as Living Colour.

Living Colour rose from the underground music scene in New York City.  They played all the usual places including, CBGBs. Legend has it that it was there that Mick Jagger found the band playing and helped them move on to the next level.  He also helped produce Vivid along with adding some harp and vocals.

Two songs got the most play here, “The Cult of Personality” and “Glamour Boys.” Both songs were prominent on MTV back in the day’s when MTV played music videos.  “Cult of Personality” was a top 13 hit while “Glamour Boys” reached #31 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. As an album, Vivid reached #6 on the Top 200 Chart.  The only country where it did better was, believe it or not, New Zealand where it peaked at #2!

It also won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance. A fine debut indeed.

They’re back together and still out there. Here’s their website.

Track listing

  1. “Cult of Personality” (Reid, Glover, Skillings, Calhoun) 4:54
  2. “I Want to Know” (Reid) 4:24
  3. “Middle Man” (Glover, Reid) 3:47
  4. “Desperate People” (Calhoun, Reid, Glover, Skillings) 5:36
  5. “Open Letter (To a Landlord)” (Reid, Morris) 5:32
  6. “Funny Vibe” (Reid) 4:20
  7. “Memories Can’t Wait” (David Byrne, Jerry Harrison) 4:30
  8. “Broken Hearts” (Reid) 4:50
  9. “Glamour Boys” (Reid)  3:39
  10. “What’s Your Favorite Color? (Theme Song)” (Reid, Glover) 3:56
  11. “Which Way to America?” (Reid) 3:41


Living Colour

  • Corey Glover – vocals
  • Vernon Reid – guitar
  • Muzz Skillings – bass
  • Will Calhoun – drums

Additional personnel

  • Mick Jagger: Harmonica & Backing Vocals
  • The Fowler Family: Additional Backing Vocals on Tracks 2 & 5
  • Dennis Diamond: Carnival Barker on Track 8

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Posted by Larry Carta

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