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Vivid


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 1, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia Records/Sony
  • ASIN: B0000026IC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,709 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Cult Of Personality
2. I Want To Know
3. Middle Man
4. Desperate People
5. Open Letter (To A Landlord)
6. Funny Vibe
7. Memories Can't Wait
8. Broken Hearts
9. Glamour Boys
10. What's Your Favorite Color? (Theme Song)
11. Which Way To America?

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Living Colour ~ Vivid

Amazon.com

Living Colour's exceptional debut is strong all the way through; there simply isn't any weak material on this album. Generally classified as hard rock, Vivid also contains touches of funk and even jazz, which keeps things interesting. Living Colour were also one of the few bands to succeed in writing socio-politically conscious songs that never sound preachy; they take on politicians ("Cult of Personality"), slumlords ("Open Letter (To a Landlord)"), modern life ("Desperate People" and "Glamour Boys"), and the gap between rich and poor in America ("Which Way to America?"). Outstanding music, skilled lyric-writing, and Corey Glover's strong singing make these songs entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time, something most bands never manage to do. -- Genevieve Williams

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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4 star
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See all 84 customer reviews
Living Colour released their debut album Vivid in 1988.
John Alapick
Their sound and songs are unique musically and lyrically, written with intelligence and a conscious, and really I can't say enough good things about this album.
Mikusha
Muzz Skillings and Will Calhoun provide a solid rhythm section with Mr. Skillings playing an extremely heavy bass.
P Magnum

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By S B on October 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The liner notes on this remaster make references to later-era "rap/metal hybrids" like Rage Against the Machine and Linkin Park. Stylistically, this debut record from one of the most successful all-Black rock bands owes more to the funk and punk and Bad Brains and Red Hot Chili Peppers than to Run DMC or Public Enemy. Here's a song-by-song review:
1. Cult of Personality. Unless you were living under a rock in 1989, you know this signature tune and hard rock classic - the powerful vocals of Corey Glover, the metal/jazz guitar explosion, the Zepplenesque drumming.
2. I Want to Know. If there is a single weak track on this record, it is this very simple pop-rock tune.
3. Middle Man. Although often forgotten, this funky rocker was actually the first single and breakthrough to rock radio.
4. Desparate People. A dose of punk, an lyrical omage to Led Zeppelin, and a whole lotta hard rock make this one a live staple.
5. Open Letter (to a Landlord). This was one of their breakthrough hits, a social commentary backed up by simple balladry versus punk sensibilities.
6. Funny Vibe. On comes the tongue-in-cheek funk with "social commentary" by Chuck D and Flava Flav.
7. Memories Can't Wait. The fact that they would cover Talking Heads on their debut is not so suprising given their CBGBs background, but the blistering guitar work is shockingly good.
8. Broken Hearts. With a little help from their friends (Mick Jaggar on harmonica), the band combines the blues with some hip-hop beats.
9. Glamour Boys. As perhaps the most infectious hit from the summer of 1989, on this one, they combine elements of reggae, funk, and metal and a little help from Mick Jaggar (who contributed background vocals and production).
10.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 18, 1999
Format: Audio CD
While I respect the view of the listener below, I must disagree with him/her on several points. First off, this is an amazing album from first song to last, with literally no filler. There are plenty of songs on here that rival anything that has come before or since -- they will stand the test of time as testaments to the potential of what passionate, talented rockers can produce.
The reader below asks "In how many ways do we need to hear how unfair society can be?" What an awfully naive question. Apparently, the answer for Living Colour is "not enough"! Sure, their agenda is clearly social justice and racial equality, but what do you expect coming from an African-American band playing "white" hard rock? In my opinion, Living Colour's message is one that needs to be repeated over and over.
As far as Vernon Reid "going overboard," I don't blame him for wanting to show off his considerable chops on this debut. But don't fail to point out how different he is from mere mindless Van Halen clones. Reid's style is all his own, a strange, broiling brew of influences including funk, jazz, rock, country, and more. He is a sharper, smarter player than just about any of those shredders from the 80's.
I'm not sure why their funky songs sound "contrived" to the reader below, but to me they sound awesome. What is contrived about them? They funk like crazy, and prove that Living Colour are probably the best rock funkers ever (aside from the Red Hot Chili Peppers). If you want contrived, listen to the garbage that's on the radio these days. THAT'S contrived.
All in all, a landmark album from a much-missed group.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E. D. Daniels on February 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
When I heard of Living Colour it was the fall of 1987 when i read an article of the Black Rock Coalition and was looking foward to the release of their first album, in May of 1988 I bought Vivid expect your typical heavy metal album but with a black twist. Nothing ever prepared me for the sonic assault on my musical senses. From corey glover's soulful singing to a rythum section that actually sounded like a one in heavy rock music from Muzz Skillings and Will Calhoun and the Jazzy yet heavy as heck soloing from the best guitar player of the past 20 years Vernon Reid.I told all my friends from metalheads to soulsters to get this album, from the Zep-like riffs to the ornette coleman like soloing from Reid on "Cult of Personality" to the Bad Brains/AC/DC like thrash of "Desprate People" to the country blues hip-hop of "Broken Hearts" and the socca-rock riffage of "Glamour Boys " the lyrics make you think without being preachy and this is the band I thought (and still think)this band as the true heirs to the Led Zeppelin heavy metal mantle diverse music like they played and musicianship that is top-notch. get this album now.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stack VINE VOICE on September 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Living Colour is a band whose appearance gets more attention than their music-- being the "all black" heavy metal group seems to be more critical to the press and publicity folks than anything else. Indeed, the cover of this reissue bears a sticker that reads "the groundbreaking rap/rock fusion album", which leads me to believe entirely that the person who put that sticker on there had never actually heard Living Colour before.

Living Colour grew out of the Black Rock Coalition-- an organization started by (among others) guitarist Vernon Reid for black musicians interested in playing rock music. Reid, British born but a longtime New York resident, was well known on the downtown New York jazz scenes courtesy of his tenure in Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society. An guitarist of unnerving technique and speed, he assembled a number of bands under the name Living Colour before settling on this quartet-- bassist Muzz Skillings, drummer Will Calhoun (both graduates of the Berklee School of Muisc) and vocalist Corey Glover (who Reid met at a birthday party and was suitably impressed with a rendition of "Happy Birthday"). In Skillings and particularly Calhoun, Reid had a rhythm section with the ability to express themselves in dozens of forms, and in Glover he had a vocalist who could produce depths of soul or rage upon demand. Somehow Mick Jagger became hip to them, and the result was a deal with Sony and their debut album, "Vivid".

Essentially an album of extraordinarily well executed hard rock music-- with more in common with Led Zeppelin than contemporary "metal" acts, "Vivid" is a fantastic debut.
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