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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).
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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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First listed to this when I was stationed at Fort Irwin, great music!Published 5 months ago by Richard L.
I lost my old copy of this kick-ass CD, had to replace it ASAP. From start to finish this CD will not let you down..Published 10 months ago by FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ
Living Colours Best Album Hands DOwn
A Fantastic Album Beginning and end
When this album burst on to the scene in 1988 there was really nothing like it. These guys hit a home run right out of the gate with this, their debut effort. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Steven Sly
If u have 2 loosely define the sound of Living Colour u have the gritiness and seedy grunge of Eddie Veder of Pearl Jam, the funkiness and attitude of Morris Day and The Time and... Read morePublished 14 months ago by tomcruz