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Living Colour

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Living Colour
Living Colour in 2010
Living Colour in 2010
Background information
OriginNew York City, U.S.
Years active
  • 1984–1995
  • 2000–present
Past member(s)Muzz Skillings

Living Colour is an American rock band from New York City. It was made in 1984. Their music is a fusion of heavy metal, funk, jazz, hip hop and alternative rock.[4] The band's current members are guitarist Vernon Reid, lead singer Corey Glover, drummer Will Calhoun and bassist Doug Wimbish. Many of the band's songs talk about racism in the United States.

Living Colour has made six studio albums. In 1988, the band became popular when they released their first album, Vivid.[5] A song from the album, "Cult of Personality", won a Grammy Award in 1990. They won another Grammy Award for their second album, Time's Up. The band broke up in 1995, but came back together in 2000. Since then, they have released three albums. The band is working on making new music for another album.[6]

History[change | change source]

Early years of the band (1984–1986)[change | change source]

Guitarist Vernon Reid made Living Colour in New York in 1984. Because he was born in England, he used the word 'colour' instead of 'color'.[7] Reid was well known in New York's jazz music community because he played music with Ronald Shannon Jackson.[8] From 1984 to 1986, Living Colour had many different members. These members were musicians such as Jerome Harris, Geri Allen and Pheeroan akLaff.

The band had many different singers. Sometimes, Reid would sing as well. During this time, the band made music that sounded very different than its studio albums. The band made a song named "Funny Vibe". This song would be put on Vivid in 1988.

The band gets popular (1986–1991)[change | change source]

Corey Glover (left) and Doug Wimbish (right) playing at a concert in 1993.

In 1986, the band had four members: singer Corey Glover, guitarist Vernon Reid, bassist Muzz Skillings, and drummer Will Calhoun.[5] These members stayed in the band. The band got good at playing at concerts.[9] They played many times at CBGB, a club in New York City. Mick Jagger, the singer for the Rolling Stones, noticed the band. After he watched the band play at CBGB, he helped the band make demos of their music. He also helped the band join Epic Records, a record label.[10] The band made their first album with Epic.

Vivid was released on May 3, 1988. It started selling many copies later that year. This was because MTV started showing the music video for "Cult of Personality", a song from the album. It reached number 6 on the Billboard 200, an American music chart. In 1989, the band played on Saturday Night Live.[11] "Cult of Personality" later won a Grammy Award.[12]

Living Colour started going on concert tours with other bands, such as Guns N' Roses and the Rolling Stones. In 1990, the band released Time's Up, their second album. It had music of many different genres, such as jazz, punk rock, hip hop, and funk.[13] It won a Grammy Award.[14] In 1991, Living Colour played at Lollapalooza.[5]

Breakup and reunion (1992–present)[change | change source]

In 1992, Skillings left the band. He was replaced by Doug Wimbish. The band made Stain, their third album. In 1995, the band disbanded. This was because they did not want to make the same music on their fourth album.[5] Four of the songs they made while making their fourth album were put on Pride. After the band broke up, the members started making music alone.

On December 21, 2000, the band got back together to play at CBGB. After the band played at the club, they released Collideøscope. They played on many concert tours in the 2000s, and released The Chair in the Doorway in 2009. It went onto the Billboard 200 music chart. It was the band's first album to do this since Stain.[15]

Studio albums[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. The following sources refer to Living Colour as hard rock:
    • Chuck Klosterman (November 1, 2007). Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota. Simon and Schuster. p. 165. ISBN 978-1-4165-8952-5.
    • Chuck Klosterman (September 14, 2010). Chuck Klosterman on Rock: A Collection of Previously Published Essays. Simon and Schuster. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-4516-2449-6.
    • Martha Bayles (May 15, 1996). Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music. University of Chicago Press. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-226-03959-6.
    • "Living Colour: Keeping The Music Alive". All Things Considered. NPR. December 6, 2009. Archived from the original on April 29, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  2. The following sources refer to Living Colour as funk metal:
  3. The following sources refer to Living Colour as alternative metal:
  4. Mahon, Maureen (2004-06-23). Right to Rock: The Black Rock Coalition and the Cultural Politics of Race. Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-3317-3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Strong, Martin Charles (2000). The Great Rock Discography. Mojo Books. ISBN 978-1-84195-017-4.
  6. Pump, Big Poppa (2018-12-12). "Interview: Corey Glover of Living Colour Talks Oz Tour". Spotlight Report. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  7. James, Joseph (April 30, 2017). "Cult of Personality: An interview with Will Calhoun (Living Colour)". Will Not Fade. Archived from the original on June 16, 2019. Band founder Vernon Reid is English, so made a deliberate choice to spell 'colour' correctly with the 'U' included. But most Americans spell many words incorrectly out of ignorance. It's not much of an issue.
  8. Fricke, David (24 Sep 1987). "Back in Black". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  9. Panebianco, Julie. "Living Colour Rock The Ritz." East Village Eye, December 1986, p 6.
  10. "How Living Colour Reignited Rock's "Cult of Personality"". May 3, 2018.
  11. Living Colour (April 1, 2019). "Cult Of Personality (Live on SNL - April 1, 1989)". Facebook. Retrieved 2022-12-19.
  12. "Here's list of nominees from all 77 categories". Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News Publishing Company. January 12, 1990. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  13. Greg Prato. "Living Colour Time's Up". AllMusic. Archived from the original on August 6, 2015. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  14. "List of Grammy nominations". Times-News. Hendersonville, North Carolina: The New York Times Company. January 11, 1991. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  15. Living Colour Back With Fifth Studio Album Archived April 23, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Billboard.com. Retrieved on July 8, 2009.