Cutting through the commercial crap of the 1980s hairbands wasn't easy. The appeal of glam rockers was great and as a result, real rock 'n' roll was left to gather dust in the sales bins of record stores. And then from out of nowhere, or more accurately New York, came a band that would change that. Rock was about to be resucitated by an album appropriately titled Vivid.
Living Colour was revolutionary for a number of reasons. First of all, they didn't adhere to the excesses of other popular rock bands at the time, instead Living Colour relied on pure talent. Secondly, they were an all-black rock group, which was rare in itself, but even more shocking they were an all-black rock group that managed to blacks as well as whites. Thirdly, Living Colour didn't fit into any particular music genre. Not satisfied with the confines and restrictions of being labeled as one form of popular music or another, the band blended together hard rock, metal, rap, punk, funk, soul, and hardcore… and the result is unforgettable. This led to their commercial and critical success, which they never let go to their heads.
The band was also unique for the time because, unlike most other hard rock bands that sang about getting drunk or getting laid, Living Colour brought an edge of sophistication to their music. The lyrics of their songs covered all sorts of topical issues including racism (Funny Vibe), celebrity and idolatry (Cult of Personality), drug addiction (Desperate People), social inequality (Which Way to America), and the woes of living in ghetto slums (Open Letter to a Landlord). Living Colour opened the door to a new kind of socially-coscious rock music, something that needed to happen during the years of MTV and the rampant consumerism that went along with it.
1. Cult of Personality
2. I Want to Know
3. Middle Man
4. Desperate People
5. Open Letter to a Landlord
6. Funny Vibe featuring Chuck D. and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy
7. Memories Can't Wait
8. Broken Hearts
9. Glamour Boys
10. What's Your Favorite Color
11. Which Way to America
12. Funny Vibe (Funky Vibe Remix) featuring Chuck D. and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy
13. Should I Stay or Should I Go
14. What's Your Favorite Color (Leblanc Remix)
15. Middle Man (live)
16. Cult of Personality (live)
* tracks 12-16 are only available on the 2002 remastered CD release
So if you want to hear what real ‘80s rock should sound like, then get Vivid!
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