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This article is about the band. For the television series, see In Living Color.
Living Colour
Living Colour, 1993.
Background information
Origin New York City, United States
Genres Hard rock, heavy metal,[1] alternative metal, funk metal, experimental rock
Years active 1984–1995, 2000–present
Labels Megaforce, Sanctuary, Epic
Associated acts Free Form Funky Freqs, Headfake, Jungle Funk, Masque, Vice, Wood Brass & Steel, Yohimbe Brothers
Members Vernon Reid
Corey Glover
Will Calhoun
Doug Wimbish
Past members Muzz Skillings

Living Colour is an American rock band from New York City, formed in 1984. Stylistically, the band's music is a creative fusion influenced by heavy metal, funk, jazz, hip hop and alternative rock. Their lyrics range from the personal to the political, in some of the latter cases attacking Eurocentrism and racism in America.

Living Colour rose to fame with their debut album Vivid in 1988.[2] Although the band scored a number of hits, they are best remembered for their signature song "Cult of Personality", which won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990. They were also named Best New Artist at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards. After disbanding in 1995,[2] Living Colour reunited in late 2000.


Early years (1984–1986)[edit]

English-born guitarist Vernon Reid had formed a number of bands, and after a few years, he formed Living Colour in New York in 1984. Reid assembled a number of bands under the name Living Colour from 1984 to 1986. They grew out of the Black Rock Coalition, a non-profit organization founded by (among others) Reid for black musicians interested in playing rock music. Reid was well known on the downtown New York jazz scenes because of his tenure in Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society.

Early band members included bassists Alex Mosely, Jerome Harris and Carl James, drummers Greg Carter, Pheeroan akLaff and J.T. Lewis, keyboardist Geri Allen, and vocalists D.K. Dyson and Mark Ledford, with Reid occasionally singing lead vocals himself. The band's sound was vastly different from the songs that showed up later on their major label recordings. Material from this period included instrumental jazz/funk workouts, politically pointed punk rock burners, experimental excursions via Reid's guitar synth, and an early version of the song "Funny Vibe", which was reworked for their debut album Vivid.

Mainstream success (1986–1991)[edit]

In 1986 a stable lineup was formed, consisting of vocalist Corey Glover, bassist Muzz Skillings, and drummer Will Calhoun (who had graduated with honors from Berklee College of Music),[2] and the band hired managers Jim Grant and Roger Cramer. Soon after, the band became experienced at touring, including performing regular gigs at the club CBGB. Vivid, released on May 3, 1988, gathered sales momentum only when later that year, MTV began playing the video for "Cult of Personality". The album reached No. 6 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. On April 1, 1989, the band performed on NBC's Saturday Night Live. Four months later, the band gained further exposure as an opening act, along with Guns N' Roses, for The Rolling Stones' Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour.

In 1990 the band's second full-length album, Time's Up, featured songs in numerous musical contexts; jazz fusion, punk rock, Delta blues, hip hop (cameos by Queen Latifah and Doug E. Fresh), funk, thrash metal, jive, and hints of electronica were all represented.[citation needed] The album reached No. 13 on the Billboard 200,[2] and won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Album. Other guests included Maceo Parker and Little Richard.[2]

In 1991, Living Colour joined the inaugural Lollapalooza tour, and released an EP of outtakes entitled Biscuits.[2]

Second line-up and breakup (1992–1995)[edit]

In 1992, Skillings left the band due to creative differences and was replaced by Doug Wimbish.[2] This new line up released their third full-length album, Stain, in February 1993. The album reached No. 26 in the U.S., a further drop since their debut.[2]

Despite retaining their strong fan base, Living Colour disbanded in January 1995, after failing to settle on a common musical goal during sessions for their fourth studio album.[2] Four of these tracks were included on the compilation Pride.

Following the breakup, individual band members released a variety of solo efforts.

Reunion and subsequent events (2000–present)[edit]

Living Colour reformed on December 21, 2000, at CBGB as a gig billed "Head>>Fake w/ special guests". Head>>Fake was the current drum and bass project headed by Calhoun and Wimbish. Glover was on the bill to sing a few songs and Reid came on after three songs. The reunion was followed by the release of the band's fourth studio album, Collideøscope, in 2003, their first album not to chart in the United States, although it was critically praised.[citation needed] In 2005, Sony Records released Live from CBGB's, a live album recorded on December 19, 1989, as well as another best-of compilation, Everything Is Possible: The Very Best of Living Colour, with songs from Vivid to Collideøscope.

Sziget Festival - 2006.08.15
Sziget Festival - 2006.08.15, Doug Pinnick filling in for Corey Glover
Sziget Festival - 2006.08.15

In August 2006, Glover took on the role of Judas Iscariot in a national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, touring with JCS veteran Ted Neeley. Doug Pinnick, vocalist and bassist of King's X, filled in for Glover on lead vocals.[3] Glover's tour of the musical ran through June 2008, and he then rejoined the band. On September 22, 2006, Skillings joined the band for the first time in fourteen years when they played at a private party which drummer Jack DeJohnette threw for his wife Lydia. Wimbish was unable to come back from his base in London to play for the event, so Skillings agreed to take over for the special private event.

Corey Glover and Doug Wimbish (2008)
Living Colour, San Diego, CA, March 2013

The band performed a week-long European Tour starting on December 12, 2006. In May 2007, the band released their first live DVD - On Stage At World Cafe Live. On July 11, 2008, the band performed at the 1980s hard rock-themed Rocklahoma festival at Pryor, Oklahoma. Once again, Skillings performed with them in August 2008 for a Black Rock Coalition Band of Gypsys tribute in Harlem. They performed "Them Changes" and "Power of Soul".

On October 25, 2008, MVD Audio and CBGB Records released CBGB OMFUG MASTERS: August 19, 2005 The Bowery Collection, a soundboard collection of songs from the Save CBGB's benefit show. On November 25, 2008, Inakustik and MVD released The Paris Concert (Living Colour DVD)|The Paris Concert, a DVD recorded at New Morning, in Paris, France, during their 2007 European Tour. The band released their fifth studio album, The Chair in the Doorway, on September 15, 2009 on Megaforce Records. The album sold approximately 2,800 copies in its first week and landed at No. 159 on the Billboard 200. This was the band's first album to chart since Stain in 1993. The band toured the world in support of the record.[4]

According to an interview on breakdownroom.net, Glover hopes to release another album with the band next year. "We're going to do something different [for us] and make a real record, right now, right after we've done this one," Glover said with a laugh. The band's song "Cult of Personality" received fresh exposure from 2011, as it was used as the entrance music for professional wrestler CM Punk. In 2013, Living Colour performed the song live during Punk's entrance at WrestleMania 29.

On July 2, 2014 Living Colour announced on their official website that they are putting the finishing touches on their upcoming album Shade due in the spring of 2015. “Shade is the sound of a band coming to terms with its shadows and light, From the blue pulpit of Robert Johnson to the mean red streets of Brooklyn to the golden lure of Hollywood, Shade is the next chapter of a unique American journey,” Reid stated on the official website. In addition to Shade, it was also announced Living Colour will be doing a tour in the fall to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

Acclaim and legacy[edit]

Living Colour was ranked No. 70 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

"Cult of Personality" was part of the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas repertoire of radio songs in Radio X. It was also the first song to be confirmed for the tracklist of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. The version featured in Guitar Hero III is a new master recording of the song that features an updated solo, as the original masters could not be used.

In October 2006, "Love Rears Its Ugly Head" was ranked and voted 303 out of 2006 songs featured in the Triple M Essential 2006 Countdown.

Rolling Stone have called the band, "funk-metal pioneers."[5]

In early 2009, WWE used "Cult of Personality" in the video promoting the induction of Stone Cold Steve Austin into its Hall of Fame. WWE performer CM Punk used the song as his entrance theme in Ring of Honor for a period of time. CM Punk used other licensed music while working with WWE, but, after feigning a departure from the company in July 2011, he returned with "Cult of Personality" as his entrance theme.


  • Vernon Reid – lead guitar, guitar synthesizer, backing vocals (1984–1995, 2000–present); lead vocals (1984–1985)
  • Corey Glover – lead vocals, occasional rhythm guitar, occasional tambourine (1985–1995, 2000–present)
  • Will Calhoun – drums, percussion, keyboards, samples, loops, backing vocals (1986–1995, 2000–present)
  • Doug Wimbish – bass, guitar, drums, programming, backing vocals (1992–1995, 2000–present)
  • Alex Mosely – bass
  • Jerome Harris – bass
  • Carl James – bass
  • Greg Carter – drums, percussion
  • Pheeroan Aklaff – drums, percussion
  • J.T. Lewis – drums, percussion
  • Geri Allen – keyboards
  • D.K. Dyson – lead vocals
  • Mark Ledford – lead vocals
  • Muzz Skillings – bass, backing vocals (1986–1992)



MTV Video Music Awards[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]


  1. ^ Living Colour at Allmusic
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 580–581. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  3. ^ Livingcolourmusic.com
  4. ^ Living Colour Back With Fifth Studio Album Billboard.com. Retrieved on 2009-07-08.
  5. ^ Rollingstone.com[dead link]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Colour — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 

Living Colour - Cult Of Personality

Music video by Living Colour performing Cult Of Personality. (C) 1988 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

Living Colour - Type

Music video by Living Colour performing Type. (C) 1990 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

Living Colour 6/4/14 Empire State Plaza Albany, NY.

Smoking hot guitar licks, powerful singing, great drummer & bass player,Living Colour showed how it's done.

Living Colour - "Cult of Personality" Live at NAMM 2014 BEHRINGER Booth

For those of you who weren't able to make it to the NAMM show earlier this year, here is a video of Living Colour performing their hit song "Cult of Personality" at the MUSIC Group booth. It...

Living Colour - Open Letter To A Landlord

Music video by Living Colour performing Open Letter To A Landlord. (C) 1989 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

Living Colour - Ignorance Is Bliss (live)

Living Colour - Ignorance is Bliss 1993 - David Letterman Show http://www.livingcolour.com http://www.facebook.com/livingcolour http://www.myspace.com/livingcolourmusic http://gplus.to/Living...

Living Colour performing "Cult Of Personality" on Arsenio

This is a video of Living Colour performing their hit "Cult Of Personality" on the Arsenio Hall Show in 1989, I believe. I captured this video from my own VHS-recorded copy of the broadcast...

Living Colour - Love Rears Its Ugly Head

Music video by Living Colour performing Love Rears Its Ugly Head. (C) 1990 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

LIVING COLOUR - Jim Carey-Karate Instructor

Jim carey as a karate instructor teaching self defence techniques.

Living Colour - Glamour Boys

Music video by Living Colour performing Glamour Boys. (C) 1989 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

1000000 videos foundNext > 

3980 news items


Tue, 17 Mar 2015 05:56:15 -0700

Living Colour performed two smashing sets on this year's ShipRocked Cruise and we had the chance to chat with vocalist Corey Glover and drummer Will Calhoun about their upcoming album, Shade, touring with Unlocking the Truth and certain social and ...

New Times Broward-Palm Beach

New Times Broward-Palm Beach
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 07:43:33 -0700

For the millions who have headbanged to Calhoun's vicious kick-start to Living Colour's late-'80s megahit "Cult Of Personality," it may seem strange that one of the most decorated hard rock drummers of all time has a full time gig as a globetrotting ...

South China Morning Post (subscription)

South China Morning Post (subscription)
Tue, 10 Mar 2015 19:42:52 -0700

Humans have long been fascinated by chameleons changing colour to dazzle mates, scare rivals and confuse predators. On Tuesday, scientists said they uncovered the mechanism of the feat, and that the results of their investigation astounded them.
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 04:35:06 -0700

(TeamRock Radio) King's X frontman Doug Pinnick and Living Colour counterpart Corey Glover have announced a US tour together. They'll hit the road in April, delivering a set made up of tracks from both their careers. Promoter Michael Smith says: "These ...


Tue, 03 Mar 2015 09:35:51 -0800

P.O.D. frontman Sonny Sandoval recently revealed the band will be hitting the studio this spring to record a new album of originals after releasing their acoustic "hits" album this Fall. He shared that after their stay on the ShipRocked Tour, they will ...

Asbury Park Press

Asbury Park Press
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 01:15:00 -0700

... Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo at the Paramount Theatre on Saturday, it's a bass-themed all-star jam called "Funk That Bass" at the Stone Pony featuring Bernie Worrell of Parliament Funkadelic, guitarist Dean Ween of Ween, Corey Glover of Living ...


Fri, 27 Mar 2015 05:28:24 -0700

We're talking with Living Colour and Nonpoint, some really cool tours. How has the progression of the new material been for you? I'm digging it, we have a little something different. I can't really say now but we're trying a different approach. I think ...

Coast Weekend

Coast Weekend
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:15:00 -0700

... spent 2014 recording their self-titled debut record and touring a good swath of the U.S. And, for the new kids on the block, the band has had the incredible good fortune of sharing the stage with such acts as The Doobie Brothers, Boston, and Living ...

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