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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, alternative metal, funk metal,[1] 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 the 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 Still Alive". ChartAttack. 5 November 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  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.
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4229 news items

Something Else! Reviews

Something Else! Reviews
Thu, 07 May 2015 11:48:04 -0700

Living Colour, who released their smash debut album Vivid in May 1988, had the same implausible dream as every other rock band — to make the big time — but with the added overlay of race. They'd become funk-metal pioneers, of course, but not without ...

Mainline Today

Mainline Today
Mon, 04 May 2015 10:26:15 -0700

Glover, who is also a renown artist, is a two-time Grammy award winner and has been called a true renaissance man. He not only fronts Living Colour but also tours with funk band Galactic and, as an accomplished actor, has appeared in such films as ...

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Sun, 10 May 2015 18:33:24 -0700

Dress, €59.95, J'aime la Vie; necklace, €20; Open Gallery 2 Dress, €59.95, J'aime la Vie; necklace, €20; earrings, €10, both Soul; all Carraig Donn Dress, €69.95, J'aime la Vie; necklace, €20; bracelets, from €10; earrings, €10, all Soul; all Carraig Donn.
Times Colonist
Wed, 29 Apr 2015 02:49:40 -0700

Pioneering funk-metal band Living Colour will serve as the opening act on July 16 when rockers Aerosmith perform at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, organizers have announced. The concert will mark the first Victoria appearances by both acts.


Sat, 23 May 2015 07:37:30 -0700

Somehow one's own garden has nothing to do with designing for someone else. This is more of a hobby,' John Brookes, the doyen of British garden designers, says as we walk around Denmans, his garden near Chichester in Sussex. At the age of 81, does ...

Aquarian Weekly

Aquarian Weekly
Wed, 13 May 2015 11:00:00 -0700

If you were to ask me who the two most soulful singers in hard rock were, the first two names that would come to mind would be King's X frontman and bassist, dUg Pinnick, and Living Colour frontman, Corey Glover. The minute I heard that hook from King ...


Mon, 27 Apr 2015 01:03:45 -0700

Living Colour verraste met hun derde album Stain de fans met een zwaarder geluid dan ooit daarvoor. De New Yorkse funkmetalband had na een vrij succesvol tweede album te maken gekregen met onderlinge meningsverschillen, wat uiteindelijk ...

Packet Online

Packet Online
Fri, 22 May 2015 11:45:00 -0700

Doug Wimbish of Living Colour will serve as musical director for the show and has assembled an all-star house band that includes Paul Pesco, who has played with Hall & Oates and Madonna; Calvin Weston, David Dzubinski, Imani Roach and Allison Polans ...

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