LIVING COLOUR — Vivid — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

LIVING COLOUR - Vivid cover
3.63 | 14 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1988

Filed under Funk Metal


1. Cult Of Personality (4:54)
2. I Want To Know (4:24)
3. Middle Man (3:47)
4. Desperate People (5:36)
5. Open Letter (To A Landlord) (5:32)
6. Funny Vibe (4:20)
7. Memories Can't Wait (4:30)
8. Broken Hearts (4:50)
9. Glamour Boys (3:39)
10. What's Your Favorite Color? (Theme Song) (3:56)
11. Which Way To America? (3:41)

Total Time 49:13


- Corey Glover / vocals
- Vernon Reid / guitar
- Muzz Skillings / bass
- Will Calhoun / drums

- Mick Jagger / harmonica, backing vocals
- Chuck D / rapping
- The Fowler Family / additional backing vocals (tracks 2, 5)
- Dennis Diamond / Carnival Barker (track 8)

About this release

Released by Epic. Reissued with the following bonus tracks:

12. Funny Vibe (Funky Vibe Mix) (3:43)
13. Should I Stay or Should I Go" (Mick Jones) (2:27)
14. What's Your Favorite Color? (Theme Song) (Leblanc Remix) (5:39)
15. Middle Man (Recorded live at Cabaret Metro, Chicago; November 9, 1990) (3:49)
16. Cult Of Personality (Recorded live at the Ritz, New York City; 1988) (4:59)

Thanks to Lynx33, Unitron, 666sharon666 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Regardless of whether you were in on the Living Colour bandwagon from the beginning or came to them late because you happened to hear Cult of Personality used as CM Punk's entrance music, there's no denying that Vivid delivers exactly what its title promises: a bright, vibrant new musical sound.

Taking funk metal a bit further than fellow pioneers like Faith No More had managed and adding a few honest-to-goodness jazz fusion influences allowed Living Colour to achieve a sound that's truly ahead of its time; I was astonished to discover that this came out in 1988 when it sounds like it'd have been just as fresh and new had it come out any time in the coming decade. With socially conscious lyrics matched with excellent musicianship, Living Colour's debut might start flagging towards the end, and the rest of the album never quite hits the heights of Cult of Personality - but I'd describe that as a five-star song leading off a solidly three-and-a-half to four-star album.
Vernon Reid spent a number of years tinkering with the lineup of Living Colour. By the time the band’s lineup solidified and produced their debut album, Vivid, we can hear that Reid made the right choices.

Without a doubt, “Cult Of Personality” is the most popular song off this album, and is probably Living Colour’s most popular song in their whole catalog. Not surprising at all. It’s an extremely catchy tune and a great way to kick off the album.

The level of energy holds up for the next three tunes, as does some solid riffing. “Desperate People” in particular has a damn fine riff that comes in after the intro and also plays during the chorus of the song.

With “Open Letter (To A Landlord)”, we have something of a ballad, more so lyrically than structurally. Starting off with a sorrowful intro with some emotional delivery by vocalist Corey Glover, the song then transforms into an upbeat tune highlighted by a tight groove from the rhythm section of bassist Muzz Skillings and drummer Will Calhoun. Vernon Reid adds additional “Colour” with his supporting fretwork.

“Funny Vibe” is one of the funkiest songs on the album, but it’s also one of the more dated tunes at the same time. A not-so-careful listen will have you spotting cameos by Chuck D and Flava Flav of Public Enemy fame. Dated or not, this song has a great outro!

“Memories Can’t Wait” is a cover of a Talking Heads song. I just heard the original version for the first time yesterday, and have to say they did a fine job of it. It’s faithful to the original, yet still takes on the Living Colour sound. Even though it’s not technically their song, it still is among the strongest songs on the album.

Unlike “Open Letter”, “Broken Hearts” is more along the lines of a traditional ballad. Along with “Cult Of Personality”, this is the song off Vivid that I find myself humming the most. Solo duties fall to bassist Skillings instead of Reid on this track.

Unfortunately, some of these songs didn’t age as well as the others. “I Want To Know”, “Funny Vibe”,“Glamour Boys”, and “What’s Your Favorite Color? (Theme Song)” fall under this category. However, when you piece it all together, the tracks all fit nicely and couldn’t see this album with any one track missing.

Vivid ends with an exclamation mark with “Which Way To America?” which blends the two main elements of their sound with a funky verse and an aggressively delivered chorus with perhaps the heaviest guitar on the album.

Vivid is an excellent way to spend 49 minutes, and deserves four stars!

Members reviews

Living Colour emerged with a highly original sound and conscious, politically charged lyrics that as of then had not been prominent in Metal. Simple yet extremely catchy and funky riffage carries the somewhat repetitive songs along as Glover’s fantastic voice and words drive them home. The subject matter ranges from razor sharp critiques of social injustice to introspective, passionate longing, all done very effectively. The album is rather eclectic, and the band showcases their ability to shift between hard hitting Metal anthems and slow, funky bluesy numbers, touching on numerous styles in between.

Vivid is effectively one of the first Funk Metal albums ever recorded, with only Faith No More’s Introduce Yourself coming earlier, though this album is a more fully realized representation of the genre.

Ratings only

  • tapfret
  • Colt
  • Daniel Wallace
  • Nightfly
  • Bojanthebest
  • aglasshouse
  • Unitron
  • Lynx33
  • luanpedi
  • spizzetti
  • Negoba

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