At a time when the music industry was dominated by white rock bands, Living Colour decided to redefine the contours of the genre with a bang. A kind of metal All Blacks, they push back the boundaries in a universe where their riffs and technical virtuosity rhyme with an audacity and diversity never before seen in the rock world.
For them, music is not a rigid formula, but a constantly evolving canvas. So, over the course of each album, they build and deconstruct, weave and unweave, bringing to metal a little jazz, a pinch of rap and a hint of funk. Right from their first album, Vivid, the mix exploded, and their track Cult of Personality, instantly recognizable from its first three notes, toured the planet.
With Corey Glover's charisma, as intense as Prince, as bold as Bowie, the band set the crowds on fire. On stage, the energy is highly contagious. The hypnotic rhythms of Will Calhoun on drums and the deep grooves of Doug Wimbish on bass are the foundation for Reid's swirling forays and Glover's fiery vocals. With his always committed lyrics, he never hesitates to spread his message, occasionally brandishing "Democracy, Vote" signs and reminding us of the importance of a world where cohesion and freedom coexist.
For sure, the band has brought a new palette of colors to metal, metamorphosing it into a kaleidoscope as delirious as it is masterful. Since their inception, they have left behind them a trail of healthy rebellion and musical innovation second to none. Living Colour is a living legend, transcending boundaries far beyond metal.
With them, success doesn't wait. Right from their first album, Vivid, Living Colour rocked the world charts. A few years earlier, Mick Jagger had spotted them and decided to produce them. The following year, their hit Cult of Personality won the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Song. In the years that followed, their success continued unabated. Time's Up, for which they won a second Grammy, and Stain are little jewels of fusion metal.
In 1995, the band split up, Vernon Reid being too busy to continue the adventure. But six years later, Living Colour were back, ready to turn the genre's standards on their head once again. In 2003, they released Collideøscope, an aggressive album that received immediate praise from the specialist press. That same year, they set the stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival alight as if they'd never left.
From now on, everything seems to be running smoothly for the band, who know how to make themselves desired. On average, they release an album every five years, but what an album! In 2017, Shade evokes their share of light and shade, mixing as usual the aggressiveness of regressive metal with nostalgic blues rock or crazy funk, always against a backdrop of demands. Clearly, with them, the formula is renewed but never repeated.
Fans are still waiting for a new opus in the form of a precious nugget. But for now, the band is concentrating on its live shows, touring the planet every year, playing intimate stages as well as the biggest festivals. Because that's certainly where their music expresses itself best.
How can such a great band be so humble? The concert was stratospheric, with every member of the band truly at the top of their game, and the ensemble the very definition of the word synergy. And yet, Corey spends all his time communicating with his audience, singing along with the crowd. One of the best concerts of my life!
Clearly, there was a before and an after to Living Colour. These four guys were among the first to inject elements of jazz and funk into codified metal with limitless precision and technical skill. A small revolution coupled with an insane desire and energy on stage. It's a band we immediately fell in love with, and we're really excited and impatient to see them back on our stages!
In the late '80s and early '90s, there was this contemporary revolution, a cultural renaissance underway in black music. Artists were sampling, bending and fusing rock, jazz, soul, funk and hip hop, with a message. Whether verbal or visual, the messages shook up conscious philosophical thought and political activism. [...] you can't conjure up the vibrant images of that era without the band Living Colour.