Vivid (Expanded Edition)
Could black hard rock make it in the '80s heartland? Living Colour's debut, Vivid, proved that it could. Conceived by Vernon Reid—a Santana-influenced guitarist with experience in New York's avant-jazz scene—the band ripped and ran with a palette that took in screaming metal, lyrical flights, various stripes of funk, and even pseudo-Beach Boys pop (see “I Want to Know”). It was a dead-serious mission; "Cult of Personality,” the band's trademark song, opened with a sample of Malcolm X's voice. Yet a sense of playfulness asserted itself across the record's mix of styles, from a molten cover of Talking Heads' “Memories Can't Wait” to Chuck D and Flavor Flav's cameo on “Funny Vibe.” Living Colour even had a ”theme song”: “What's Your Favorite Color?” Acute and in the pocket, Vivid pushed back the walls.