Living Colour

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About Living Colour

The breakout success of Living Colour in the late ’80s served as a throttling reminder that rock music is a Black art form. British-born guitarist and activist Vernon Reid formed the band with the express purpose of marrying the heavy-metal-informed fusion then popular in New York’s jazz underground with the anti-racism politics of the Black Rock Coalition (the artist collective he co-launched in 1985). Between 1988 and 1993, Living Colour released three ferociously innovative albums and secured a headlining slot on Lollapalooza’s inaugural tour. Whereas the group’s debut full-length, Vivid, showcases infectious social anthems like the MTV smash “Cult of Personality,” Time’s Up challenges listeners with biting political commentary, and Stain dials up the aggression to Helmet-like levels of intensity. Living Colour wouldn’t return to the studio until the early 2000s. In that time, however, countless alt-metal and nu-metal acts emerged who would build on the band’s bold experiments in integrating searing guitar riffs with funk grooves and hip-hop’s layered production techniques.

New York, NY, United States
Hard Rock
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