Living Colour: c or d

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i remember liking Stain in high school..so classic i guess

matt, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic. An extremely talented band with a great amalgamation of styles. At the time, every article about them made a huge deal of the fact that they were a BLACK ROCK BAND. Perhaps they wanted to push that angle. I just never understood why this was considered to be such a novelty.

brian, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I can't think of too many other bands from around the same time who were black and played ROCK MUSIKKK, typically a white boys club through the 80s. Even though that was mostly a major label thing, the indies weren't much better..apart from Bad Brains (who were louder than most other bands out there) it was still pretty bleak. Most black musicians though the 80s seemed to stand little chance with the major labels unless they fit into a very stereotypical (and frankly racist) stereotype of what black people were supposed to be doing: r&b, soul, hiphop, gospel and jazz. Definitely there was a black influence in pop, but it seemed to be mostly british and still very influenced by soul in a lot of cases. (Even then a lot of the musicians had to be accompanied by white folks to be be considered acceptable as pop music, it seemed.)

Was it novel? Not exactly...Hendrix had already proved that you didn't have to be white to be a major rock artist, and most of the early black rock-and-roll stars (note the "and-roll" there, because it's an important distinction) rocked wayyy harder than their white counterparts: contrast Little Richard with Pat Boone. The record industry just put its blinders on through the 80s, and packed people into neatly segregated little boxes. Major labels especially were guilty of this, and it's hard to overstate the influence this had on a whole generation of young music fans: imagine growing up thinking that only white people could rock, because that's all the record industry would foist on you...and then imagine that being intensified by being isolated in the suburbs or more rural areas where you didn't have access to indie stuff like Bad Brains. For people who'd grown up with that kind of view of music, Living Colour was a real revelation.

Sean Carruthers, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

ps. I liked Vivid a lot when it came out, but found the followups a bit too jagged and sterile at the time. Probably worth a revisit.

Sean Carruthers, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Fishbone, Living Colour and Bad Brains changed my life.

chaki, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Time's Up = best album. Corey Glover = one of the most annoying singers in rock. I'll take Wil Calhoun and Vernon Reid to play on my album 8 days a week.

dleone, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

is time's up the second?: that's the one i liked/glover was a AWFUL singer

mark s, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

"Type" is still my favorite song by them -- it rocked damn well, and more invitingly/interestingly than anything off Vivid. Dan has made the case for "Love Rears Its Ugly Head" elsewhere, and might be persuaded to do so here. I long ago sold off the albums, though, and their performance at Lolla 91 was...well, not much.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah, worth noting that Fishbone actually pre-dated Living Colour as black rock stars on a major label (on Columbia, part of the same group of labels as Epic, which released the Living Colour albums and was perhaps not coincidentally the same label that released the first major-label Bad Brains album). I think Fishbone's emphasis on ska for much of their material made it possible for people to ignore the fact that they were actually playing some pretty hard-edged stuff, too. (That, and the mega promotional budget for the first Living Colour album would account for the disparity.)

Sean Carruthers, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

fishbone were GENIUS. truth & soul, reality of my surroundings and Give A Monkey A Brain are all classic albums...

stevie, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Living colour are your favourite black metal band.

fuba, Friday, 22 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

_Give a Monkey a Brain_ is like one of those Florida smorgasborg restaurants I used to eat at w/ my dad & his community college baseball team during Spring Training. Yeah, you THINK having fried chicken and pasta and meatloaf on one plate is a great idea, but then everything starts mixing together, and all those tastes merge into one giant mass of blech once you're done eating, and you feel pretty damn shitty afterwards. If you think the group is beyond reproach (as well they might be), blame Terry Date for this egregious eclecticism.

As far as Living Colour go, their best song (besides "Love Rears Its Ugly Head") is their cover of the Talking Heads' "Memories Can't Wait" (off the 1st album). (I'm also partial to "Rope", off of _Stain_; even though the poem isn't much, it sounds way cool being read in that distorted voice on top of that synthesized guitar stuff; neato.) And I don't mind Corey Glover's Star Searching one-tenth as much as Vernon Reid's pretentious, soapbox-stained lyrics (a trait that, oddly enough, isn't as apparent on _Stain_).

Aren't they back together?

Daver, Saturday, 23 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

First concert I ever went to was Living Colour. "Love Rears its Ugly Head" is damn good. "Elvis is Dead" is still kinda fun. And a handful of ballads, like the aforementioned "These Memories Can't Wait," "Solace of You," "Open Letter to a Landlord." Most their rockin' stuff didn't age very well.

I loved (and moderatley still love) Fishbone's Truth and Soul. Their self-titled album is pretty great too. Who else would think to compare nuclear war to freeze dried godzilla farts? Pure genius.

bnw, Saturday, 23 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

ooooh, 'solace of you'!!! greatsong!!!

stevie, Saturday, 23 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I think Give A Monkey a Brain is a great album. It's basically in 3parts. It's their prog album. I like the fact that its it has alot of styles going on. No one was doin that shit back then. The metal is the hardest you'll ever hear (Fish on drums = lombardo + dennis chambers) the ska is the most uplifting and soulful youll find ANYWHERE (unyeilding conditioning) and ferchristssake ive never heard no funk like i hear on that record. Lemon Merangue is prolly one of the funkiest songs ever recorded.

chaki, Saturday, 23 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

(I know this is a Living Colour thread but I still feel compelled to disagree with those boosting Give a Monkey a Brain... Personally found that album to have dispensed with much of what made them so good, and there was too much of an emphasis on lunkheaded metal with no real character--"Swim" was utterly awful. Loved Truth and Soul but I think I liked In Your Face even more. Reality was pretty good, but it was already starting to tip towards bland metal at that point and I only really liked about half of that. "Asswhippin'" is priceless, though.)

Sean Carruthers, Saturday, 23 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

four years pass...
Am I the only dude on earth who thinks Vivid didn't age very well?

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Saturday, 10 March 2007 00:21 (thirteen years ago) link

The production's too clean for me to hear it as anything other than 80sRAWK

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Saturday, 10 March 2007 00:28 (thirteen years ago) link

i loved living colour in high school - and when they did a club tour with doug wimbash on bass a few years back it was massive.

However, corey glover can oversing with the best of them. he even had a "vocal solo" on the time's up tour, an a capella amazing grace, which was brutal to listen to.

UncleTomfly, Saturday, 10 March 2007 09:45 (thirteen years ago) link

three years pass...

I forgot how much I totally love these guys!

How to Make an American Quit (Abbott), Saturday, 13 March 2010 16:52 (ten years ago) link

One night I got stoned and listened to "Information Overload" on repeat for like four hours.

How to Make an American Quit (Abbott), Saturday, 13 March 2010 16:54 (ten years ago) link

I give it two years before such a scene appears in a tender indie drama.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 13 March 2010 16:55 (ten years ago) link

Now I know how John the Baptist felt ;_;

How to Make an American Quit (Abbott), Saturday, 13 March 2010 16:56 (ten years ago) link

i was pretty into this band and still nurse a grudge against my mom for not taking me to their Hollywood Palladium concert in 89 or 90. She took my older brother and friends, but said it would be too crazy for a 10 year old. :'( My brother did get me a t-shirt though.

tylerw, Saturday, 13 March 2010 17:30 (ten years ago) link

three years pass...

They're probably number one on my list of "bands I'd like a whole lot better if they sang in a language I do not understand." Music, chops, arrangement = amazing. Lyrics = mostly godawful.

SlimAndSlam, Thursday, 28 March 2013 11:06 (seven years ago) link

I ain't no glamour boy. I'm fierce!

how's life, Thursday, 28 March 2013 11:16 (seven years ago) link

Time's Up is still a rad album.

The @glennbeck have raisin b-lls and rice crispy d-ck (stevie), Thursday, 28 March 2013 12:54 (seven years ago) link

six years pass...

https://consequenceofsound.net/2020/03/heavy-culture-living-colour-corey-glover/

This year, the rock pioneers are celebrating 30 years of their sophomore album, Time’s Up, which yielded such hits as “Type”, “Love Rears Its Ugly Head” and “Elvis Is Dead”.

I remember none of these songs tbh

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 19:42 (ten months ago) link

lol I just listened to this record last week.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 19:48 (ten months ago) link

"Love Rears Its Ugly Head" was def a hit and "Elvis is Dead" was kind of a thing, this record was big hit when I was in 9th grade, I remember everyone at school (not me) saw them on this tour

chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 20:41 (ten months ago) link

the "Biscuits" ep has always been my favorite thing by them becuz weirdly they are one of those bands who sound the most like themselves when they do covers

chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 20:44 (ten months ago) link

lol what was the origin of this dn?

The @glennbeck have raisin b-lls and rice crispy d-ck (stevie) at 7:54 28 Mar 13

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 10 March 2020 20:44 (ten months ago) link

Time's up is backloaded, Fight The Fight, Solace of You and This is the Life are the best tracks.

Maresn3st, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 21:34 (ten months ago) link

yes on the last two tracks, I love "Solace of You" even though it really doesn't sound like them

frogbs, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 21:35 (ten months ago) link

I liked these guys a lot at first — bought the debut and Time's Up and Biscuits when they came out, met most of them hanging out at CBGBs — but never saw them live until the Lollapalooza tour, and they were...OK, but as many have said before me, Glover is a Broadway "rock musical" nightmare of a singer, and both Body Count and the Rollins Band blew them off the stage.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 10 March 2020 21:43 (ten months ago) link

They had a confusing Clark Kent/Superman vibe that I could never figure out, writing songs like Glamour Boys by day and covering Final Solution and Sailin' On by night.

Maresn3st, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 22:23 (ten months ago) link

Time's Up is their best album! And a college radio hit.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 10 March 2020 22:36 (ten months ago) link

I like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIUke0CCvDs

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 10 March 2020 22:36 (ten months ago) link

they made me get Fear of Music for which I am grateful

first Lollapalooza they wiped the floor with everyone except Janes

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 10 March 2020 23:09 (ten months ago) link

Living Colour are 100% legit and I do not trust anyone who doesn’t recognize Corey Glover’s chops

totally unnecessary bewbz of exploitation (DJP), Wednesday, 11 March 2020 00:57 (ten months ago) link

I saw them up close in a small club in 1989 and Glover was a force of nature

but I am all about VERNON REID

Brad C., Wednesday, 11 March 2020 01:10 (ten months ago) link

Well, Glover is definitely the last reason I put on any of the records. But I guess the same is true for Led Zeppelin.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 01:10 (ten months ago) link

(Plant in Zep, that is.)

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 01:11 (ten months ago) link

Living Colour was ASTOUNDING in a club. Not so great at Lollapalooza or opening for the Stones.

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 01:22 (ten months ago) link


first Lollapalooza they wiped the floor with everyone except Janes

Lol we def saw different shows

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 01:32 (ten months ago) link

Living Colour are 100% legit and I do not trust anyone who doesn’t recognize Corey Glover’s chops

The dude can sing his ass off. But he's not a rock singer — he's a Broadway ham stuck in a rock band. Which is in its own way not a surprise; a lot of bands formed by ultra-chopsy instrumentalists seem to have no idea how to pick a vocalist.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 11 March 2020 02:04 (ten months ago) link

I remember none of these songs tbh

this is a great, great album - and yes, alfred, Solace Of You is wonderful. Vernon Reid is a fantastic interview, too.

lol what was the origin of this dn?

The @glennbeck have raisin b-lls and rice crispy d-ck (stevie) at 7:54 28 Mar 13

https://www.wrestlinginc.com/news/2013/02/iron-sheik-rants-on-glenn-beck-560651/, though can i tell you why? no

Pinche Cumbion Bien Loco (stevie), Wednesday, 11 March 2020 10:34 (ten months ago) link

The dude can sing his ass off. But he's not a rock singer — he's a Broadway ham stuck in a rock band.

idg the broadway thing just seems like a good line that you keep repeating

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 11 March 2020 13:56 (ten months ago) link

He played Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar which was probably awesome

I only saw them once in a club circa "Stain" (which was pretty good I seem to recall) and they were great.

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 15:02 (ten months ago) link

I listen to Leave It Alone a ton.

☮️ (peace, man), Wednesday, 11 March 2020 17:56 (ten months ago) link

Yeah, when they started Reid was basically fresh out of Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society, so I have no doubt they were a much weirder band. I'd love to hear some of that stuff.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 11 March 2020 18:52 (ten months ago) link

They went some different line-ups early on right? Before the Vivid line-up solidified?

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 19:06 (ten months ago) link

eight months pass...

I. Am. Speechless. https://t.co/Hi9pB0DFn2

— Vernon Reid (@vurnt22) December 9, 2020

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 9 December 2020 14:23 (one month ago) link

I’ve honestly had that song on repeat in my head for the entirety of the Trump presidency.

epistantophus, Wednesday, 9 December 2020 14:58 (one month ago) link

LC rules

calstars, Wednesday, 9 December 2020 15:10 (one month ago) link

I just assumed that Joseph and Stalin were Gandhi's first and middle names and went around referring to him as Joseph Stalin Gandhi for quite a while before anyone corrected me. I do not have a PhD.

peace, man, Wednesday, 9 December 2020 15:22 (one month ago) link

Time's Up is such a sick album.

Change Display Name: (stevie), Wednesday, 9 December 2020 15:46 (one month ago) link

{I know this is not on Time's Up}

Change Display Name: (stevie), Wednesday, 9 December 2020 15:47 (one month ago) link

Love Living Colour, love Vernon Reid, love Time's Up, love the song. Kinda hate who kicked this appreciation off though.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 9 December 2020 16:40 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

I gave these guys another shot. I didn't like them when I tried their first two LP's around 2008 or 2009 - the vocals didn't feel like a good fit, the lyrics seemed too on-the-nose and the sound may have been too glossy for my tastes.

Didn't think much about them since, but I saw they got some press on the 30th anniversary of Time's Up - they weren't merely nostalgia pieces as they were written and published at the height of the BLM protests. Reading those got me to revisit them. Still imperfect, but this time around the same drawbacks don't bother me that much. Lyrics may be too didactic and self-conscious...but I like a lot of hard rock that's plagued by terrible lyrics, and I just tune them out to focus on something else. In this case, the reach doesn't touch the ambition, but the words go a hell of a lot farther. From that perspective, everything fell into place. Time's Up now feels close to a masterpiece. "Cult of Personality" probably is, up their with the best of Led Zeppelin, but I'm very glad they went in a different and ultimately more interesting direction on Time's Up, it's a better album than their relatively conventional debut.

birdistheword, Saturday, 9 January 2021 05:58 (two weeks ago) link

I really loved Times Up at the time it came out and felt like I was almost alone in my peer group on that one (I was 11). I sort of had a thing for overly earnest "socially conscious" lyrics at that age, fwiw, and I was also very into the "musicianship." I started taking drums around then and wanted to play like Will Calhoun. Living Colour was already kind of atypical for kids my age and that album got way less attention than Vivid, but I think I liked it overall more than Vivid.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 9 January 2021 06:13 (two weeks ago) link

I revisited them recently too and all four of their initial batch of records — Vivid, Time's Up, Stain and the Biscuits EP (which was a full-length 15-track CD in Japan btw) — are really strong. Glover's style still doesn't 100% do it for me, but the music is often really, really strong. I think Stain is my favorite of their albums at the moment because it's their most brutal and monolithic release; it's like them trying to do a Helmet record or something.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 9 January 2021 13:16 (two weeks ago) link

Type and Information overload on TU smash it

calstars, Saturday, 9 January 2021 13:48 (two weeks ago) link

I remember at the time being absolutely shocked by "Time's Up," which may be the most different *sounding* record from the same band and producer on consecutive albums; Ed Stasium made the latter album just sound *huge.* The musicianship of course is nuts, too, particularly Muzz, though Reid is totally getting weird. He has a great rig-rundown episode out there where he nerds out over stuff that imo pretty much no one but he would have a real use for.

But yeah, never particularly liked the vocals or lyrics but it all kind of works.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 9 January 2021 13:57 (two weeks ago) link

I remember reading an interview with Doug Wimbish when he joined the group, where he was completely insulting about the previous bass player's contribution and skills. I've only heard Vivid, and found the bass playing adequate at the very least, does anyone think this was a justified attack? I was shocked to read someone being so blunt about a previous member of their new group.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 9 January 2021 14:17 (two weeks ago) link

I wasn’t aware of that but I had very strong feelings when Stain came out that they had lost some secret sauce in Muzz, even though it was a good record.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 9 January 2021 14:19 (two weeks ago) link

I had the idea there was bad blood with Skillings but Wikipedia says this:

Skillings's departure from the band in 1992 was due to musical differences and a desire to branch off and evolve musically outside of Living Colour. He left under good terms (as indicated in his liner notes printed in the album sleeve of Living Colour's 1995 best-of compilation, Pride) and has returned to the band on occasion to substitute for their current bassist Doug Wimbish.

fish quits shock (Matt #2), Saturday, 9 January 2021 14:23 (two weeks ago) link

That makes it even stranger that Wimbish would think it was a good idea to run him down in an interview.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 9 January 2021 14:35 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah, really. I know Wimbish is an ace, but I've never been impressed by his playing. Wimbish is like Rob Trujillo in Metallica. I remember them being amazed that he could play certain Cliff lines with one finger, but I was, like, so?

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 9 January 2021 14:53 (two weeks ago) link

fwiw Muzz is one of the few bassists that reminds me of Geddy Lee.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 9 January 2021 15:00 (two weeks ago) link

Time's Up is such a fantastic album, such a diverse spread of music, with such soul and focus and power: pseudo high life loveliness on Solace Of You, a genuine pop hit in Love Rears, the funk-rock gonzo of Elvis Is Dead, the righteous heaviness of Someone Like You, the thrashing eight-tempos-in-a-minute title track.

SDFG SDFG SDFG SDFG SDFG SDFG SF (stevie), Saturday, 9 January 2021 17:22 (two weeks ago) link

I didn't like Stain as much, but it seems underrated. "Ausländer" (probably the best track), "Nothingness" and "Bi" (where a guy's girlfriend comes out to him by telling she knows he's been fooling around with her girlfriend) are all great. "Go Away," "Ignorance Is Bliss," "Leave It Alone" and "Postman" sounded pretty good - that's half the album, so not a terrible way to call it a day albeit temporarily.

birdistheword, Saturday, 9 January 2021 18:57 (two weeks ago) link

was just going through some will calhoun drum videos on youtube and he's such an interesting and original drummer imo, no one sounds like him

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 9 January 2021 19:04 (two weeks ago) link

But I mean all those guys were on their respective instruments, and that's what Doug W lacked to me -- great bassist just didn't bring anything that special to the table.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 9 January 2021 19:05 (two weeks ago) link

Ah, Type, New Jack Theme, I Want to Know... I love this band so much. Had a great time listening to Vivid last summer.

swing out sister: live in new donk city (geoffreyess), Saturday, 9 January 2021 20:23 (two weeks ago) link

Doug also dabbled way too much in effects. To paraphrase Frank Zappa, I think, why would a first rate bass player want to sound like a third rate synth player?

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 9 January 2021 20:36 (two weeks ago) link

otm

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 9 January 2021 20:41 (two weeks ago) link

But then I think Muzz also used some crazy effects iirc

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 9 January 2021 20:41 (two weeks ago) link

Man New Jack Theme is such a jam. Elvis is Dead too.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 9 January 2021 20:45 (two weeks ago) link

Biscuits was some good shit too fwiw. P sure I heard their version of Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing before James Brown's, and it's still great.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 9 January 2021 20:48 (two weeks ago) link

there's a Live From CBGBs 89 Album on Spotify

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 9 January 2021 20:58 (two weeks ago) link

Sometimes I feel like my mind will explode

calstars, Sunday, 10 January 2021 01:16 (two weeks ago) link

“We are the children of backyards and car pools”

calstars, Sunday, 10 January 2021 01:26 (two weeks ago) link

Right man Alive?

calstars, Sunday, 10 January 2021 01:38 (two weeks ago) link

ahh…ILM cycles…it seems to me that 5-10 years ago, this band would be roundly dismissed hereabouts…

There's no question that, as an 16 year old VERY CONCERNED about the lack of black rock bands in the mainstream milieu, i was all the fuck in for this band in 1987-1988, and I bought every record they put out through Stain (indeed, the one where they see not necessarily Helmet but Stone Temple Pilots and say "that's what we gotta go for"). And yet, as I got into my 20s, I realized that another band that LC was loudly indebted to called the Bad Brains was all show, whereas Living Colour was for its entire run all tell. To wit: one band went on and on about the legacy they had inherited, despite systemic racism, and played like Rush if Rush were at all informed by harmelodics, P-funk and JB. whereas the other never talked about what they were doing and simply were the greatest hardcore band ever, and —I think, although please let me know I'm wrong— the only american act to ever record reggae/dub nearly contemporaneous to the major jamaican music of the late 70s/early 80s, and never like in a Big Mountain way.

veronica moser, Sunday, 10 January 2021 02:10 (two weeks ago) link

I've probably mentioned this before on ILM, but they were also my first .ive show, so I think I will always have a certain attachment to them.

Going back and listening to them today after some time away, the lyrics are actually sharper and funnier than I remember them being.

Also weird that I missed the Paul Simon dig at the end of Elvis is Dead since my parents played Graceland nonstop for like a year when it came out.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Sunday, 10 January 2021 02:18 (two weeks ago) link

You know, re: Bad Brains and reggae, that is literally nothing I've ever thought about and fascinating to consider.

Living Colour, I always loved their choice of covers. James Brown, Bad Brains, Talking Heads, Al Green, Chuck Berry, Pere Ubu ...

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 10 January 2021 02:18 (two weeks ago) link

yup

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Sunday, 10 January 2021 02:20 (two weeks ago) link

they introduced me to fear of music

living colour to veronica's point, was in a weird position, being the dumbest band smart people liked to the smartest band dumb people liked, for me, essentially a jumped up hayseed farm kid who didn't know who bad brains or ronald shannon jackson were - or even talking heads outside of burning down the house (eternally grateful for LC turning me on to fear of music), they were as you said Rush basically with funk and R&B and jazz influences, kids that were like %27 percent smarter than the other kids who liked motley crue and poison because we liked faith no more, rush, jane's addiction and metallica (but also secretly liked motley crue and poison), but at the time what they were bringing to the table was pretty amazing

To wit: one band went on and on about the legacy they had inherited, despite systemic racism, and played like Rush if Rush were at all informed by harmelodics, P-funk and JB. whereas the other never talked about what they were doing and simply were the greatest hardcore band ever

bad brains is the better band sure, but all that "talk" was shit a lot of kids had never heard or even thought about so it really wasn't corny, even the idea that black people could be a rock band was surprising to us* - and the way they tried to reclaim that was really important actually

*hendrix kind of existed as this one exception, and sort of a semi mystical figure disconnected from history, known from guitar mags we read

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 10 January 2021 13:03 (two weeks ago) link

Cult of Personality was 1988, right? So thinking back, I was ... 13? Almost 14? By that age I was definitely into Zeppelin, say, and definitely Rush, and even stuff like Public Enemy, but still a few years before Naked City, which is how I learned about Zorn. I'm 99% certain I didn't know the connection between Reid and the downtown NY jazz scene until Zorn. Iirc I was intrigued when I saw Reid's name pop up on The Big Gundown, or that he had made an album with Bill Frisell, and those things definitely lead me to Ronald Shannon Jackson/Decoding Society and stuff like that, like other things on Nonesuch or Axiom (Axiom started the same year as that first Naked City record, iirc), which brought me to everything from Last Exit to Steve Reich, plus other avant jazz. Weirdly, I never listened to or cared about any metal until much, much later, like in my 20s (hard rock, though, for sure), but I was already into punk and did know about Bad Brains, at least the later stuff; Quickness, I think, came out right after the first Living Colour record, and I perhaps thought of it the same way I thought of other acts in the Black Rock Coalition, like 24-7 Spyz or even Fishbone. I definitely recall the stink made over LC opening for the Stones on the 1989 Steel Wheels tour.

Amusingly, I think a big influence for me were the ads in Option and Musician, especially the former, where I'd see a bunch of stuff from one label lopped together.

Oh, another way Living Colour proved a big influence to me was seeing them at the Tower Theatre in Philly in 1990. I don't remember too much about the show (the Veldt opened up), but there was a concert promoter circular handed out that I read at my seat before the show. In the back was an excerpt from Christgau's just or soon to be released '80s guide that showed his top 10 albums of the '80s. I didn't know him or many of the records, but I think I bought that book ASAP and it was off to the races. For the record (I think this was what was published):

1. The Indestructible Beat of Soweto (Shanachie)
2. Ornette Coleman: Of Human Feelings (Antilles)
3. X: Wild Gift (Slash)
4. Sonny Rollins: G-Man (Milestone)
5. Franco & Rochereau: Omona Wapi (Shanachie)
6. Double Dee & Steinski: "The Payoff Mix"/"Lesson Two"/"Lesson 3" (Tommy Boy promotional EP)
7. DeBarge: In a Special Way (Gordy)
8. Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (Def Jam)
9. Bruce Springsteen: Born in the U.S.A. (Columbia)
10. Replacements: Let It Be (Twin/Tone)

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 10 January 2021 14:59 (two weeks ago) link

What was the problem with the Stones support? Not a problem for Doug Wimbish I guess as he ended up becoming their bassist.

fish quits shock (Matt #2), Sunday, 10 January 2021 15:34 (two weeks ago) link

Darryl Jones is the bassist for the Stones, and has been since 1993. When they were auditioning bassists, Keith Richards realized, given the importance of the bass/drums relationship in the Stones, why don't we just leave the decision up to Charlie? So Watts picked Jones.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 10 January 2021 16:03 (two weeks ago) link

Cult of Personality was 1988, right?

Vivid was released in May of '88, and "Cult" was released that July. I remember my brother bringing home Vivid in mid-'88, and I loved it...but it was nowhere to be found on radio or MTV for at least 6 months. "Cult" didn't hit its chart peak in the US (#13) until over a year after its release.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 10 January 2021 16:06 (two weeks ago) link

What was the problem with the Stones support? Not a problem for Doug Wimbish I guess as he ended up becoming their bassist.

You're thinking of Darryl Jones, another bass ringer.

Iirc they got some of the same shit that Prince got.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 10 January 2021 16:23 (two weeks ago) link

I might be misremembering though.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 10 January 2021 16:24 (two weeks ago) link

This is pretty cool (just tweeted by Vernon Reid):

I spent a whole day with Charlie Watts, on our day off in Boston. That was one of my favorite days on that whole tour. We ran into Bob Moses, which was a remarkable meeting of mutual respect. Charlie was unfailingly gracious to every shocked & goggle eyed fan we met. Great man. https://t.co/ezSjxZy5ca

— Vernon Reid (@vurnt22) January 10, 2021

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 10 January 2021 16:37 (two weeks ago) link

Wimbish played with Mick Jagger on his solo records, is what I'm thinking of.

fish quits shock (Matt #2), Sunday, 10 January 2021 17:19 (two weeks ago) link

and Jagger produced a couple tracks on Vivid after helping them get a CBS contract. Reid tells a story about Jagger getting behind the drums to show them how to get the sounds they wanted.

And plays harmonica on the album. And Reid of course recorded with Jagger, too, on the "Primitive Cool" album (as you all know). I didn't notice but Jagger pops up again on "Time's Up," too (the album), doing background vocals.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 10 January 2021 18:05 (two weeks ago) link

I interviewed Vernon and Corey a few years back for a retrospective feature for Planet Rock. This was them on the Stones tour:

Mick Jagger had first met Living Colour founder Vernon Reid when Reid played guitar on Jagger’s 1987 solo album Primitive Cool. He took the fledgling group under his wing, making mix-tapes of obscure blues singers for frontman Corey Glover, and helping produce the group’s 1988 debut album Vivid, as well as lending backing vocals and harmonica.

“Mick was one of the band’s early adopters, our champion,” remembers Glover. “The Stones were known for choosing support acts on the cusp of doing something interesting – Bob Marley, Prince.” This, then, was a golden opportunity – but also a mighty challenge. “The dressing rooms on the Stones tour were larger than the venues we’d previously been playing. The rooms were cavernous – with so many more people than we’d ever played to. I felt anxiety-ridden.”

“A lot of people just wanted to hear Jumping Jack Flash,” adds Vernon Reid. “But many were receptive. We had moments that were rough – but we had a lot more moments that were sublime.”

In addition to the onstage triumphs, one backstage encounter made a profound impact. Little Richard had toured with the Rolling Stones back in 1963, a support slot that helped revive his career following an unsuccessful detour into gospel. While visiting his old friends on the Steel Wheels tour, he crossed paths with their youthful support act, and met a new generation of black rock stars rising up to continue his mission.

“Little Richard is one of the architects of rock’n’roll, and the greatest vocalist,” says Reid. “In an era of dangerous people, he was perhaps the most dangerous. He really paid attention to who we were – he said we were the fulfilment of something he’d started.”

“He recognised there’d been no-one carrying the mantle of real people-of-colour in rock,” nods Glover. “And it felt like he was passing a torch onto us. Like, woah, we have a very big responsibility. Because he was saying, ‘We built rock’n’roll, so what you do is very important, too. Keep it up – you can’t stop.’”

SDFG SDFG SDFG SDFG SDFG SDFG SF (stevie), Sunday, 10 January 2021 22:16 (two weeks ago) link


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