Up the Downstair

Being a weeklie podcaste from Madison, Wisconsin featuring several remarkable curiosities therein occurring being a compendium of live music from divers artistes

Show #70: Living Colour

May 22nd, 2006

I meant to post this show several months ago but instead threw another one up and I never got around to rectifying the situation for unknown reasons until now.

I remember when Living Colour’s first album, Vivid, was released. The single “Cult of Personality” was a minor hit and much of the press that the band garnered centered around the color of the members’ skin. While this was a good thing in certain ways, I always felt that the band’s music was a distant second. They were sort of a novelty in that they were a hard rock band composed of all black members and the description “hard rock” was sometimes all that was said of their music. On one hand, the emphasis paid to skin color was positive. Guitarist Vernon Reid spent his early years in the avant jazz scene playing with former Ornette Coleman drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson. In 1985, he was co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition which sought to highlight the work of contemporary black musicians who worked outside the confines of the genres that blacks were generally associated with such as blues, R&B, and funk.

livingcolour1 Show #70: Living Colour

On the other hand, just saying that Living Colour was a hard rock band didn’t do justice to the great mix of styles the band employed to make their music. While “hard rock” is a good, if overly-simple description, it doesn’t take into account the punk, blues, thrash, hip-hop, etc. that permeated their sound. Despite a couple Grammy awards, opening for the Rolling Stones, and some respectable chart showings, the band broke up in 1994.

Today’s performance was recorded on 5 April 1989 at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Like last week’s show, this one is also a really nice soundboard recording. It features the band’s original line-up:

Corey Glover — lead vocals
Vernon Reid – guitar
Will Calhoun – drums
Muzz Skillings – bass


Middle Man
Desperate People
Memories Canr Wait
Funny Vibe
Broken Hearts
I Want To Know
Glamour Boys
Open Letter to a Landlord
Money Talks
Cult of Personality
The Ocean Medley
Should I Stay or Should I Go

Download show

Living Colour

livingcolour2 Show #70: Living Colour

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  4. WI Film Fest – Music From the Inside Out
  5. Genesis Reunion?

2 Responses to “Show #70: Living Colour”

  1. Anonymous says:

    http://www.livingcolourmusic.com is the blog and http://www.myspace.com/livingcolourmusic is the official living colour myspace page!

  2. Palmer says:

    Thanks for clarifying.

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