Podcasts Political Beats

Episode 88: Steve Singiser / Living Colour

(Living Colour)

Scot and Jeff discuss Living Colour with Steve Singiser.

Introducing the Band:
Your hosts Scot Bertram (@ScotBertram) and Jeff Blehar (@EsotericCD) with guest Steve Singiser. Steve is a contributing editor at Daily Kos Elections. Find him on Twitter at @stevesingiser.

Steve’s Music Pick: Living Colour
That riff is indelibly inked on your brain. You know the one. The first musical notes put to vinyl/tape/compact disc by Living Colour, kicking off “Cult of Personality.” That riff that comes just after a quote from Malcolm X and carries through to famous orations from JFK and FDR. Yes, from the start, this all-black rock/funk/soul/metal band from New York really was something different.

The band was driven by the guitar heroics of Vernon Reid, who would put his signature all over various tracks through the band’s existence. Lead vocalist Corey Glover featured rare range and power, and the rhythm section of drummer Will Calhoun and bassist Muzz Skillings (later replaced by Doug Wimbish) held down the bottom end. VIVID, the debut album, sold more than two million copies, presenting a foursome with solid melodies, street-smart lyrics, and an incredible intensity. Mick Jagger was such a fan he produced two songs on the record and invited the band to open for the Rolling Stones.

The follow-up album, TIME’S UP, didn’t miss a beat, featuring guests such as Little Richard, Queen Latifah, Doug E. Fresh, and others. The songs were just as satisfying, and lyrically the band dove deeper into the political, including social commentary on racism in America. The subsequent offering STAIN, features a darker, grittier sound. The band would split soon after.

Three post-reunion albums of varying quality are covered on the show, but more importantly, we offer an appreciation for a band that has somewhat slipped through the cracks but deserves a second, or for some, a first look.

What’s your favorite color?