Last Thursday, May 3, marked the 30th anniversary of one of my all-time favorite albums ever made… Living Colour’s debut Vivid.
The first time I heard the intro guitar wail to the song “Cult of Personality,” I was hooked. It’s one of those eye-opening experiences. Vernon Reid reaches out with his six-stringed wall of noise, grabs you, and shakes you into awareness. I immediately purchased the album.
I was a junkie and, despite them disappearing for a while, I have always remained faithful to both Vivid and its follow up, Stain. I had copies of both on cassette, CD, minidisc, and MP3.
And now it’s 30 years old. That means I was 13 when I got hooked on this fusion of rock, metal, jazz, funk, and punk. Clearly I had good taste for an early teenager.
What’s scary, though, is just how well it has held up. Not just musically, but thematically. A lot of what Reid, vocalist Corey Glover, bassist Muzz Skillings, and drummer Will Calhoun railed against in 1988 are still issues facing society today. We have done very little to improve on this world at all. And, I’d argue, things have only gotten worse in the last couple of years.
[For more on this, check out this incredible article about the album and band on The Ringer.]
So, while I’m happy to celebrate the anniversary of a favorite album, I’m saddened that it hasn’t aged itself into non-relevance.