Living Colour – Sacred Ground
March 23, 2020
Living Colour is a hard rock and metal band best known for their energetic debut album Vivid in 1988. The record’s lead single, “Cult of Personality,” propelled the band to fame when its music video went into heavy rotation on MTV. At the time Vivid was released, the band was a frequent performer at New York City’s CBGB, but they soon found themselves playing for thousands as an opening act for The Rolling Stones.
Their follow-up record, Time’s Up, continued to push boundaries, infusing even more jazz, funk, gospel, and R&B into their sound. As a four-piece band with all black members, Living Colour shattered perceptions about what a hard rock band could look and sound like, with lyrics that spoke candidly about stereotypes and their personal experiences as people of color.
The band would release another record, Stain, in 1993 before calling it quits two years later. Fortunately, the breakup did not last long and by the early 2000s, they were back together, writing what would become 2003’s Collideøscope. An album thematically connected to 9/11, the record’s subject matter is dark and difficult at times with the band continuing to explore new sonic landscapes.
Scott and Jason discuss the muddied sound of many songs on the record. Vernon Reid’s heavily distorted guitar dominates the musical space while singer Corey Glover seemingly has to shout to be heard throughout the album. This dominant stylistic choice seems appropriate on songs like “Sacred Ground,” an aggressive and catchy metal tune about fighting for the future. The song champions those who stand up to protect the environment and preserve their culture and dignity. Scott and Jason share their appreciation for the activism that Living Colour brings through their music and the impact first hearing the band had on each of them.