Über Living Colour
Despite Living Colour's success in the late 1980s and early '90s, the New York City-bred outfit always seemed out of time. To begin with, there was the race issue. By the time the quartet's debut album, Vivid, emerged in 1988, the radical multiculturalism that fueled rock 'n' roll's evolution between 1950 and 1975 was but a faint memory. White musicians dominated the music almost exclusively. There were exceptions, of course, among them Bad Brains, Prince, Fishbone and 24-7 Spyz. But unlike Living Colour, most of them merely dabbled in rock music. That said, there was another, deeper issue that transcended race. With backgrounds in funk, fusion and even avant-garde jazz, Living Colour had an ambitious vision that had zero in common with the lightweight pop-metal bands then ruling the Billboard. Its mix of socially conscious lyrics and a heavily syncopated rock attack predated the rise of Rage Against the Machine by several years. Citing growing creative differences, the group disbanded after releasing its third album, the uber-heavy Stain, in 1993. However, Living Colour reunited in 2000 and have since released two more full-lengths: Collideoscope and The Chair in the Doorway.