A prominent black band of that movement, which also included Jane's Addiction, Faith No More, Fishbone, Primus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and 24-7 Spyz in the late 1980s, Living Colour rose to fame with their debut album Vivid in 1988. Stylistically, the band's music is a creative fusion influenced by Heavy Metal, Funk, Hard Rock, Free Jazz, Hardcore Punk, and Hip-Hop, containing lyrics that attack the Eurocentrism and racism of America.
Although the band scored a number of hits, they are best remembered for their anthemic single "Cult of Personality", which won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990 and is also known these days for being the entrance theme of professional wrestler CM Punk, and their highest-charting single "Type". They were also named Best New Artist at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards. They disbanded in 1995 but reunited in 2000 and have been active since.
- Corey Glover - Vocals
- Vernon Reid - Guitar
- Muzz Skillings - Bass (1988-1992)
- Doug Wimbish - Bass (1992-present)
- Will Calhoun - Drums
- Vivid (1988)
- Time's Up (1990)
- Stain (1993)
- Collideøscope (2003)
- Everything is Possible: The Very Best of Living Colour (2006) (Greatest Hits album)
- The Chair in the Doorway (2009)
- Shade (2017)
"Look in my eyes, what do you see, the tropes of personality:"
- Anti-Love Song: "Love Rears Its Ugly Head."
- Anti-Police Song: "This Little Pig," which also repeats "See You in Hell."
- Broken Record: "I'm the cult of...I'm the cult of...I'm the cult of...I'm the cult of...I'm the cult of...I'm the cult of...I'm the cult of...I'm the cult of...personality!"
- Cover Version: "Memories Can't Wait" on Vivid, "Sunshine of Your Love" for the True Lies soundtrack, "Crosstown Traffic" and "Back in Black" on Collideøscope.
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: The character in "New Jack Theme."
- Eagleland: "Which Way to America?" questions why everything on TV is Type 1 and everything outside the character's window is Type 2.
- Elvis Lives: "Elvis is Dead."
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: At the end of Cult of Personality: quoted Kennedy, a guitar explosion, and then a quote from FDR.
- Green Aesop: "Time's Up."
- Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: For their first two albums, the band stylized their name as Living Coloür.
- Hydra Problem: From "Glamour Boys:""The glamour boys whole life is a gambleThey might get over or fall flat on their faceBut if one does, there's no need to worryAnother g-boy will take his place"
- Instrumentals: "Ology."
- The Not-Remix: They released a re-recording of "Cult of Personality" (promoted as a "remaster") on November 24, 2023. Not so coincidentally, CM Punk used the new recording for his return to WWE the very next day at Survivor Series: WarGames.
- Pop-Culture Isolation: Criticized in the song "Wall."
- Protest Song: "Open Letter to a Landlord," "Time's Up," "Funny Vibe," "Which Way to America?", etc.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I'M! THE! CULT! OF! PER! SO! NA-LITY!"
- Sampling: Hit single "Cult of Personality" samples speeches by Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Malcolm X.
- Scary Black Man: Defied; See "Funny Vibe:""No I'm not gonna rob you
No I'm not gonna beat you
No I'm not gonna rape you"
- Silly Love Songs: "I Want to Know" and "Solace of You."
- Singer Namedrop: "What's Your Favorite Color?""What's your favorite color baby?
- Special Guest: Guest vocalists have included Chuck D and Flavor Flav ("Funny Vibe"), Queen Latifah ("Under Cover of Darkness"), and Little Richard ("Elvis is Dead").
- Spoken Word in Music: In "Cult of Personality." See Sampling, above.
- Stalker with a Crush: "I Want to Know" is sung in the perspective of one.
- Stop and Go: "Cult of Personality" seems like it will end on a Kennedy sample... then comes a Big Rock Ending, right before finishing on a Franklin D. Roosevelt sample.
- Together in Death: The song Flying is told from the perspective of a man who gets the nerve to ask out a woman in the World Trade Center moments before the first plane hits, and the couple then jump from the burning building to their deaths
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: "Love Rears Its Ugly Head" is about hoping it stays unresolved.
- War Is Hell: From "Fight the Fight:""Well, war is hell, peace is hell, love is hell"
- Written by the Winners:"History's a lie that they teach you in school" ("Pride")