More From Living Colour: "You All Are Very LOUD In Houston"
While Living Colour's current tour celebrates the 25th anniversary of their debut -- and most popular -- record, Vivid, the band has also put out four other worthy studio discs - Time's Up (1990), Stain (1993), Collideøscope (2003), and their most recent, 2009's The Chair In the Doorway.
Photo by Karsten Staiger
"The newest one is the first record where we had the title first," guitarist Vernon Reid says. "It came from a phrase that Corey was using at the time with his Zen calm some years ago. It's something concrete and abstract. It's like the elephant in the room, it's something that's there and maybe blocks your way, but nobody talks about."
And while it wasn't the commercial and popular-culture comeback that the band perhaps had hoped for, they know they can count on a core audience to come see them live.
"This record, there wasn't much difference in how we approached it or how we sounded from the other ones," Glover adds. "We road-tested a bunch of songs before we recorded them, so some don't sound the same as the original demos. We fixed what we thought needed to be fixed."
As a band, Living Colour has always used current events and history as sources for material, but perhaps none of the tracks inspired by those areas are as fine as "Flying" from Collideøscope, the best song about September 11 that you've never heard.
Sung sweetly by Glover to a deceptively gentle and lolling melody, it's a narrative told from the point of view of a man on the way down after jumping from a window of the World Trade Center. All while holding the hand of an office co-worker he planned on asking out for a date that day.
Such a lovely day to go flying
Sky so clear the sun is shining
Fate has given me wings
Such a terrible funny thing
The song was inspired by an actual news photograph of two WTC workers escaping the fire and chaos, perhaps choosing the lesser of two evils in terms of causes of death.
"Those photos were taken in a moment that was seminal. And for obvious reasons, it was very... sacred. There was a sacred look on the gentleman's face as he was falling," Glover says. "It was haunting, but there was a dignity in the moment. Reid adds that he's "very proud" of the song.
When he's not fronting Living Colour, Glover has also worked as a singer/actor, most famously playing Judas in a national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar against Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 movie version.