Living Colour: Muzz Skillings (bass guitar, background vocals); Will Calhoun (drums, percussion, background vocals); Vernon Reid (background vocals); Corey Glover.
Personnel: Vernon Reid (vocals, guitar); William Calhoun (vocals, drums, percussion); Corey Glover, Muzz Skillings (vocals).
Audio Mixer: Ron Saint Germain.
Liner Note Author: Greg Tate.
Recording information: Cbgb's (12/19/1989).
Photographers: Drew Carolyn; Chuck Pulin.
As the band at the vanguard of the collective known as the Black Rock
Coalition, Living Colour was one of the only all-black rock bands of
their era to achieve mainstream success. As such, they had a huge
sociocultural impact, but LIVE FROM CBGB, which finds the quartet at the
peak of its powers in 1989, underscores the fact that they were musically significant. The energy level they generated in a small, gritty venue like the famed NYC punk club is palpable. Corey Glover's strong, wailing voice belts out socially conscious, often racially oriented lyrics atop a nonstop firestorm from fretboard maniac Vernon Reid and the muscular rhythm section. Reid and company seamlessly mix funk, heavy metal, sampling, classic rock, and even the occasional power ballad ("Open Letter to a Landlord") with a sensibility that's informed by punk's energy but bears leagues more sophistication. LIVE FROM CBGB is an urgent document of this band's power, and is probably a more fitting legacy than even their contemporaneous studio recordings.