“Prince liked the band. He would come see us. He would mysteriously appear and disappear, which always made me mad – ‘Damn it!’” How Vernon Reid’s expressionist shredding juiced Living Colour and won fans in Prince and the Rolling Stones

Vernon Reid of Living Colour in a photo studio in Chicago, Illinois December 21,1989.
(Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Unlike many bands that got big in the late ’80s, Living Colour’s sound didn’t require an overhaul to avoid obsolescence once the new decade hit. The prismatic metallics and social consciousness on the New York band’s 1988 debut album Vivid scanned alternative immediately. 

Their dino-riff breakthrough hit, Cult of Personality, in addition to being one of rock’s best-ever singles, was an off-ramp from ’80s hedonism to the next decade’s underground-music uprising. 

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