First Listen: Living Colour returns in fine form with “Come On”
(June 17, 2017) We tend to forget that what we know as rock ‘n roll was actually an offshoot of R&B, and that many music historians believe that “Rocket 88” by Ike Turner is actually the first rock record. Somewhere along the line, however, music – the universal language – moved into America’s pre-ordained racial lanes and rocks guitar gods from Elvis to Clapton were largely white (Jimi Hendrix an exception). One of the dirty secrets is that is has been far easier for non-black performers to change lanes, which is how we get the Righteous Brothers, Teena Marie, Bobby Caldwell, Adele and Justin Timberlake.
African-American performers looking to put a little more volume and distortion in their guitars were told in so many ways to stick to R&B (despite the fact that Funkadelic is one of the hardest rocking bands out there). Living Colour, starting in the late 1980s and into the new millennium, battled perceptions to craft a solid career in the rock world. The band, fronted by guitarist Vernon Reid, mastered the rock skill set that naysayers believed black bands could not master. More importantly, the band proved that black and white music fans were more open minded than the suits believed.
Living Colour returns with “Come On,” a track that features their signature blend of hard driving guitar infused funk. The cut is the opening release from their upcoming album Shade, their first new project since 2009. Check it out.