“I LOVE THE song for obvious reasons,” Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid says of “Cult of Personality,” the Grammy-winning alt-metal smash from the band’s 1988 debut, Vivid. “Sure, it’s our most popular song. What it did for our career is incalculable. And it’s had a lasting impact on the public. The lyric has a catchphrase that, while we didn’t coin it, has become more relevant over the years.
“But there’s another reason why I love it so much,” he adds. “When we wrote it, it was the best day in our collective life. As a group, we got out of our way and allowed ourselves to create. That’s why it’s special to me.”
“LOOK IN MY EYES”
During their pre-label days in 1987, Living Colour — Reid, singer Corey Glover, drummer Will Calhoun and then-bassist Muzz Skillings — spent most days writing and rehearsing in a loft space in Bushwick, Brooklyn. One day, Glover started to sing a riff idea to Reid. “I really couldn’t get what he was doing,” Reid says, “but Muzz and I tried playing it, and we worked something up. Then we said to Will, ‘Can you put a beat to this?’ And in an eerie sort of way, the tune wrote itself.”
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