Former Living Colour frontman Corey Glover was born 33 years ago today in Brooklyn,
N.Y. Living Colour is best remembered for their hit single "Cult Of
Personality" and for knocking down the color barrier in the world of late-'80s heavy metal.
Glover got his start as an actor, appearing very briefly in the Oliver Stone movie
Platoon. He joined Living Colour in 1985 and the band was "discovered" by Mick
Jagger at a CBGB gig two years later. Jagger financed their demo and produced two tracks
for the band that would later appear on their debut, "Glamour Boys" and "Which Way To
America?" The group was soon signed by Epic and Vivid was released in 1988.
The album didn't move too many copies until "Cult Of Personality" hit the airwaves, a
searing indictment of politicians that readily addressed the concerns of an electorate
during the mudslinging Bush-Dukakis presidential campaign. "Cult of Personality" hit #13
and its follow-up, the much lighter but still political "Glamour Boys" hit #31.
Vivid went on to become the first album by an all-black rock band to win a
Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance and the video for "Glamour Boys" was the
first to be closed captioned for the hearing impaired.
The group opened for the Rolling Stones on their 1989 Steel Wheels tour and then got
down to business recording their follow-up, 1990's Time's Up.. A big hit with
critics, the album featured guest performances by Queen Latifah, Mick Jagger and Doug E.
Fresh. The group's lyrics remained critical of culture and politics, with the first single
"Elvis Is Dead" being a funk-metal mesh featuring a rap Little Richard. The group toured
in support of Time's Up by joining the first Lollapalooza tour. In 1991,
epic released a rarities collection entitled Biscuits and Living Colour
guitarist Vernon Reid and birthday boy Glover began performing with a side
project named Nightshade. 1993's Stain was the first album to be
co-produced by the band and featured such songs about the politics of self as
"Bi" and "Hemp." The group toured briefly to support the album but ended up
going their separate ways in 1995. Glover had short stint as VJ on VH-1
following the breakup, and then once again returned to the world of recording.
His solo debut, Hymns, was released to little fanfare earlier this year.
Other birthdays: Jim Pike (Letterman), 59; Glen Frey (Eagles), 49, and Bill Brindley (Sundays), 34.