January 30th, 2020 – Persons of Interest

I remember hearing this tune for the first time and thinking, wow, this sound is quite unlike anything I had heard from the “metal” genre in the 80’s. The musicianship and power these guys deliver is overwhelming at times. I can only imagine what audiences thought when they took the stage as openers for Guns & Roses and The Rolling Stones in 1989. I know what I would have thought, uh oh, wouldn’t want to follow them.

This band has been classified at a fusion between hard rock, metal, funk and alternative. One thing is for sure, this song comes out and punches you in the face and then runs you over with a freight train with no regrets.

Living Colour – “Cult of Personality”

Off their debut album “Vivid” released in 1988, “Cult of Personality” ended up at number 13 on the U.S. Billboard charts and ultimately ended up being Living Colour‘s most famous song.

But don’t be so quick to feel sorry for the guys yet, the song killed at the MTV music awards taking home Best Group and Best New Artist as well as taking the Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990.

Not only that, but VH1 ranked the song at number 69 on their 100 greatest rock songs, Guitar World ranked founder and guitarist Vernon Reid‘s solo at 87 in their 100 greatest guitar solos and it made it into the book “1001 Songs you must hear before you die”.

The kicker is Reid says the song came about by accident and was written during a single rehearsal. Isn’t that always the way?

Living Colour consists of members Corey Glover lead vocals, Will Calhoun on drums, Doug Wimbish on bass and the uber-talented Vernon Reid on guitar and vocals. Reid also gets points for living on the island of my birth – New York‘s Staten Island.

Lew Hastings

Look in my eyes, what do you see?
The cult of personality
I know your anger, I know your dreams
I’ve been everything you want to be
I’m the cult of personality
Like Mussolini and Kennedy
I’m the cult of personality
The cult of personality
The cult of personality

Neon lights, a Nobel Prize
Then a mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You don’t have to follow me
Only you can set me free
I sell the things you need to be
I’m the smiling face on your T.V.
I’m the cult of personality
I exploit you still you love me

I tell you one and one makes three
I’m the cult of personality
Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi
I’m the cult of personality
The cult of personality
The cult of personality

Neon lights a Nobel Prize
A leader speaks, that leader dies
You don’t have to follow me
Only you can set you free

You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You gave me power in your own god’s name
I’m every person you need to be
Oh, I’m the cult of personality
I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of
I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of, I’m the cult of personality

Writer/s: WILLIAM CALHOUN, COREY GLOVER, VERNON ALPHONSUS REID, MUZZ SKILLINGS
Publisher: Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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