Why is Living Colour’s Collideoscope on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
A lesser work of one of great hard rock bands still easily makes this here list.
Some stats & info about Living Colour – Collideoscope
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock, Hard Rock, Metal, Funk, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Funky Metal, Funk Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
- When was Collideoscope released? 2003
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #933 out of 1,000
Living Colour’s Collideoscope on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does Living Colour’s Collideoscope mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
What do you do with a “lesser album” produced by a truly great band? Well, every album must stand on its own, of course, but it gets tricky because when you love a band (and you can insert “actor,” “author,” or “artist” in here in the same way) you are predisposed to enjoy new creative work that they produce.
In the case of Living Colour, easily one of great hard rock bands to come out of the 1980s and 1990s, and Collideoscope, this is clearly a case where you’d be hard pressed to find someone whose favorite Living Colour album is this one. On that side note, I’d wager that most rock and music fans would place debut album Vivid (or the “Cult of Personality” one) as the band’s pinnacle, though I’d certainly be open to a Time’s Up argument, which is truly incredible (and as hard hard rock as they come) in its own right.
So what does that all of that equate to in this weirdo construct of a best 1,000 albums ever list? On the strength of its strongest songs performed by a mega-talented musical outfit, it lands at #933.
Collideoscope took me some time to figure out, I’ll admit. With the release of Stain, their third album and onward, Living Colour clearly isn’t interested in penetrating mainstream music audiences (if they ever really were). To its credit, too, the band doesn’t fit cleanly into any given “box” or genre, so its output can take some time to absorb and get in tune, so to speak, with its musical frequencies.
My first hook into the album, therefore, is the gorgeous sound of “Flying,” which is a departure from the rest of the album and much more of the nature of songs Living Colour had occasionally produced in the past, such as the magnificent “Solace of You.” I’ll fully admit, though, that I didn’t realize for some time that “Flying” is a song of lament and sorry about the events of September 11th, 2001.
The overall “sound” of the album, though, is much closer to songs like “A ? of When.” And this is a good point to note Johnny Loftus’ review in All Music and his description of legendary guitarist Vernon Reid’s style: “serrated, dirty, and consistently amazing.” And that guitar work accompanies a song that at times veers into experimental metal territory but, at surprising turns and leaning on Corey Glover’s outstanding vocals and a sharply written chorus, pulls the song back into focus.
“Song Without Sin” is more of a straightforward hard rock/metal tune that feels right in the band’s wheelhouse, with nice sludgy guitars riffs and great Glover vocals. If you dig Living Colour, this will never fail to please.