Living Colour – Stain: #423 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Living Colour - Stain

So why is Living Colour’s Stain on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

I’ll admit that after experiencing the lofty peaks of Living Colour’s first two albums, I was initially a little disappointed with Stain when it was released in 1993.

It’s a less approachable album, with a darker, stranger, and muddier feel in some stretches versus their previous music, while still maintaining an aggressive hard rock and metal sound.

That said, Stain has grown on me over the years, and the gorgeous ballad “Nothingness” has a lot to do with it. Living Colour has always shown a capacity for great range – from the satiric reggae rock of “Glamour Boys” to the crushing metal of “Type” – and songs like the beautiful, soulful “Solace of You” show off the band’s capacity to produce pop music that’s as strong as the rest of their repertoire.

I’m not best positioned to talk about what the lyrics of “Bi” represent circa 2023 (for example: “Everybody wants you when you’re bi… looking at the boys and eyeing all the guys”), but I suppose they were pretty edgy back in 1993. In any event, it’s a catchy and effective mid-tempo hard rock/heavy metal song that I usually think about first when I think about Stain.

“Leave It Alone” and “Never Satisfied” feel like somewhat dirtier and sludgier-sounding versions of metal songs that we got on Time’s Up (which, as aside, is an incredible album that, spoiler, you’ll be seeing on the best 1k albums ever project at some point).  

And songs like “Auslander,” “WTFF,” and “This Little Pig” border on experimental metal, intentionally unsettling music in some ways that put me off Stain as a whole back in the day. I have respect for much of this material these days, even if it’s not my favorite Living Colour music. Of these songs, I’ve grown to genuinely dig “Auslander” – especially its chorus – and its strange, almost futuristic and chaotic metal feel.

Some stats & info about Living Colour – Stain

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal, New York Bands
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 2.5 out of 5 stars (!?)
  • When was Stain released? 1993
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #423 out of 1,000

Living Colour’s Stain on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Living Colour’s Stain that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

I will never be satisfied until it ends in tears.

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 review of 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.