ET 52780 Stain
Produced by Ron Saint Germain and Living Colour (w. Andre Betts on 4,10)
Released on March 2, 1993
UK CHART POSITION #19 . . . US CHART POSITION #26
Find it at GEMM
ET 52780 cover  

D eeper still into the black forest of mixed media metal mosh melodies. The color that comes to mind is red by design. Angry red. Red button red. Stain’d red. The cassette cover and the cassette inside, both red. (I own two red cassettes, this and Tad’s Inhaler. Red cassettes rock.) Stain is sensory overload. I don’t own Time’s Up*, which Trouser Press accorded many of the same honors I would lay on Stain: advanced artistry in multimedia mixing, a greater range of music, riskier, darker. It’s clear that Living Colour was growing, evolving. So why did it stop at Stain? A lot of people ask that question; maybe a critical autopsy is in order rather than a review. Vivid was celebratory in its excess, Biscuits gravy, Stain is confrontational. “Elvis Is Dead” seemed to be looking for a fight. Stain throws punches before the first note is played; the cover and title and color choice conspire to provoke a response. The opening “Go Away” and “Ignorance Is Bliss” are even punchier. Personally, I think Vernon Reid & company push all the right buttons: loud, weird, indignant. But the deeper that Living Colour gets into dark metal, the more out of place Corey Glover seems. You get the sense that he really wants to blow you away on “This Little Pig,” he just doesn’t huff and puff hard enough. Maybe they should have called it Strain. Half of this plays out like a metal album, the other half like a mad science experiment. If you were on board for the first two albums, don’t you dare get off until Stain comes to a complete stop.

(*Bought it. Rocks. See review.)

ET 52780 picture sleeve
ET 52780 picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. GO AWAY    (William Calhoun/Corey Glover/Vernon Reid/Doug Wimbish)
  2. IGNORANCE IS BLISS    (William Calhoun/Corey Glover/Vernon Reid/Doug Wimbish)
  3. LEAVE IT ALONE    (Corey Glover/Doug Wimbish/Vernon Reid)
  4. BI    (William Calhoun/Vernon Reid)
  5. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS    (Vernon Reid)
  6. AUSLÄNDER    (William Calhoun/Corey Glover/Vernon Reid/Doug Wimbish)
  7. NEVER SATISFIED    (Corey Glover/Vernon Reid)
  8. NOTHINGNESS    (William Calhoun)
  9. POSTMAN    (Vernon Reid)
  10. WTFF    (Andre Betts/William Calhoun/Corey Glover/Vernon Reid/Doug Wimbish)
  11. THIS LITTLE PIG    (William Calhoun/Corey Glover/Vernon Reid/Doug Wimbish)
  12. HEMP    (Vernon Reid/Andrew Fairley)
  13. WALL    (Vernon Reid/Doug Wimbish/William Calhoun/Corey Glover)

    UK/EUR CD bonus tracks
  14. T.V. NEWS
  15. LOVE REARS ITS UGLY HEAD (LIVE)

CREDITS

WILLIAM CALHOUN -- drums and percussion
COREY GLOVER -- vocals, background vocal arrangement (7)
VERNON REID -- guitar and guitar synthesizer, boot photo
DOUG WIMBISH -- bass and ambience
Andrew Fairley -- vocal (12)
Bernard Fowler -- background vocals, background vocal arrangement (7)
Ron Saint Germain -- engineer, mixing
Carol Chen -- art direction
Amy Guip -- photography
Mouri Mbonika -- cover model
David Weeks and Marty Sarandria -- replication of Inquisition period headpice
Rick Patrick -- cover type treatment

return to LIVING COLOUR discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US March 2, 1993 Epic CD/CS EK/ET 52780  
UK/EUR March 1993 Epic LP/CDX/CS 472856 lyrics sleeve
BRA 1993 Epic LP 1882941  
CAN 1993 Epic CS EAT 4692  
JPN 1993 Epic CD ECSA-5725  

 

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