Glover, Corey 1964–
Corey Glover 1964–
For many years, Corey Glover’s claim to fame was being the lead singer for the hard rock band Living Colour. But Glover was not satisfied with being just a front man. Instead he was determined to make a more personal mark on the music industry. During his career, one that has spanned more that 15 years, Glover has taken the initiative to sculpt his own music and has also broken into the film industry by supporting and acting in both Academy Award winning movies as well as smaller independent films that feature African Americans.
Glover’s first inspiration and role model for his dreams was his father. “He always told me that if I thought about it hard enough, I could do it,” he told NBC Sports in a live chat promoting the 1996 Olympics. His father’s encouragement led Glover to seeks all kinds of music styles to listen to as a youngster. “I was tenacious about broadening my horizons, and not being relegated to where I was supposed to be,” he said in an online interview with The Black Rock Coalition. In addition to the classic and mainstream R&B music his family listened to as well as gospel, Glover went further. “I started checking out what was happening on the punk scene, like Sex Pistols, The Clash and Talking Heads,” he said in the same interview. Those diverse influences prepared Glover for his brush with rock stardom.
Glover met the co-founder of Living Colour, Vernon Reid, at a friend’s birthday party in 1985. Someone made Glover sing Happy Birthday and Reid was impressed by his soulful voice. At the time, Reid was a well-known session player and asked Glover to join his newly formed band, but Glover turned him down. He was more interested in pursuing his own projects which included acting and music geared more toward R&B. Glover was unaware of Reid’s reputation and clout when he said no, but he had another opportunity to join up with Reid when the original lead singer of Reid’s band needed to be replaced. So, along with Glover, Reid pulled together bassist, Muzz Skillings, and drummer, Will Calhoun, to form Living Colour, an African-American hard rock band.
At the same time that Reid was recognizing Glover’s musical talents, the casting director for a new film on the horrors of war also noticed Glover’s acting
At a Glance…
Born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, 1964.
Awards: New York Music Awards, Best Rock Group, 1989; Grammy, Best Hard Rock Performance, 1989, 1990.
Address: Website —www.coreyglover.com
strengths. Ultimately, Glover was cast as “Francis” in the movie Platoon, which went on to win the Best Picture Oscar for 1986. In addition to the Oscar, Platoon was also one of the top grossing films of that same year. The filming caused Glover to leave Living Colour just before their star began to shine. But when he returned, things couldn’t have been better.
The debut of Living Colour marked the beginning of celebrity status for Glover in spite of his appearance in an Oscar winning film. The group was not an overnight sensations but had put in years of work prior to receiving a big break on the behalf of Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones. Reid’s guitar styles impressed Jagger and he hired Reid to play on Primitive Cool, Jagger’s solo LP. Jagger then produced two tracks by Living Colour that allowed the band to land a recording contract in 1986 for their first LP, Vivid.
The band released Vivid in 1988. The album took quite a while to catch the ear of hard rockers, but when it caught, it exploded onto the hard rock scene. The group’s freshman effort went platinum and sparked the beginnings of a revolution in music. Living Colour became the first black rock band to be accepted by mainstream pop and rock audiences since the early 1970’s when Sly and the Family Stone were on the charts. Living Colour was named Best Rock Group at the New York Music Awards and more importantly, the album won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1989.
The band hit the road with Jagger to promote Vivid on the Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels tour in 1989. Glover’s smooth and soulful vocals paired with Reid’s screaming guitar rifts delivered socially relevant messages to both white and black listeners setting the group apart from the other hard rock acts at that time. In an interview with the Black Rock Coalition, Glover noted the MTV records set by their first single. “Cult of Personality was a heavy rotation video for 49-50 weeks, almost a year. It set records for the most requested video, most rotated video, ever.”
Glover and Living Colour followed their first album with another Grammy-winning effort. Times’s Up won the second Best Rock Performance Grammy for the group in 1990. The reviews for the release were all glowing with People Weekly classifying Glover as “.… more of a crooner than a head-banger; as a result, Living Colour’s brand of rock sounds almost romantic.” The description was strictly of the style and not the lyrics as most of the songs by the band addressed social issues such as drugs, racism, and AIDS.
The group kept up the momentum of their two Grammy winning efforts by joining the first year of the rock festival, Lollapalooza, in 1991. They joined bands like Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiction, Ice-T and his rock group, Body Count, on the tour which covered America. They also released their third album Biscuits. This album and the next few efforts by the group were released to little critical acclaim. Coming off of a platinum debut and Grammy-winning sophomore album, the industry seemed less fascinated with the four African Americans making a loud political noise. They released Stain in 1993 and finally the band broke up shortly after the release of the bands first compilation album, Pride, in 1995 due to changes at Sony Records that affected the support the company gave to their newest efforts.
Glover spent the next few years revisiting his own creative projects that again included acting. He was in a string of small independent films that included Loose Women, and The Keeper in 1996, Lowball in 1997 and Reunion in 2001. During the breaks from filming, he was still able to nurture his musical roots, eventually landing a contract with LaFace Records. He earned a spot on the 1996 Olympics compilation album through LaFace, but his next complete venture into the music industry didn’t take shape until the late 1990s. He released Hymns, an R&B effort with touches of alternative rock, in 1998. The album received little fanfare, but was still close to Glover’s heart. “I always wanted to do rock stuff and I did. But I’ve always wanted to be a loveman and sort of split the difference. I think I’ve done that with this album and with this band.” he was quoted as saying on his website, www.coreyglover.com.
Glover began working on a new solo project, The Redemption of Reverend Daddy Love, right around the time that his former band members decided to take another shot at rock & roll. By 2001 Living Colour had reformed and launched a tour to test the waters and see if the music industry could still handle a hard-rocking African-American band. The reunion proved successful as Glover’s website mentioned a possible new album in the works for the band in 2002.
Vivid, Sony Music, 1988.
Time’s Up, Sony Music, 1990.
Biscuits, Sony Music, 1991.
Stain, Sony Music, 1993.
Pride, Sony Music, 1995
Hymns, LaFace Records, 1998.
Loose Women, 1996.
The Keeper, 1996.
Entertainment Weekly, January 10, 1992; March 5, 1993; January 12, 1996.
Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Services, January 18, 1995.
Maclean’s, November 26, 1990.
People Weekly, April 24, 1989; Aug. 21, 1989; October 8, 1990.
Rolling Stone, September 30, 1999.
Horizon Magazine; www.horizonmag.com
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