2016-02-10

EP Review: Living Colour - Biscuits

Image courtesy Wikipedia.org

Comprised almost entirely of cover songs, Living Colour's Biscuits EP is a release I picked up in a used CD store in my college days. I'm not just a Living Colour fan, I'm a casual collector of their releases, including singles and minor EPs like this one.

It is a short EP, and thus deserves no more than a short review.

There is little hear that will appeal to anyone other than hardcore Living Colour fans. The EP does not contain that one hidden gem destined to make it onto anyone's mix tape. Instead, it contains six songs that are more or less guaranteed to slay any Living Colour fan.

It begins with a studio cover of James Brown's "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing." It's a great cover that showcases the advantages of Corey Glover's voice over Brown's. The arrangement is very reflective of Living Colour's early days.

Next is a live version of the song "Desperate People," from the band's debut album, Vivid. It's a great rendition of a song that was probably quite popular at the time, but which pales in comparison to the band's later material.

Track three is a studio cover of Al Green's classic "Love and Happiness." They do a great version, but the original is much better. I would love to have heard this live. I'm not sure whether the band still plays it.

Track four is a live version of "Memories Can't Wait," the Talking Heads cover that appears on the band's debut album. Like the studio version, this live version is far better than the Talking Heads' original version. Still, neither version is as good as the songs actually penned by Living Colour.

Track five is a studio cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Burning the Midnight Lamp." Not only is this an underrated Hendrix song, it just might be the best cover song Living Colour has ever done. The guitar solo is fantastic and the vocals are about as stunning as Glover has ever performed in the studio.

The final track is an outtake from the Time's Up sessions, a Vernon Reid-penned punk-ish rock song called "Money Talks." The chorus of this song has a simply wonderful melody. This and the Hendrix cover alone are worth the price you'd end up paying for this EP if you ever had to find a physical copy, which seems unlikely in this day and age.

As this is mostly a mish-mash of songs from here and there, outtakes and live recordings, it doesn't really reflect any particular moment in the history of the band. But, like I say, for die hard fans like yours truly, it's an excellent addition to the collection.