Cult of Personality (song)
|"Cult of Personality"|
|Single by Living Colour|
|from the album Vivid|
|Released||July 14, 1988|
|Living Colour singles chronology|
|Vivid track listing|
"Cult of Personality" is a song by rock band Living Colour. It was their second single off their debut album, Vivid, released on July 14, 1988. "Cult of Personality" reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 9 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990. Its music video earned the MTV Video Music Award for Best Group Video and MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist. The song was ranked No. 69 on VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs. The solo was ranked No. 87 in Guitar World's "100 Greatest Guitar Solos" list. It was also selected for inclusion in the musical reference book, 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die: And 10,001 You Must Download. The sections before the bridge are similar to a hook in Black Sabbath's "Wheels Of Confusion". In 2007, the song was re-recorded and released for the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. The re-recording later appeared in Guitar Hero Smash Hits. It also appeared in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the radio station "Radio X". The song is also the entrance music for former ROH and WWE wrestler turned UFC fighter, CM Punk, and Living Colour performed the song live for his entrance at WrestleMania 29. The song also appeared on the soundtrack for the 2015 video game NBA 2K16.
The band's founder, Vernon Reid described the song as very special for the band not just for its commercial success but because it was essentially written in just one rehearsal session. The riff was stumbled upon while practicing something else and by the end of the session they had written what was to become Living Colour's best known song.
The song contains many political references, and shares its name with a phenomenon involving psychology and politics.
Political figures referenced
"... And during the few moments that we have left, ... We want to talk right down to earth in a language that everybody here can easily understand."
The unabridged beginning of the speech is:
"... And during the few moments that we have left, we want to have just an off-the-cuff chat between you and me—us. We want to talk right down to earth in a language that everybody here can easily understand."
During a rest in the music at 4:35, John F. Kennedy's inaugural address is heard ("Ask not what your country can do for you ..."). The song ends with Franklin D. Roosevelt saying "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself", from his first inaugural address. The lyrics also mention Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, and Mahatma Gandhi.
|Australia (ARIA Chart)||54|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||3|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||67|
|US Billboard Hot 100||13|
|US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)||9|
|US Rock Digital Songs (Billboard)||21|
In other media
- It is included in the soundtrack of the Cameron Crowe movie Say Anything....
- A shortened version appeared in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas soundtrack on the in-game alternative radio station Radio X.
- The band re-recorded the song for the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. This version was also included in Guitar Hero: Smash Hits.
- It was included in the video games Shaun White Snowboarding, Rock Band Blitz, NBA 2K16 and Guitar Hero Live.
- The New York Islanders use this song for their home games at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
- Several Rutgers Scarlet Knights athletics teams use the song when starting lineups are introduced.
- In 2009, the song was used by the WWE in a video promoting Stone Cold Steve Austin's induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
- In the film The Proposal, the song was heard as Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) is listening to his iPod on full volume, angrily chopping against the old wooden canoe.
- Former professional wrestler CM Punk used this song as his entrance theme during his time in Ring Of Honor and in WWE. The latter usage was introduced with CM Punk's surprise return to the company after winning the WWE Championship at the end of his contract in 2011. The band performed the song live at Wrestlemania 29, during CM Punk's entrance. Punk also used the song as his walkout music while making his UFC debut at UFC 203.
- Terich, Jeff and Adam Blyweiss (October 3, 2012). "10 Essential Alternative Metal Singles". Treblezine. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
- Grierson, Tim. "Top 10 Essential Alt-Metal Songs". About.com. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- "spreadit.org music". Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- 100 Greatest Guitar Solos
- Nunneley, Stephany (July 24, 2015). "Get your groove on with the official NBA 2K16 soundtrack". VG247. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
- "Vernon Reid - Guitar World interview (part 3) Cult Of Personality". youtube. 2010-02-15. Retrieved 2011-05-02.
- Malcolm X: "Message to the Grass Roots": http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/message-to-grassroots
- "Chartifacts > Week Ending: 19 May 1991 (from The ARIA Report Issue No. 69)". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved August 24, 2016.
- "Charts.org.nz – Living Colour – Cult Of Personality". Top 40 Singles.
- "Official Charts > Living Colour". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
- "Living Colour – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Living Colour.
- "Living Colour – Chart history" Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs for Living Colour.
- Living Colour – Chart history
- "GTA San Andreas Radio X Soundtracks Playlist on Spotify". Rockstar Games.
- Sinclair, Brendan (October 5, 2007). "Q&A: RedOctane cofounder Charles Huang". GameSpot. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
- "Rock Band Blitz Setlist and Power Up Announcement". Archived from the original on 2012-06-10.
- "NBA 2K16 Soundtracks Playlist on Spotify". 2K Games.
- What Happened After SmackDown, Punk’s Theme Song, Updates on Finlay & Cara | WRESTLESCOOP
- WWE: Living Colour to Play CM Punk to the Ring at WrestleMania | Bleacher Report
- Schwartz, Nick. "WWE stars react to CM Punk's loss at UFC 203". FoxSports. Retrieved September 11, 2016.