|"Cult of Personality"|
|Single by Living Colour|
|from the album Vivid|
|Released||July 14, 1988|
|Living Colour singles chronology|
"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. '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 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.The solo was ranked No. 87 in Guitar World
"Cult of Personality" prominently includes several audio samples of speeches from 20th-century political leaders.
The song begins with an edited quote from the beginning of "Message to the Grass Roots", a speech by Malcolm X. As it appears in the song, the quote is:
"... 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|