Middle Man

Songfacts®:

  • Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid wrote the music to this song, with lead singer Corey Glover composing the words. In our interview with Glover, he explained that the lyric came from a suicide note he wrote when he was a teenager. "I was maybe 16, 17 years old, and I was just fed up with everything," he said. "I was feeling just down and depressed. When I initially started writing it, it was going to be an open letter to anybody that found me, that I was tired of being caught up in everybody's mess. I was tired of being in the middle of things. I'm tired of being the middle man. And then in the midst of me working this out in my head, it dawned on me that this was not a bad place to be in some cases, that at least I was somewhere. It doesn't mean that it's the best place in the world, but it doesn't mean it's the worst, either. So it actually got me out of the idea that I needed to stop being. It changed my life."
  • Vivid was the first Living Colour album. It was released in May 1988 but took a long time to build. In America, the first single from the album was "Cult of Personality," released in February 1989. In the UK, however, "Middle Man" was their debut single, issued around the same time as the album. It quickly became clear that "Cult" was the more popular song, and "Middle Man" was never issued in America.

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