There is not much more one can say about The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their sound is like no other taking snippets of funk, metal, rap, and punk and combining them effortlessly into something that is only described as “Chili-Pepper “like. They have influenced numerous bands to dive deep into their own influences and comb the music for new inspiration. They have been hit with tragedy, but came back with a more melodic and mature sound that still pays homage to the funk. And…they made socks really cool.
Their 11th album “The Getaway” was released on June 17th, but we felt it might be time to take a look at their catalog and discuss, in my humble opinion, their best work. With that being said, instead of 10 songs, we went with 15 + 5, cause you can never have too much Red Hot Chili Peppers. Enjoy…
Honorable Mention – These 5 songs are grrrrreat….. and I couldn’t just toss them aside.
“Monarchy of Roses” – I’m With You
“Blood Sugar Sex Magic – Blood Sugar Sex Magic
“Fight Like a Brave” – The Uplift Mofo Party Plan
“Aeroplane” – One Hot Minute
“Otherside” – Californication
- “Stadium Arcadium”– Stadium Arcadium
Die hards may not agree with this choice, but the title track of their 2006 double album of the same name showcases a more melodic and reserved side of the band with a hummable chorus I find myself singing when bored, so you know it’s got the sauce.
- “Suck My Kiss” – Blood Sugar Sex Magic
The third single off Blood Sugar Sex Magic, and a live favorite of the band, hits hard with a bass line that pushes the energy of the song into a funk / metal blast, Kiedis’s machine gun fire lyrical delivery is one of his most memorable.
- “Dosed” – By The Way
Dosed is a longer than normal love song with 4 separate guitars moving at the same time. The song reaches its zenith from an almost perfect chorus with harmonies provided by Kiedis and John Frusciante. The song was released in the UK and Canada a proper single.
- “Warped” – One Hot Minute
Warped was the 1st single of the 1995 album One Hot Minute. The record never got its full due with the always-on Dave Navarro playing lead guitar. Warped is a gem and walks that fine line between rock and funk.
- “Knock me Down” – Mother’s Milk
A shift from the group’s previous sound, Kiedis talks about the negative effects of drugs, and touches on the death of previous guitarist Hillel Slovak. This came from sessions with new guitarist John Frusciante, and you can hear his influence on the song.
- “Road Trippin” – Californication
Road Trippin speaks to a drive the band took where the group went surfing at Big Sur when John Frusciante rejoined the band. It was released as a single in the UK and was featured on the Greatest Hits compilation. One of the only songs in the catalog to not feature the drums.
- “Give It Away” – Blood Sugar Sex Magic
Give It Away is one of the most well-known RHCP songs with their video receiving unlimited airplay on MTV in the early 90’s. The funky, hard-hitting tune is full of energy…. And that bass-line….
- “Californication” – Californication
Seen as an homage to the dark side of Hollywood, there are pop culture references throughout with my personal favorite “Cobain, can you hear the spheres singing songs off Station to Station?” The song is consistently a mainstay of their live set.
- “My Friends” – One Hot Minute
In my humble opinion, the best song off of One Hot Minute shows another side of the band. There are a couple of theories as to what the song is about, but definitely a tune to sing to a friend in need, plus it’s hard to find a better guitar solo fitting in a song so perfectly.
- “By The Way” – By The Way
“By The Way” was the first single off the album of the same name. The return to more of a funk sound was welcomed, but the song also combined much of that funk with a more mature and melodic sound found through the rest of the record.
- “Breaking the Girl” – Blood Sugar Sex Magic
The 6/8 time signature proved to hold gravity. “Breaking the Girl” was said to be about a tumultuous relationship with an ex of Kiedis. The song is also famous for the additional percussion instruments that Smith, Flea, and Frusciante found in a junkyard.
- “Higher Ground” – Mothers Milk
One of the best cover songs of all time Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” took the band to the next level. Keeping the funk hitting hard and adding some metal riffed distortion complemented the original very well.
- “Scar Tissue” – Californication
One of the bands most important songs, the 1st single off of Californication showcased the return of John Frusciante to the group after a brief hiatus. The mellow vibe of the song and Frusciante’s spectacular slide guitar solos make it a great song for a sunset drive.
- “Soul to Squeeze” – Coneheads Soundtrack
An extra from the Blood Sugar Sex Magic sessions, the song made its rounds as a b-side and then released as a single for the Coneheads Soundtrack. The song ended up charting towards the top, and has been showcased in the bands live shows since Frusciante rejoined the group in 1998.
- “Under the Bridge” – Blood Sugar Sex Magic
Kiedis’s love song to the city of Los Angeles, shot the band into the stratosphere as their second single off the multi-platinum Blood Sugar Sex Magic. The iconic intro, lyrics, and choir at the end as the song intensifies made it a staple of the 90’s rock era, and has made its way to the top lists of the greatest rock songs of all time.