Red Hot Chili Peppers

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Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers performing on stage in 2006. From left to right: Flea is playing a bass guitar, Anthony Kiedis is singing, Chad Smith is playing a set of drums and John Frusciante is playing a guitar.
Red Hot Chili Peppers performing at the Pinkpop festival in 2006. From left to right: Flea, Anthony Kiedis, Chad Smith, and John Frusciante
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California
Funk rock
Alternative rock
Years active1983–present
LabelsEMI (1984–1990)
Warner Music (1990–present)
MembersAnthony Kiedis
John Frusciante
Chad Smith
Past member(s)Josh Klinghoffer
Hillel Slovak
Dave Navarro
Jack Irons
Arik Marshall
Jack Sherman
Jesse Tobias
D.H. Peligro

Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock band. The band started in 1983 in Los Angeles, California. The state of California has been a theme in many of their songs. The members of the band are singer Anthony Kiedis, bass guitarist Flea, guitarist John Frusciante, and drummer Chad Smith.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have released eleven studio albums. Their early albums were a mix of rock and funk, and were not very successful. The band's membership changed several times during this period, but Kiedis and Flea have been with the band since it started. When Frusciante and Smith joined in 1989, Red Hot Chili Peppers' next album, Mother's Milk, was successful. It was the band's first album to appear on the Billboard music chart. While Red Hot Chili Peppers were on tour in 1992 after their fifth and most successful album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Frusciante left the band because of a drug addiction.

Dave Navarro became the new guitarist after Frusciante. Navarro and the other members of Red Hot Chili Peppers did not work together very well. The other members asked Navarro to leave the band in 1998, after one album, called One Hot Minute. At this time, Frusciante had been making albums by himself. He was also suffering from a heroin addiction. When he was feeling better, Flea asked him to join Red Hot Chili Peppers again and Frusciante said yes. The band's next album, Californication (1999), was one of their most popular so far. Red Hot Chili Peppers kept recording and released another album soon afterwards. In 2002, they released By the Way, which was also successful. After this, the band went on a concert tour around the world. While they were doing so they released a best of album. After the tour, the band recorded and released the album Stadium Arcadium in 2006, which consisted of twenty-eight songs. After the tour of this album, the band activity was paralyzed for some time, because Frusciante left the band to, again, focus on his career. The band went out to find a new guitarist, with Klinghoffer joining them. They have produced a new album, called I'm With You, and another album called The Getaway. Frusciante has since rejoined the group replacing Klinghoffer as the guitarist.

Band history[change | change source]

Creation[change | change source]

Red Hot Chili Peppers were originally called Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem.[1] The band was started in 1983 for a single performance. They were so popular that they were asked to come back again the next week.[2] The first members of the band were Anthony Kiedis (singer), Flea (bass), Hillel Slovak (guitar), and Jack Irons (drums). They all knew each other from Fairfax High School in Los Angeles.[3]

Early work[change | change source]

After becoming popular in Los Angeles, Red Hot Chili Peppers got a recording contract with record label EMI. Irons and Slovak thought Red Hot Chili Peppers was a side project. They left just before the first album to work more on their original band, "What Is This?". Kiedis and Flea did not think their band was a side project, and decided to look for new members.[4] They hired guitarist Jack Sherman and drummer Cliff Martinez.[3] Andy Gill, usually a guitarist, was hired to be a producer for the band's first album.[5]

Their first album was called The Red Hot Chili Peppers. It did not sell many copies, but it got the band a small number of dedicated fans.[3][6] Critics such as Robert Christgau liked the album,[7] but the tour that came after it did not do well.[8][9] Sherman was fired by the band after the tour, and Slovak came back to replace him.[3]

Red Hot Chili Peppers hired George Clinton to produce their second album, Freaky Styley. They released the album in 1985. It was only a little bit more successful than the one before it.[6][10] After the album, Martinez was fired from the band. After firing him, Kiedis said he thought that Martinez had wanted to leave. Red Hot Chili Peppers hired another drummer, Chuck Biscuits, but Irons came back to replace him. The band began work with producer Michael Beinhorn on a new album.[11]

The album The Uplift Mofo Party Plan was released in 1987. It was the band's most successful so far. The album entered the Billboard 200 chart, but only at number 148.[6] During this time, Kiedis and Slovak had problems with drugs. Slovak died on June 25, 1988.[3][12][13] Because of this, Irons left the band. He said that he did not want to be part of a band where his friends were dying.[14] Kiedis and Flea agreed to keep going with the band.[3]

Mainstream success[change | change source]

After Slovak died and Irons left the band, D. H. Peligro (from the band Dead Kennedys) and DeWayne "Blackbyrd" McKnight joined Red Hot Chili Peppers. Neither of these two worked very well with the band, so they were replaced. Peligro told a friend of his, John Frusciante, to audition to join the band. His audition went well and he joined as guitarist. A friend of the band then told them about Chad Smith. Smith had a very good audition and joined.[15][16] During the recording of their next album, Frusciante argued with Michael Beinhorn, the producer. Beinhorn wanted Frusciante to play his guitar very loud, like heavy metal music, but Frusciante did not like this style.[17]

Red Hot Chili Peppers' next album, Mother's Milk, became very successful. It sold well and songs from it played often on radio.[18] It also appeared on MTV, because the band did a popular cover of Stevie Wonder's song "Higher Ground".[3] The album reached number 52 on the Billboard 200 chart,[6] and was certified "gold" by the RIAA.[19]

Blood Sugar Sex Magik[change | change source]

After Mother's Milk, Red Hot Chili Peppers changed their record label to Warner Music. The band chose to work with Rick Rubin as their next producer. Rubin thought they needed to work outside a studio. They recorded their next album in Rubin's mansion. Smith did not stay in the mansion because he thought it was a haunted house. The rest of the band did not leave the house for a month.[20]

The name of the new album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, was taken from the tenth song on the album. Rubin chose the name because the band could not agree on a title. He chose the name because he thought "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" was the best song on the album.[21] The first single from the album, "Give It Away", won a Grammy Award for "Best Hard Rock Performance". It was the band's first Grammy Award.[22] "Give It Away" did well on the music charts. It was the band's first song to go to number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The second single, "Under the Bridge", was the band's most successful song; it charted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number two.[23] The other singles from the album also did well.

The band's success made life difficult for Frusciante, who also had a drug addiction. He quit the band while they were on tour in May 1992.[3] He was replaced by Arik Marshall. Marshal was later replaced by Jesse Tobias. The band played at the Lollapalooza festival in 1992. They also appeared on an episode of The Simpsons. Neither of the band's new members stayed for long. Tobias was replaced in 1993 by Dave Navarro, from the band Jane's Addiction.[24]

Dave Navarro era[change | change source]

Dave Navarro first appeared with the band at the 1994 Woodstock Festival. They found it hard to work with him. Flea said it was because of "the fact that we grew up listening to different music".[24] Red Hot Chili Peppers spent three months in Hawaii making a new album, and One Hot Minute was released in 1995. Its content was sadder than the band's earlier albums. It also sounded more like hard rock than the band's earlier work.[24]

During this time, Kiedis had troubles with heroin again. Navarro also took drugs. At one practice session with the band, he fell over his amplifier because he was over-excited because he had taken too many drugs—he was "high".[25] Because of this, the band asked Navarro to leave.[26] They told the media it was "mutual" because the band members disagreed on the music they liked to make.[27]

Frusciante's return[change | change source]

After leaving Red Hot Chili Peppers, Frusciante made some albums by himself. He was also addicted to heroin. He was so addicted that he was close to poverty and death at times. Frusciante went into a clinic for therapy. His life slowly improved. In April 1998, Flea asked Frusciante to join the band again. The rest of the band were happy to see him return. Kiedis called it the "defining moment" of the band's career so far.[28][29][30][31]

A Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Stockholm in 2003

The band were happy to have Frusciante rejoin, but it was a while before they began making songs again. This was because he had sold all of his guitars for money to buy drugs. It also took him a while to get used to playing music as part of a band again.[28] The band released their seventh album, Californication, in 1999. It had fewer songs based on rap and funk than their previous albums. The album focused more on melodic guitar riffs.[32] Californication was very popular.[6] It sold over 15 million copies.[33] Three of the singles on the album, "Scar Tissue", "Otherside", and "Californication", reached number one on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.[23]

After touring in Spring 2001, Red Hot Chili Peppers began recording a new album. The band worked with Rubin again. They recorded in band members' homes. Frusciante did a lot more work on recording the new album, By the Way, than he had done on Californication.[34] By the Way was released in 2002. It was the best seller of any album by the band so far. It sold over one million copies in the first week in which it could be bought. The album was rated very highly on charts.[6][35] Some people thought that the music on By the Way was similar to the music on Californication. A review by Blender magazine called it "Californication 2, a reprise of their last album".[36] However, Entertainment Weekly said By the Way was a lot more serious than Californication.[37] A review from Stylus Magazine said that Red Hot Chili Peppers showed no passion in making the album and that it was "stunningly awful".[38]

Compilations and Stadium Arcadium[change | change source]

In 2003, Red Hot Chili Peppers released a "best of" compilation album called Greatest Hits. It had songs from the last five albums they released. It also had two new songs. The album got to number 18 on the Billboard 200 chart.[6] The band also released two live video albums in 2003 and 2004; Live at Slane Castle and Live in Hyde Park. The Red Hot Chili Peppers concerts at Hyde Park were the most profitable in 2004.[39]

After releasing By the Way, Red Hot Chili Peppers played concerts around the world for two years. In 2004, the band began recording a new album with Rubin. They first wrote 38 songs for this album. They had planned to release three different albums; one every six months. They later changed their minds and decided to make one album with two discs, and 28 songs in total. The two-disc album was called Stadium Arcadium. The discs were called "Jupiter" and "Mars".[40][41]

Red Hot Chili Peppers released Stadium Arcadium in 2006. It was their first album to be number one in the United States. It was also number one on two other Billboard charts and in 12 other countries.[6][42] The album won the Grammy Award for "Best Rock Album" in 2006. "Dani California", the first single, won the award for "Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal".[22] The music on Stadium Arcadium was more mature than on previous albums, according to Tim Chester from NME. He said this was because most of the band members had families.[43] He also said, and Brian Hiatt from Rolling Stone agreed, that the songs on Stadium Arcadium were similar to the band's other work, and were not very original. However, both reviewers said the music was very good.[44] In an Allmusic review, Stephen Thomas Erlewine said Flea and Frusciante did excellent work on the album. He also said that "the string instruments are the reason to listen to Stadium Arcadium". Erlewine agreed that the band had not done a lot of new things on the album, but instead did what they were good at.[45]

Frusciante departure and I'm With You[change | change source]

After the tour of Stadium Arcadium, the band took a break. During this break, Frusciante decided to leave the band to work on his solo recording. The band chose Josh Klinghoffer to be their new guitarist in 2009 and began working on a new album, called I'm With You. According to their producer, the band wrote enough songs to make a double album, like the previous one, but the band decided not to. Released in 2011, the album received good reviews from the critics, who said that the album was very different. The members of the band stated that the album was a revolutionary album, as it consisted on elements as samba and funk. The critics also praised the new member of the band, saying that it was adequate and that he played a lot of new elements in his guitar that led to a whole new sound of the album.

The Getaway[change | change source]

In 2016, the band released another album, called The Getaway, their second with Josh Klinghoffer. It was not a large chart success, but it sold fairly well.

Frusciante's second return[change | change source]

In December 2019, the band announced that John Frusciante would return to the group and would replace Josh Klinghoffer as the guitarist.[46]

Discography[change | change source]

A dash (—) means it did not appear on the chart.

Album BB 200[6] UK
1984 The Red Hot Chili Peppers
1985 Freaky Styley
1987 The Uplift Mofo Party Plan 148
1989 Mother's Milk 52
1991 Blood Sugar Sex Magik 3 5
1995 One Hot Minute 4 2
1999 Californication 3 5
2002 By the Way 2 1
2006 Stadium Arcadium 1 1
2011 I'm With You 2 1
2016 The Getaway 2 2
2022 Unlimited Love
2022 Return of the Dream Canteen

References[change | change source]

Sources[change | change source]

  • Apter, Jeff (November 11, 2004). Fornication: The Red Hot Chili Peppers Story. Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-381-4.
  • Kiedis, Anthony; Sloman, Larry (October 6, 2004). Scar Tissue. Hyperion. ISBN 1-4013-0101-0.

Footnotes[change | change source]

  1. Fornication: The Red Hot Chili Peppers Story. p. 60.
  2. Scar Tissue. p. 106.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Greg Prato. "Red Hot Chili Peppers > Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
  4. Scar Tissue. p. 127.
  5. Scar Tissue. p. 144.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 "Red Hot Chili Peppers > Charts and Awards > Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  7. Robert Christgau. "Red Hot Chili Peppers". Retrieved 2008-07-25.
  8. Scar Tissue. p. 133.
  9. Scar Tissue. p. 134.
  10. Ira Robbins (24 October 1985). "Freaky Styley: Red Hot Chili Peppers". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-12-25. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
  11. Fornication: The Red Hot Chili Peppers Story. pp. 130–141.
  12. Richard Skanse, Daniel Shumate, David Sprague, Jaan Uhelszki (18 June 1999). "Random Notes on Hillel Slovak, Toad the Wet Sprocket and Jim Morrison". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-07-25.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)[permanent dead link]
  13. Louis Pattison (15 November 2003). "Red Hot Chili Peppers : Greatest Hits". NME. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
  14. Scar Tissue. p. 224.
  15. Scar Tissue. p. 229.
  16. Scar Tissue. p. 233.
  17. Scar Tissue. pp. 240–244.
  18. Amy Hanson. "Mother's Milk > Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  19. "Red Hot Chili Peppers - Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved 2008-07-27.[permanent dead link]
  20. Scar Tissue. pp. 274–275.
  21. Scar Tissue. p. 279.
  22. 22.0 22.1 "GRAMMY Winners Search - Red Hot Chili Peppers". Grammy Awards. Archived from the original on 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Red Hot Chili Peppers > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Alec Forge (October 19, 1999). "Cover Story: The Red Hot Chili Peppers (4 pages)". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
  25. Scar Tissue. p. 393.
  26. Scar Tissue. p. 377.
  27. Joe Rosenthal (April 6, 1998). "Pepper Guitar Mill Grinds On". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Richard Skanse (April 30, 1998). "Red Hot Redux". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2009-02-28. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  29. Greg Prato. "John Frusciante > Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  30. Dave Simpson (February 14, 2003). "It's great to go straight". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  31. Scar Tissue. pp. 389–400.
  32. Greg Prato. "Californication > Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  33. "Chili Peppers' album tops survey". BBC. 4 July 2004. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  34. Scar Tissue. p. 456.
  35. Fornication: The Red Hot Chili Peppers Story. p. 347.
  36. "Red Hot Chili Peppers - By the Way". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  37. David Browne (July 2, 2002). "By the Way". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
  38. Brett Hickman (September 1, 2003). "Red Hot Chili Peppers - By the Way". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
  39. Ray Waddell (November 7, 2004). "Chili Peppers Hot in London's Hyde Park". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 2008-08-24.[dead link]
  40. Bruce Britt (October 5, 2006). "'Stadium' Set Keeps Chili Peppers Red Hot". BMI. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
  41. Neil Dowden. "Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium (WEA)". musicOMH. Archived from the original on 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
  42. "Red Hot Chili Peppers - Statdium Arcadium". Retrieved 2008-08-26.
  43. Tim Chester (April 28, 2006). "Red Hot Chili Peppers: Stadium Arcadium". NME. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
  44. Brian Hiatt (May 3, 2006). "Stadium Arcadium: Red Hot Chili Peppers". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-08-17. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
  45. Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Stadium Arcadium > Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
  46. O'Donnel, Patrick (December 16, 2019). "Red Hot Chili Peppers: John Frusciante returns to band for second time". The Independent. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  47. Roberts, David, ed. (2006), Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.), HIT Entertainment, ISBN 1-90499-410-5

Other websites[change | change source]