Deep Album Cuts Vol. 66: Red Hot Chili Peppers

This week the Red Hot Chili Peppers are releasing their 11th album, The Getaway (and it's not a prank like the new RHCP record I wrote about in 2014). I've always had a love/hate relationship with this band, where my enjoyment of some of their hits is always dwarfed by how ubiquitous they've been for the last 25 years. But their weird punk/funk gobbledygook always stood apart from most of the other alt-rock bands that became huge multi-platinum stars in the solemn grungey '90s, and I've come to really enjoy their music in small doses. So here's a little collection of songs from outside of their overplayed singles discography. That's much better. Everyone can enjoy that!

Red Hot Chili Peppers Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist): 

1. Out In L.A.
2. Police Helicopter
3. You Always Sing The Same
4. The Brothers Cup
5. Sex Rap
6. Lovin' And Touchin'
7. Backwoods
8. Walkin' Down The Road
9. Party On Your Pussy
10. Johnny, Kick A Hole In The Sky
11. Punk Rock Classic
12. Magic Johnson
13. The Power Of Equality
14. Funky Monks
15. Mellowship Slinky In B Major
16, Blood Sugar Sex Majik
17. One Hot Minute
18. Pea
19. Walkabout
20. Easily
21. I Like Dirt
22. Minor Thing
23. Make You Feel Better
24. Goodbye Hooray

Tracks 1, 2, and 3 from Red Hot Chili Peppers (1984)
Tracks 4, 5 and 6 from Freaky Styley (1985)
Tracks 7, 8 and 9 from The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987)
Tracks 10, 11 and 12 from Mother's Milk (1989)
Tracks 13, 14, 15 and 16 from Blood Sugar Sex Majik (1991)
Tracks 17, 18 and 19 from One Hot Minute (1995)
Tracks 20 and 21 from Californication (1999)
Track 22 from By The Way (2002)
Track 23 from Stadium Arcadium (2006)
Track 24 from I'm With You (2011)

Obviously, the band was plugging along for a number of years without any real commercial success before they became a household name, but those early records are pretty interesting to me, just how awkward and ungainly they were before they formed their sound into something similar but far more polished. Back in the '90s, the only RHCP records my brother and I owned were Blood Sugar Sex Majik and the early years compilation released soon after, What Hits!?, and I have some fondness for the songs from that, including the album cuts included here like "Backwoods" and "Johnny, Kick A Hole In The Sky." I wish they'd gotten to make more than one album with the Hillel Slovak/Jack Irons line up, I would've like to hear some of the albums after The Uplift Mofo Party Plan with those guys as part of the more big budget mainstream iteration of the band. Blood Sugar is obviously the classic, though -- I have fond memories of the one time I saw the band live, at the 1998 Tibetan Freedom Concert. RHCP's set was cancelled by lightning, so the next day Pearl Jam ended their set early so RHCP could do a quick 3-song set, including "The Power Of Equality."

Much is made of the band's many lineup changes -- they're probably the biggest rock band in history where the guitarist's role was such a revolving door, where the bassist was a more consistent lynchpin of the band's sound. But I have to say, while the John Frusciante lineup has become associated with the band's commercial and creative peaks, I think that there's a lot to be said about how they've been able to swap other guitarists in and out and more or less be the same band. The Dave Navarro era generally doesn't get a lot of love but I think the band sounded fine with him, not as an odd a fit as some might say. If there's anything wrong with One Hot Minute it's more the self-serious bloat that a lot of other big bands were falling victim to in the mid-'90s.

The Getaway is the band's shortest album since Mother's Milk, which is encouraging in a way. This is a band that left behind 40-minute albums with the end of the vinyl era and has only barely gotten one other album in under an hour in the last two decades. Blood Sugar Sex Magik is good enough to more or less justify its 70 minutes but would pack a bigger punch with some of the redundant songs trimmed. Stadium Arcadium is the rare CD-era double album by a major rock band, an appalling 122 minutes (even Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness, an album that makes a tremendous effort to justify its length, is a minute shorter). I usually listen to entire albums or all the available deep cuts to make these mixes, but I must admit I skimmed and skipped around the later albums a lot, just because it's so hard to pick a good song out of the 28 tracks on Stadium Arcadium.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Vol. 24: Foo Fighters
Vol. 25: Counting Crows
Vol. 26: T.I.
Vol. 27: Jackson Browne
Vol. 28: Usher
Vol. 29: Mary J. Blige
Vol. 30: The Black Crowes
Vol. 31: Ne-Yo
Vol. 32: Blink-182
Vol. 33: One Direction
Vol. 34: Kelly Clarkson
Vol. 35: The B-52's
Vol. 36: Ludacris
Vol. 37: They Might Be Giants
Vol. 38: T-Pain
Vol. 39: Snoop Dogg
Vol. 40: Ciara
Vol. 41: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Vol. 42: Dwight Yoakam
Vol. 43: Demi Lovato
Vol. 44: Prince
Vol. 45: Duran Duran
Vol. 46: Rihanna
Vol. 47: Janet Jackson
Vol. 48: Sara Bareilles
Vol. 49: Motley Crue
Vol. 50: The Who
Vol. 51: Coldplay
Vol. 52: Alicia Keys
Vol. 53: Stone Temple Pilots
Vol. 54: David Bowie
Vol. 55: The Eagles
Vol. 56: The Beatles
Vol. 57: Beyonce
Vol. 58: Beanie Sigel
Vol. 59: A Tribe Called Quest
Vol. 60: Cheap Trick
Vol. 61: Guns N' Roses
Vol. 62: The Posies
Vol. 63: The Time
Vol. 64: Gucci Mane
Vol. 65: Violent Femmes
« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

Post a Comment