Hot red peppers are set to release an album this year – it will be their first since 2016. This album is particularly special as it features the return of pivot guitarist John Frusciante, who has been absent from the band since the release of ‘Stadium Arcadium’.
Frusciante helped contribute guitar riffs to some of the band’s most iconic tracks, including “Californication,” “Can’t Stop,” and “Under The Bridge.” Yet even in his absence, the band still produced iconic music, like 2016’s singles “Dark Necessities” and “Go Robot,” created alongside Josh Klinghoffer.
These tracks may be some of the California funk-rockers’ standout tracks, but with a towering number of albums under their belt, the Chili Peppers have some streams of tracks that deserve more recognition.
Here are 10 who slept on Red Hot Chili Peppers tracks…
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“My Friends (One Hot Minute)”
The first in this list comes from the sixth studio album “One Hot Minute”. This album is another that was made without Frusciante in tow. In his place was Dave Navarro, well known for his role in Jane’s Addiction.
‘One Hot Minute’ wasn’t as well received as previous album ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’, but second single ‘My Friends’ is an easy to listen to melodic ballad. Lyrically, this song chronicles the issues the band faced in their personal lives.
Musically, it meets the heartache Kiedis refers to as guitar, bass and drums come together to produce a slow, heartbreaking yet infectious sound.
‘Mister Psycho Sexy’ (Blood Sugar Sex Magik)
The 1991 album “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” contains many of the RHCP’s best songs – but many of them went unnoticed – including the sixteenth track “Sir Psycho Sexy”. This song sums up the energy of leader Kiedis in his youth. The lead singer is known for his overt sexual energy, and this tune shows it.
The song relates a fictional character or rather an exaggerated version of Kiedis who finds himself confronted with many torrid situations. At eight minutes and 16 seconds, ‘Sir Psycho Sexy’ lives up to its name both stylistically and lyrically.
‘Hump of Bump’ (Stadium Arcadium)
“Hump from Bump” is possibly the fifth single from the popular 2007 record “Stadium Arcadium,” and the music video may star and be directed by a little-known comedian called Chris Rock, but he still seems relatively unknown. It’s funky, infectious and sums up the funk rock genre nicely.
Among the traditional Chili Peppers lineup of instruments, the melody also features Flea on trumpet.
‘Pretty Little Ditty’ (breast milk)
“Pretty Little Ditty” is an instrumental track from the 1989 “Mothers Milk” album. Written by Frusciante and Flea, the tune may sound familiar to listeners as it was sampled by Crazy Town’s popular single “Butterfly.” It’s not the riff’s only use, in 2020 it was sampled on ‘Ain’t It Different’ by Headie One, AJ Tracey and Stormzy.
“Are you wasting away in your skin?” asks Anthony Kiedis on the eighth track of the 1999 record “Californication”. This sweet, lullaby-like serenade was written by Kiedis for a single mom he met at a YMCA. In the words of Kiedis – “The beauty, sadness, tragedy and glory, all rolled into one, of this mother/daughter relationship were evoked by the mood of this music”.
It might not be the typical Red Hot Chili Peppers song, given the slow tempo and smooth flair, but it’s both stylistically and lyrically gorgeous.
‘Emmit Remmus’ (Californication)
Another single from ‘Californication’, Emmit Remmus is groovy, pulsating, bassy and has a great story. After Kiedis had a fling with none other than sports spice, Mel C- he wrote this track chronicling their relationship. Fun lyrics that recount the adventures of an “English girl and an American man” met with slimy riffs, heavy drums and Funkadelic bass make for a great listen.
The tune still contains the funky sound of the Chili Peppers but musically it nods towards the heavier side of the band.
‘Love Rollercoaster’ (Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Soundtrack)
In 1996, the Chili Peppers covered “Love Rollercoaster” by 70s funk band the Ohio Players. The cover was made for the movie Beavis and Butthead and the music video features the animated band as characters from the popular MTV cartoon. The cover pays homage to the original track, encapsulating the 70s funk genre while retaining a rock edge from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Due to its timeless riffs and funky vibe, it deserves to be among the band’s most beloved tracks.
‘Sick Love’ (The Getaway)
Taken from the latest album ‘The Getaway’, ‘Sick Love’ is infectious, sweet and shows the pop-rock side of the Chili Peppers but hasn’t received as much hype as it deserves. Third single from the album, this track features none other than Elton John on piano. When listening to the infectious track, it’s easy to identify Elton’s distinctive piano flair.
‘Tearjerker’ (a hot minute)
Taken from “One Hot Minute”, “Tearjerker” lives up to the definition of its name as it recounts the day Anthony Kiedis discovers that Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain has died.
A moving ballad that lyrically captures the grief of Cobain’s death, this song pays homage to Kiedis’ friendship with Kurt – chronicling the day they met backstage in Los Angeles, when Nirvana supported the Red Hot. Chili Peppers on their Blood Sugar Sex Magik Tour.
Delicate guitar riffs met with smooth drums and basslines make this track even more heartbreaking.
“If You Must Ask” (Blood Sugar Sex Magik)
Second on the “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” track list, If You Have to Ask is probably one of the most sleepy tracks not only from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but from the 90s as well. The funky guitar licks work alongside Kiedis as he sings and raps. A standout lyric praises the “funky ass Flea bass”, which is ever-present among the 1993 song. The song ends with a riffy solo from Frusciante which is greeted with applause from the band. Listening to this track in 2022 should get fans excited when Frusciante returns this summer.
These are just a few examples of funky tracks that haven’t received as much recognition as they might have deserved, but still round out the body of work the band has produced since the late 80s. next collection of Frusciante guitar riffs, funky Flea Bass Slaps, infectious percussion from Chad Smith and captivating lyrics from Anthony Keidis.
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Words: Isabelle Miller //@izzyrmiller
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