The Red Hot Chili Peppers is a Californian rock band that has combined aspects of funk and hip-hop with rock and roll,
pioneering funk metal. One critic has summarized their lyrics as "sex, good times, rock and roll and more sex" with some
truth, though some of their biggest hits, such as Under The Bridge, have been considerably more introspective. Perhaps the
most distinctive feature of their sound is the bass playing of Flea, whose flashy, slap-heavy playing not only provides a
groove but is also the source of many musical flourishes. They are also well known for playing bare chested; in fact Flea
often goes one step further and performs naked on stage.
Red Hot Chili Peppers' label were originally signed to an EMI subsidiary known as EMI Manhattan. Epic Records offered the
band a contract where each member would be paid a million dollars, but only if Epic would release them from their contract
with EMI Manhattan by paying them off. Epic and EMI Manhattan hit a wall in negotiations, the deal fell through and the Red
Hot Chili Peppers signed with Warner Brothers Records. Their breakthrough record Blood Sugar Sex Magik as well as all
subsequent records were released on Warner Brothers Records and were produced by Rick Rubin.
Their earlier work was a fusion of funk and punk rock with a party attitude. After the sobering death of guitarist Hillel
Slovak, the Red Hot Chili Peppers would also lose Jack Irons, which would lead to the addition of current members, John
Frusciante and Chad Smith. It was after the death of Hillel that the band had their most success.
It wasn't until 1983, with Flea back on board and a new name - the Red Hot Chili Peppers - that the band began making
serious inroads into the music industry. Despite the absence of Irons and Slovak (who were under contractual obligations to
What Is This?), the new group, consisting of Flea, Kiedis, Jack Sherma, and Cliff Martinez, managed to release a self-titled
debut. Soon Irons and Slovak would return, and the Chili Pepper's set about the ultimately successful task of achieving
recognition for their energetic live show.
In 1985 the band released their second album Freaky Styley, produced by George Clinton. Although the album failed to
achieve high sales with the album, it was a critically step in the development of the still young Red Hot Chili Peppers. It
wasn't until their third album that the band returned to it's Anthem roots and presented its original lineup. The Uplift Mofo
Party Plan was released in 1987 to better-than-expected record sales and featured one of the band's most legendary songs,
"Party on Your Pussy".
Tragedy struck the band shortly after the release of their next album, the Abbey Road EP when guitarist Hillel Slovak died
of an accidental heroin overdose in 1988. Dumbstruck and depressed, the band was on the verge of falling apart after Irons
left to come to terms with what had happened. To replace the two departed members of their band, the remaining Chili Peppers
recruited drummer Chad Smith and fan John Frusciante on guitars.
Mother's Milk was released in 1989 and it seemed as though the band would finally climb the music ladder. Building upon
the success of their Slovak tribute " Knock Me Down" and the Stevie Wonder cover "Higher Ground", the band achieved modest
MTV exposure and were set form something bigger. Hard times fell once again, however, as the band found its way into trouble.
Kiedis was convicted of indecent exposure and sexual battery in 1989 and the band greater even larger problems during the
taping of a MTV special. Flea and Smith had an altercation with a female audience member and were promptly charged and found
guilty of numerous, moderately serious battery charges.
It was with the release of the Red Hot Chili Pepper's next album, BloodSugarSexMagik that the band slowly began to turn
things around. The release was both a critical and commercial success, selling more than three million copies and featuring
the hit singles "'Under The Bridge" and "Give It Away". Critics differed, however, on just what message the album held. While
some felt that it was a mark in the career of the Chili Peppers, others "raged at what they saw as the band's innate sexism".
If anything, the album announced to the world that the Red Hot Chili Pepper's had arrived. A headlining act followed on
Lollapalooza, and record sales remained strong.
In May 1992 Frusciante left the band and was ultimately replaced ex-Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro. The Chili
Pepper's remained fairly silent until 1995 when the monster animated film Beavis And Butt-Head Do America was released to
theatres. "Love Rollercoaster", a Chili Pepper's track featured on the movie's soundtrack reached the charts and brought the
band back into the public eye.
The Red Hot Chili Pepper's endless member-shuffle continued in 1998 as the newest member Navarro left and was replaced by
ex-member John Frusciante. fter a lay-off of four years, the Peppers' much-delayed follow-up to BSSM was released in 1995,
One Hot Minute. While the album was a sizeable hit, it failed to match the success and musical focus of its predecessor, as
it became apparent during the album's ensuing tour that Navarro wasn't fitting in as well as originally hoped, and left the
band in early 1998.
After Frusciante had left the group, he released a pair of obscure solo releases, 1995's Niandra Ladies and Usually Just a
T-Shirt and 1997's Smile From the Streets You Hold, yet rumors circulated that the guitarist was homeless, penniless, and
sickly with a death-defying drug habit. After checking himself into rehab and putting his demons behind him, Frusciante
emerged once again re-focused and re-energized, and promptly accepted an invitation to rejoin the Peppers once more. The
group's reunion album, 1999's Californication, proved to be another monster success, reconfirming the Chili Peppers as one of
alternative rock's top bands. The band put in a quick guest appearance on Fishbone's Psychotic Friends Nuttwerx before
hitting the road to support the album. The following months found the band getting involved in bizarre situations and
controversies. First, their refusal to play songs from One Hot Minute during the tour was an unpopular decision with some
fans and a sore spot for Dave Navarro. Next, they reignited a personal feud between Kiedis and Mr. Bungle singer Mike Patton
by refusing to play a series of European concerts with Bungle. Patton responded with a "tribute" show for the Peppers, where
Bungle mocked their stage moves, faked shooting up heroin, and imitated Kiedis's comments about Patton. They also played the
ill-fated Woodstock '99 festival, where their headlining performance was met with piles of burning rubble and a full-scale
riot. Tours with the Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam brought them into the next year without problems, but they stepped off the
road after a planned stop in Israel was haulted due to security worries. They returned to the studio in November of 2001 and
by the summer of 2002 they had a new album ready to drop, By the Way.
In the Summer of 2004 the band embarked on a tour of Europe, playing in stadium sized venues, their first tour of playing
venues of this magnitude. New songs were revealed at these shows to the delight of fans, these songs were "Leverage of
Space", "Rolling Sly Stone" and "Mini-Epic". The shows played at Hyde Park in London were recorded and compiled to form the
band's only live album to date Live in Hyde Park. The album was released very quickly after these shows and included two of
the new songs "Leverage of Space" and "Rolling Sly Stone". The songs included on the album draw heavily from the albums
Californication and By the Way with no material included from before Blood Sugar Sex Magik.