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The fifth studio album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and featuring a lovely tribute for the late Hillel Slovak in 'My Lovely Man'. These are just a few of my favourite songs:
1. The Power Of Inequality
A powerful opener driven on by Frusciante's riff. His guitar comes close to sounding like an electric saw of sorts for his solo before the fourth verse.
2. If You Have To Ask
No need to "add a little lust to the funky ass Flea bass", as it's so laid-back that it's horizontal throughout the verses. There's a break that has the band jumping, and, in keepin' it real they've left the applause in for Frusciante's guitar solo which follows.
4. Funky Monks
'Tis a funky track indeed! Twice the song stops then starts with a jam to get back into the swing of things. But just check out that bass on the second jam!
7. Mellowship Slinky in B Major
It's brilliant how this track returns to end with the hard rocking riff which starts this funky song. Get swingin'!
8. The Righteous & The Wicked
A highlight of the album with Flea going for his lowest notes; it's no surprise to find that the heavy wicked intro/verse riff is played on a 5-string. The electric in the chorus and the middle 8 - harmonized metal riffs - are also well wicked!
13. Apache Rose Peacock
A nice if naughty song (and not the only one), finishing on a cool heavy metal outro. With cowbell.
The album spawned five singles: 'Give It Away', 'Under The Bridge', 'Suck My Kiss', 'Breaking the Girl', and 'If You Have To Ask' - since only the last of these is a red-hot favourite of mine, the selection is good but not great. It is sad though that 'Under The Bridge' saw to the slaughter in a crappy cover by the All Saints (more like All Shame!) which topped the British charts.
I dig the guitar and bass on 'Give It Away', but with the Juice's Harp the song is not so direct. It's an instrument I'm not really a fan of. However, the mellotron is more than welcome on 'Sir Psycho Sexy' and 'Breaking the Girl'. But between 'I Could Have Lied' and 'Breaking The Girl' - tracks featuring acoustic guitar - I prefer the former as the drum fills (and perhaps the bass-playing) in the latter feel OTT, although I like the use of percussion (sound of pots and pans) in the instrumental break. Saying that, whilst John Frusciante and Flea get to do their thing when there's space to solo, the band never really do overcomplicate the music.
As for Anthony Keidis, he is not someone I rate singing-wise (rapping is his strength here), and especially live, but he gives as good as he's got and it's a great performance from him on this album. Oh, and Chad Smith's kit and drumming sounds great as well.
'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' is a lengthy listen at over an hour and thirteen minutes, and although the chord progression at the end of 'Sir Psycho Sexy' would have been fit for finishing on, the album doesn't end on the highest of highs - their cover of Robert Johnson's 'They're Red Hot' perhaps being the weakest song here. However, it's so short that it's inoffensive.
The artwork for this album is nice, as are the photos of the tattoos of the band members in the inlay. Although these are in black and white. As is the picture of Anthony Keidis showing his armpit (hair).
A monkey funkin' good album I've love to rap (and sing) to, but that's something I'm crap at.
[PARENTAL ADVISORY - EXPLICIT LYRICS]
"Blood Sugar Sex Magik" was released as the fifth album from the Californian Alternative Rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Starting off as a Funk Rock band, with this 1991-released record has them continuing the newly-found mainstream fame which they had managed to gain with "Mother's Milk" - this one being received better due to the inclusion of hits such as "Under The Bridge" and "Give It Away" and features the same 'classic line-up as their last album with Anthony Kiedis leading John Frusciante, Flea and Chad Smith.
1. "The Power of Equality"
The band get things off to the best start possible as they throw the listeners right into the swing of things and give no notice whatsoever. This tune really thumps hard and draws you in through Kiedis' raging rap vocal work to set things off before they continue on and get things done in a funky way that I thought sounded like a reworking of their very early material to show where they came from with a sound which was in a very raw state and needed refining - whereas this time around they clearly know more of where to take the music.
2. "If You Have To Ask"
Keeping standards high, this one has them smoothly running through into a fly piece which gets them doing well to show more of their influence and how exactly they've managed to work them into the music they deliver. This one sounds like a mid-seventies Parliament-Funkadelic tune and I thought that the act simply couldn't go wrong by attempting a little P-Funk at a time when it was on-trend for all music with it being brought into lots of mainstream Hip Hop around this time.
3. "Breaking The Girl"
A late single from the album, this one doesn't seem to fit in with xpectations of the band (but sounds as though it was included to show that "Under The Bridge" wasn't a one-off). Although this one may sound nothing like that one, this one excludes the funkiness of most of their tunes and instead has them going for a nice little melodic ballad which draws you in as it goes and ensures that you won't be put off if this isn't strictly your type of thing.
4. "Funky Monks"
Getting things right back on track here, this track has them setting things off in a bright and lively manner which will appeal to those who've been into the act since their earliest days as here they go for a straight Funk-Rock track (much the way the majority of the album is done). It's a fly one, and once again takes on its chorus structure from the sort of thing which George Clinton did for his P-Funk acts (primarily) through the seventies.
5. "Suck My Kiss"
On this one we're given a very in-your-face piece of guitar work to get you in the mood to get all hyped-up and from there it means that there's no getting out of it. Here Kiedis goes off with his raps and although they may not have any special qualities to them, I thought that it was all that was needed in order to carry this innuendo-ridden recording and please their core fan base just as they'd hope to.
6. "I Could Have Lied"
This is another of the slower tracks on the album and something designed to give the thing a bit more depth and variety. I found that it was a valued piece and one driven by a very memorable guitar melody to give you something to hold onto if you don't quite enjoy the bluesy direction that Anthony Kiedis takes the lyrics and vocals this time around. It's something a little darker from the, but I thought it worked nicely for them.
7. "Mellowship Slinky In B Major"
Catching the listeners massively-off-guard, the band seem intent on surprising them with what exactly they're capable of as a Funk Rock band as here they come up with a tune which is really all about how nicely the lead and bass guitars manage to pull out grimy and memorable grooves that you'll have trouble getting into if this hardcore Funk isn't your type of thing. This is a fresh jam session-sounding piece from them and adds to the record for the improvisational feel of it.
8. "The Righteous & The Wicked"
They do things big once again with this one as they decide to go for a little something with a little Metal thrown into the mix too. This one has a lot to give and has them showing more of their experimentation and how exactly they're able to intermix it into more traditional work (in comparison to what else they've done in previous albums). It's tempo is a little hard to manage at first, but once you get into the swing of it you're bound to be excited by it.
9. "Give It Away"
This was the lead single to the album and the tune which really managed to get them to where exactly they needed to be if they wanted to get into the commercial field. It's a powerful track adn one which has them sticking true to their roots in Funk-Rock whilst still having the sort of feel which enables it to be felt by a wider audience with the catchiness of the lyrics and the rap delivery of them from Kiedis.
10. "Blood Sex Sugar Magik"
Expectedly, the titular track to the album is a massive one and a tune that you're unlikely to forget when attempting to recall the contents of the album after listening through it. Here they decide once again to go for a Metal tune and I have to say that it made things much more exciting and as if they were going a little out of their way (and possibly comfort zone) to do something like this, but they once again pull it off (as ever).
11. "Under The Bridge"
Changing the direction of the material here, we're brought right into a very mellow piece from them and one of their early mainstream hits (to go along with "Give It Away"). I felt that the hypnotic guitar riff running through this tune made it impossible not to engage with and from that point it seems to get increasingly emotive as the band show a completely different side to them - via an unexpected change in the approach from their front man when writing at a time when he felt alienated from the rest of his band.
12. "Naked In The Rain"
The percussion thumps away in an empowering and lively fashion to set things up for the rest of the track as we move on towards more general work from the band. With this tune we find that they don't mess around by trying to steadily move listeners back towards the more typical work as they simply thrust people back into their energetic Rock material and the sort of thing that they're mostly known for. It's just the sort of thing that those more into their harder material will be into (especially those not feeling their groove-driven Funk works).
13. "Apache Rose Peacock"
Luckily, they don't ignore the smiley Funk material for long as they take us right back into that stuff here. I thought that this one stood out as a piece that you'd have trouble forgetting as the hook on this one has melodies on it that force you in and are designed in a manner that mean that it'll stick in your head for some time after. They mix in this very traditional song structure in with more of the raps and together it all fits together perfectly for another tune people should look out for here.
14. "The Greeting Song"
This is a high-energy piece from the act and one that has them moving into the raging Rock stuff that has the potential to appeal to a wide range of listeners. I thought that it was something that pretty much any Rock fan could get down with and when you consider that it's an early nineties piece, it becomes even more important as this was a time when such mindless, thrashing guitar-led material was peaking in popularity and crossing over from the underground.
15. "My Lovely Man"
They simply don't stop throwing out the killers and tunes such as this one show how they clearly don't have any intentions of slowing down the pace at which they're throwing out such killer tunes. This one has them coming to put down a piece that has all the Funk of the early ones from the piece, but also has many of the characteristics that you'd want to get in the more general Rock ones that they done here.
16. "Sir Psycho Sexy"
This one ends the album off (before a short Blues piece) and I thought that it was a great place to end things on as they come out with the best example on this album of the band coming together to do something that sounds to be a direct take on what P-Funk were about in their peaking years. Here Sir Psycho Sexy's character sounds to be a Bootsy Collins-esque creation and makes for a great centrepiece around a soulful and innuendo-rich cut from them.
17. "They're Red Hot" (Outro)
This is a straight classic album from The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I personally cannot find a single fault in what they do here as they offer tune after tune of quality material that few others would have been able to compete with at the time. Each track is a quality one and although some may take a little time to get into, you should feel the same about them all with a few listens. I thought that it was just the thing needed to carry them through once they had really found mainstream fame.
When one looks at life changing albums, one can not help but look at the rise to fame from a certain foursome from LA riding the wave of success that was, and still is, Blood Sugar Sex Magik. The heavily driven, funky bass lines of Flea are for the first time complimented by intelligent drumming from Chad, to the funky yet melodic guitar screamings of John and to top it all of with a psychedelic ribbon, the rap influenced lyrics of Anthony.
In terms of the songs, dissecting them is frustrating and pointless for me, and too much of a let down for you. Nowhere near enough words could do this masterpiece justice. I think in a way, the non-commerical songs are musically better than the well known tracks such as Under The Bridge and Give It Away. My personal favourite is Mellowship Slinky/ Righteous, due to the unformulated attack by all four to create a musical experience from all four angles.
So, to conclude, a must buy, and every song should be listened to without pre-concieved ideas beforehand.
Blood Sugar Sex Magik was the fifth studio-recorded album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was recorded from May until June 1991 at The Mansion, located in Los Angeles, California. The album was then released in the United States three months later on the 24th of September, launching the Red Hot Chili Peppers into the mainstream reaching at number three in the US album chart. With Blood Sugar Sex Magik being the first album under their new label Warner Brothers, the Red Hot Chili Peppers experienced a whole new feel with the arrival of their new producer Rick Rubin. Rick Rubin making such simple and subtle changes helped the Chilis along the way and Blood Sugar Sex Magik is a good example of this.
The guitar work played by John Frusciante is not as overpowering as it was in earlier album Mothers Milk. This cuts back on the unnecessary noise and distortion and leaves more space for a more crisp and clean outcome in the songs themselves. This itself makes the album flow better with more variety for people to enjoy. This is also purely to Rick Rubin giving the band more space letting them have more creativity. This differs from former producer Andy Gill, who was said to like to always be in control of the band and limiting them to what they do. While the Chili's were known for funk and rap, Rick Rubin helped move this on and help them experience new waves of music. Breaking The Girl is a more melodic ballad telling the emotional story of the shame of stealing a girl's virginity. The lyrics are emotional and have feeling with every word sung to express more emotion into the song as possible. There is also a percussion break near to the end of the song. This was Chad Smith and the rest of the band being as creative as possible with any metal objects they had, such as oilcans and tins. Once again this shows how Rick Rubin let the band go free and try out new things to put into their music, which in the end benefited them.
Another well-known song from the album is Give It Away, this being one of the main songs, which got the Red Hot Chili Peppers into the mainstream of music. its also a variation from their other work, being a more fast played, fast rapped and energetic song about what its like to feel good. While some of the songs in former albums sounded plan and dull, this song shows what the Red Hot Chili Peppers are all about with their high energetic music. However, this is one song in which it seems the drums are more dominant than the other songs purely because of the loudness of them, but only slightly. This would be due to the recording of the drums.
Then final most known and probably most loved song is Under The Bridge. Once again it is more of a slow ballad telling the story of Anthony Keidis and he's drug experience. All instruments are played with passion and subtle with the vocals soft but meaningful for the verses. The vocals then move on to more dominant and powerful in the chorus. The lyrics in the verse "I don't ever want to feel like I did that day" are sung strong to show how much he hated his drug experience.
All songs in this album each have a powerful meaning to tell the listeners. With a variety of styles from funk to punk, rap, mellow and rock. It brought together many different genres of music and showed the youth that a white person can listen to rap as much as any body else and how emotion can be shown from even the toughest of characters. The album is well mixed together and shows a lot more creativity from the band, which is mainly due to Rick Rubin. Rick Rubin helped the Chili's get to where they are today and are still even producing such high standard albums.
What is the greatest album ever? What do YOU think is the greatest album ever? Everyone has different expectations when it comes to music and to me, its too broad of a question to really answer. However, what if you were asked to choose one album that you loved that best described you as a person?? Could you do it? After carefully giving that much consideration, i definitely an answer to that.
"Bloodsugarsexmagik"- Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1991
I have to begin this by saying that there is something truly special and magical about this whole album. Ive always felt like 12 people living in one, as if i were in the middle of a clock and all of the hours on the face were pulling at me from every direction, and 'Bloodsugar' seems to encompass many of those personas. Add them up. You have the socio- political smarts of "The Power of Equality", the anti-war political stance of "The Righteous and the Wicked", the frustrations of trying to win over a female in "I Could Have Lied", the downside of free love and choosing flighty relationships over solid ones in "Breaking the Girl", the sense of loneliness and addiction in "Under the Bridge", the feel good vibe of giving back to the world in "Give It Away", the raw, ultra powerful sexual prowess found in "Bloodsugarsexmagik" and "Sir Psycho Sexy", the call for rescue from the coldness of the world found through love and nature, respectvely, in "Suck My Kiss" and "Naked in the Rain", the sense of loss and grief over dead loved ones in "My Lovely Man", the infectious eccentricities of "If You Have To Ask", the connection between sex and the wonderful city of New Orleans being vividly explored on "Apache Rose Peacock", and remembering the imporance of giving credit and paying homage to your influences in "Mellowship Slinky in B Major". You name it, the emotions and characteristics are all there and they are a big part of my own personal makeup. In writing this, i realized that i had only been able to identify with some of the subject matter just a few years ago- primarily anything having to do with social anxieties, death, and even sex- symbolizing a connection i made with an album that, unbeknownst to me at the time, would serve as a foretelling medium of personal life experiences to come; therefore recalculating the level of personal importance of this album. Looking back, its almost as if the album somehow found it's way to me and in it's own way, said to me "i am who you are and i am who you are going to evolve into". Although i didnt think i could ever put this album on a higher pedestal, in my opinion, 'Bloodsugar' has elevated its status from sheer brilliancy to ultra-masterpiece based on it's creative and broad emphasis on important life lessons shared with me by the band through words and sound, much in the same tradition that Pink Floyd did 18 years prior with "The Dark Side of the Moon."
Below is a synopsis of each song on the album, in order of appearance. Lets have a look...
The Power of Equality: A protest against racism, sexism and prejudice; exploring the notion that racism is not a thing of the past- its alive and well and remains one of the most misunderstood topics of discussion ever. While in our day, it is not so much an outwardly expressed thing anymore as much as it is an ideal that still lurks in our sub-conscious, in the form of an attitude:
Has always been sour
I would like to devour
My name is peace
This is my hour
Can I get
Just a little bit of power
And here, another personal statement from Mr. Kiedis that i could most easily adopt as my own:
I've got tapes
I've got CD's
I've got my public enemy
My lilly white ass
Is tickled pink
When I listen to the music
That makes me think.
"If You Have To Ask": I remember back when i first started listening to music, there were songs that id have to keep rewinding over and over again because i couldnt hear the lyrics right and id get frustrated. So id keep listening to the song and not really get completely tired of it because although i loved the sound of it, i couldnt really understand what it was all about. Perhaps its a recording technique done on purpose for this very reason. I dont know if this was their intentions on "If You Have To Ask", but its nonetheless a funky stew of various different subjects and statements, all wrapped up into one tasty song. And 17 years later, ive havent gotten tired of it yet.
"Breaking The Girl": This song now reminds me of a relationship i was once in with someone who was willing to spend the rest of her life with me. Eventually i realized that marriage just wasnt what i wanted. It wasnt anything that she did or didnt do, its just a decision i made. Its difficult to explain why. There are those who choose the constant excitement of meeting a new partner from week to week over keeping that one partner that really loves them all year round. Temporaily fullfilling? Yes it is. But when it's all said and done, "that shit is lonely", as Anthony says, "and youre left with nothing."(1)
Raised by my dad
Girl of the day
He was my man
That was the way
She was the girl
Feeling the need
To make me her home
I don't know what when or why
The twilight of love had arrived
Twisting and turning
Your feelings are burning
You're breaking the girl
She meant you no harm
Think you're so clever
But now you must sever
You're breaking the girl
He loves no one else
"Funky Monks": "Funky Monks" is a reminder that regardless if we are parents, teachers, politicians, artists, musicians or any other form of role model, nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. But as long as our hearts are in the right place, we still have a good soul, and we are still gonna be good people in the end no matter what:
There are no monks in my band
There are no saints in this land
I'll be doin' all I can
If I die an honest man
Moreover, "Funky Monks" is clearly in support of free love, a concept and philosophy which states that love relations that are freely entered into need not have any state regulations or church interference, and that third parties should respect the free unions of adults regardless of whether or not its an emotional or a sexual relationship.(2) Lets face it- we all get horny, i dont care who you are. I shouldnt be made to feel guilty if i meet someone im attracted to and i have intentions of wanting to touch this person in a way that expresses that kind of an attraction while at the same time having no intentions of being monogamous- and vice-versa. Unbeknownst to anyone, this is something i have had great difficulty in communicating to women, and i have struggled with it in my conciousness for many years:
Every man has certain needs
Talkin' 'bout them dirty deeds
To these needs I must concede
Livin' by my lowly creed
Woman please know that I'm good
Know that I did all I could
But yes it's true likelihood
Of being great is not so good
Anthony really hits the nail on the head here, in a big big way.
"Suck My Kiss": Its a rough world out there. Most people dont understand me, and most people dont care to. I shudder to think what would happen if one day i get old and in retrospect i realize that i went through my entire life without no one ever knowing who i really was. I think about that a lot. Sometimes the only thing that will make those feelings go away, even if just for a little while, is finding that girl who does listen and try to understand me as a whole and knows just how to unlock my sexuality and bring me in from the rain. And if i have that kind of love and understanding from someone at least once in awhile, im gonna be alright:
Someone full of fun
Do me 'till I'm well done
Little Bo Peep
Cumin' from my stun gun
Beware take care
Have a cold ass stare
Aw baby please be there
Suck my kiss cut me my share
"I Could Have Lied": There was once this girl i was seeing, my first true love. Things were great and i was really happy but then one day she realized that i wasnt for her and she tried to let me go. I was really hurt by this and i cried and begged for her to stay. That was a big mistake. We remained friends and began an on and off again type of relationship- but in reality she should have just let me go, because although i learned a valuable lesson, i think she somehow wound up taking away a lot of my sense of love and affection. Things would never go back to the way they were, no matter what i said or how i said it. I tried talking to her, i tried writing letters. But there was just no getting through to her. It took a long time for me to get over her, and I havent been the same since. Little did i know it at the time, but this song would go on to really capture the essense of that experience for me. A sad example of one of the downsides of being in love, that sometimes things dont always work out the way you expect them to, or want them to. And thats life.
There must be something
In the way I feel
That she don't want me to feel
The stare she bares cut me
I don't care
You see so what if I bleed
I could have lied I'm such a fool
My eyes could never never never
Keep their cool
Showed her and I told her how
She struck me but I'm fucked up now.
"Mellowship Slinky in B Major": Anthony doing what Anthony does best- giving his props. "Mellowship" is a showcase medley of some of Swan's favorite artists, musicians, actors, and authors up to that point in his life: punk band Bad Brains, writers Mark Twain, Truman Capote, and Charles Bukowski. Jimi Hendrix. Robert De Niro. Artist Robert Williams and jazz greats Billie Holliday and Count Basie. Because of their graciousness to remember to pay homage to the people who they loved and more importantly those who helped define their sound, i would go on to discover that some of their musical and artistical tastes would soon become a big part of my particular musical pallette as well. This song is testament that the Chili Peppers were instrumental in making that happen for me, and i owe them many thanks. It doesnt hurt that he called Truman Capote a Good Man in this song either. ;)
"The Righteous and the Wicked": A political stance against the notion of war. If you research, you will find that the only people that truly benefit from wars are bankers and our government. The longer the wars goes on, the richer they become. Thats why Vietnam and the current war has gone on for so long and why we always seem to be at war with somebody from time to time. Whats sad is, with all these bombs and other weapons we use to defend ourselves with, the one thing we are really hurting besides ourselves is the planet we inhabit. The sooner we realize that we are all individuals going down different paths that ultimately lead to the same road, that essentially we all want the same things out of life, the sooner we will realize that its pointless to fight against each other:
I can't rest in war
Will you be my friend
Dark Ages never change
I can't comprehend
Kiss me we self destruct
Can you hear me Lord
Yes I think we're fucked
But I can't rest in war
"Give It Away":
Greedy little people in a sea of distress
Keep your more to receive your less
Unimpressed by material excess
Love is free love me say hell yes!
There was this one time that Anthony came upon this really nice jacket while going through a friend's closet. He raved to her about it and she said to him "Take it, its yours." "I can't take this, its the nicest jacket in there!" Anthony protested. "Thats why i gave it to you," she replied.
"It's always important to give things away; it creates good energy," she explained. "If you have a closet full of clothes, and you try to keep them all, your life will be very small. But if you have a full closet and someone sees something they like, if you give it to them, the world is a better place."(3)
That moment always stuck with Anthony. Ironically, a few years down the road, this experience found it's way into a song that would signal their breakthrough into fortune and fame. To start, Flea came up with the most incredible bass line for this song ever. John's guitar playing joyfully compliments both Flea and Chad and when you mix in Anthony rapping (which is always a treat) about remembering to give back to the world, you have what i consider to be not only one of their greatest songs ever, but greatest song PERIOD. There isnt another song that makes me feel as good as this one does every single time i hear it. Its my signature song. And it seems to me in this day and age where everybody seems to only care about themselves that theres definitely some people in the world who could afford to gain some insight by stopping to really listen to the messae in this song again. I gotta stop here cuz i could go on about this all day.
"Bloodsugarsexmagik": One giant orgasm. Point blank. It wasnt difficult for me to see that for myself even back then- i was 18 and very much in my sexual prime. Theres a dark, yet very seductive and very raw vibe pulsating from beginning to end in this song. Without question, "Bloodsugar" does indeed encompass the entire vibe of this album. I can almost picture a young sexy vixen, tied and blindfolded, in a dark room filled with lit candles and walls adorned with all kinds of risque 'paraphernalia'. This is one song i really wished they made a video for. And based on the way he made his guitar wail they way he did at the climax of this song, im pretty sure this was probably the song that established John as a major player in the world of lead guitarists.
Has a piece of aphrodite
Copulate to create
A state of sexual light
Kissing her virginity
I mingle with the gods
I mingle with divinity
Blood sugar baby
Sex magik sex magik
If only this song were a female, shed be the hottest female ever....
"Under The Bridge": While this doesnt directly tie in with this song, i have a story id like to share. There was this one time when my friend Richard and i were on a bowling trip. On the way home, we stopped at Universal Studios and we all split up into groups. Well, one of the other guys in our group decided it would be funny to punch Barney Rubble and Yogi Bear in the nose and of course security was called and they didnt just go after the one guy, they went after all of us and we were banned from the park for a little while simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Had the people in the costume pressed charges, i couldve gone to jail being that i was the only one who was a legal adult at the time. Well that had me so upset and pissed off that i was actually in tears about it after we left the park. Richard would later surprise me when he came to me soon after that and said: "Dude i was really shocked when i saw you were crying. Youve always seemed like a rock- like nothing could ever get to you." I took that as a compliment, and i think Richard saw for himself that it can happen to the best of us- we all get hurt sometimes and no one is exempt from that, which kind of goes back to the sensibilities expressed in "Knock Me Down".
After hearing their previous work leading up this album, that story kind of resonates itself here when you hear this song for the first time. I remember hearing this for the first time, thinking "whoa, what the hell is THIS??" The Peppers have always recorded up tempo, funky jams- some a little faster, some a little slower, but all of their songs have almost always had a good funkin groove goin. Up to this point, the only song i can think of that had a slower mellower sound to it that was could possibly be considered a bit out of character for them was "Behind The Sun". But even that song never sounded like this. Even Anthony himself had reservations about trying to record it, and had it not been for Rick Rubin spotting the lyrics while going through Anthony's notebook, this song probably wouldnt have ever been recorded.
"Under the Bridge" is a reflection of a period during Anthonys life about being out in downtown LA under the freeway shooting speedballs while his girlfriend at the time, willing to give all her love to him, was at home worried about him, wondering where he was. As lonely and sad as all this was, there was a connection he felt with his surroundings that made him feel as though this city he was always out and about in was somehow actually looking after him. (4)
Sometimes I feel like I don't have a partner
Sometimes I feel like my only friend
Is the city I live in, the city of angels
Lonely as I am, together we cry.
The fact that the content in the song is primarily sad while the chords that John chose to play in it are uplifting is fitting; it introduces a 'yin yang' element to the song that makes it very unique and very beautiful. Years later i would begin to understand just how sad being lonely can be. Ive come to terms with the fact that part of the reason why i drink has to do with that- maybe more than im willing to think.
Under the Bridge downtown
Is where i drew some blood
Under the bridge downtown
I could not get enough
Under the bridge downtown
Forgot about my love
Under the bridge downtown
I gave my life away
"Naked In The Rain": Much in the same way that "Suck My Kiss" sought shelter from a cold world through the warm and loving arms of a woman, "Naked" would convey a need for the same kind of relief- only this time through nature and wilderness, portraying a Jungle Book fantasy that would serve as 'Kiss's' counterpart. For someone like me who is not really conventional, a little eccentric, isnt really interested in keeping up with the Jonses or even having a family, it can be very difficult sometimes to try to co-exist with the outside world. Nobody really seems to have anything interesting on their minds. MTV used to play awesome videos and now it seems like all they wanna air is 'reality' television. Barack Obama wins the presidency and the first thing i see in the headlines on Yahoo! news the next day is the distaste expressed about the dress his wife was wearing. Women seem more difficult to deal with than ever. I make repeated attempts to show interest in a woman by asking her questions about things other than just sex, and i get no reply. I have a really difficult time trying to understand what people are thinking sometimes or even trying to understand what is important to them and why. Its not that i think im better than anyone else, its just that sometimes i feel as though i am invisible. I wouldnt trade who i am as an individual with anyone, but sometimes being different isnt always a great thing. Sometimes i wish i could be someplace else in some other time, maybe even off on some other planet- and whenever i feel this way, my mind tends to go off into fantasyland, to someplace else id rather be, in order to get myself happy again...
Standin' on the corner of civilization
There's a time there's a place for me
In a world where I can't be found
Cold and mean people give me the creeps
Going to the jungle where the elephant roams
Got to get away gonna make it my home
Losing my taste for the human race
Social grace is a waste of time
It's absurd when I look around
So sublime that we blow my mind
Naked in the rain with black tattoos
Runnin' through the woods laughin' at the blues
Anthony brilliantly shares some common ground with me here, and not only has he found a happy place on a spiritual plane that he can go to in his mind, but he has also found it on a physical plane as well. Looking at it that way, its a great tale about survival and staying strong and finding happiness, no matter what social obstacles we might face inour lives.
"Apache Rose Peacock": A song dedicated to one of the greatest cities in all of North America: New Orleans. After finally going there and seeing it for myself in 2007, my expectations and visions about New Orleans based on what i felt and heard in this song was on the money.With all its eccentricities, all the historical buildings still intact, the Mardi Gras parades, the greatest food ever (you gotta go to Coops), the wonderful New Orleans Jazz music, not to mention the strange mixture of ghostly and sexual undertones that seem to encircle the spirit of the entire city, New Orleans is the ultimate place to go and experience. While Los Angeles is obviously where this band hails from, I dont think id be going out on a limb if i were to say that New Orleans could quite possibly be deemed the official city of this album. At some point in my life, i aspire to be living there one day.
On a footnote, it seems to me that the one line in the first verse of the song (hicks dont mix with politics) seems to loosely predate the Hurricane Katrina disaster there in 2005. Also, if you listen closely, the piano played in this song is actually a toy piano.
Twinkle twinkle little star
Shining down on my blue car
Drivin' down the boulevard
She was soft and I was hard
Apache Rose gotta rockin' peacock
Hottest ass on the goddamn block
Rockin' to the beat of the funky ass meters
She has one of those built in heaters
"The Greeting Song": Back in the 90's, i used to spend a lot of time driving around in Miami, just cruising around and listening to music. In spite of the fact that i never had working AC and the humidity was always ridiculously high and id sweat my ass off, that truck became my sanctuary where i could roll down my windows and focus on whatever it was i was listening to and forget about everything else in the world (while Anthony's way of dealing with everything was through women and nature, my way has almost always been through music). The special thing about that particular time was that i had discovered Funk and was finally able to put my finger on a genre that i could definitely come into my own with.
Anthony wrote "The Greeting Song" after having a songwriting discussion with Rick Rubin where he encouraged Anthony to write a song about "cars and girls". To this day, Anthony hates this song and no one will probably ever hear them play it. (5)
Makin' my way I brake another L.A. day
Time in the town I need it for my love
My Chevrolet rollin' to another play day
This is the sound I listen for my love
Who, you talking to, talk to me you
Sound of music
I love you swim through me
Good feelings come to me
The irony behind all this is i never really considered this song to really be about a girl at all. Rather, in light of all the time i spent enjoying music while driving in my car, i always regarded the song as a symbol of a celebration of my discovery of funk and experiencing the euphoric highs i felt as the windows were down and i let the music 'swim through me'. Even the title of the track seems to lend itself to this ideal: The Greeting Song. Call me crazy, but ill always love this song as it serves as a memory that dates back to a very wonderful period in my life.
"My Lovely Man": At the time, i had only known of one person in my life who passed away, a cousin of mine in Texas who i rarely ever saw. We were never that close. It wouldnt be until 2007 before i would fully understand what it was like to experience the tragic loss of a good friend like Anthony had, but it still wasnt hard for me to interpret the sadness heard here in Anthony's words. Ive always seemed to have this uncanny need and ability to emotionally connect with people who were in despair and consequently, i felt every single note in this song. Ive never talked about this before, but this song has brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. On a positive note, i remember thinking that this song was a great way to prepare myself for such an event, for i knew that everyone is destined to experience it in their lives sooner or later. In spite of that, i would learn that nothing can ever fully prepare you for when that time finally comes. Especially the first time it ever happens. They say the first cut is the deepest and they are so right. People that are dear to us who come into our lives who leave us leave beind a huge emotional impact. And when they leave, there really is a hole left inside of you and it cant ever be filled back up again, a piece of you that is taken away that you will never be able to get back. To all who knew him, Rob White is someone who will always remain in our hearts and minds there at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood. I even used some of the lyrics from this song to dedicate to him when i wrote my piece about him:
Just in case
You never knew
I miss you slim
I love you too
See my heart
It's black and blue
When I die
I will find you
Well I'm cryin'
Now my lovely man
Yes I'm cryin'
Now and no one can
Ever fill the
The hole you left my man
I'll see you later
My lovely man if I can
"Sir Psycho Sexy": I lovingly acknowledge 'Psycho' as the Peppers' magnum opus. Its basically a wildly imaginative, innovative, flamboyant and psychedelic Beatlesque sexual trip showcasing the uber-sexed and over-zealous adventures of an alter ego of Anthony Kiedis. Thats it in a nutshell- or in a capsule, if thats your cup of tea. And so much damn fun to listen to, from beginning to end. My second favorite Chili Peppers song ever.
The song slows down a bit after another verse that follows the bridge (delightfully preposterous with its 'wow wows' created by John's voice- not from an instrument), but then suddenly Anthony launches into this freaky prayer-like sexual call to arms that sets the course for the beautiful ending of the song that follows, someplace "off the map":
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the funk will make me freak
If I should die before I wake-ed
Allow me Lord to rock out naked
Bored by the ordinary time to take a trip
Calling up a little girl with a bullwhip
Lickety split go snap "schnap"
Girl gettin' off all in my lap
The tallest tree the sweetest sap
Blowin' my ass right off the map
Ooo and it's nice out here
I think I'll stay for a while
Upon listening to the ending of the song, its a very convenient time for anyone who appreciates the album as well as "Funky Monks" (the documentary of the making of the album filmed by Flea's brother in law Gavin Bowden) to stop and marvel at what a masterpiece these guys have created- something very unique, very beautiful and very special.
"Theyre Red Hot": Sometime back in may or june of 1991 in the wee hours of the morning, Rick Rubin and the Chili Peppers got their instruments and recording equipment, went outside of 'The Mansion" where they were recording, and finished off the album with this 'pretty little ditty' originally by Robert Johnson.
"It's (the Red Hot Chili Peppers) a derivation of a classic old-school Americana blues or jazz name. There was Louis Armstrong with his Hot Five, and also other bands that had "Red Hot" this or "Chili" that. But no one had ever been the Red Hot Chili Peppers...If you think of Red Hot Chili Peppers in terms of a feeling, a sensation, or an energy, it makes perfect sense for our band..." (6)
Its also very fitting that they would choose a song like this to record for the album, considering the song and Robert Johnson being one of their main influences. You can clearly hear the chirping of the crickets at the beginning and end of the recording. A nice way to finish off the album. And whens the last time you ever heard a song on an album recorded outside??
I remember when "Stadium Arcadium" came out that there was speculation over which album was better- "Stadium" or "Bloodsugar". I really dont think its fair to compare the two, but if i really had to make a choice, id most certainly have to go with 'Bloodsugar'. Its a musical jambalaya that signaled a musical changing of the guard in the early 90's that influenced a whole generation and helped to mold and shape me into the person i am today. Like air, water and fire are connected to the earth, "Bloodsugarsexmagik" will always remain a recording that will forever be connected to me.
The Power of Equality" - 4:03
"If You Have to Ask" - 3:37
"Breaking the Girl" - 4:55
"Funky Monks" - 5:23
"Suck My Kiss" - 3:37
"I Could Have Lied" - 4:04
"Mellowship Slinky in B Major" - 4:00
"The Righteous & the Wicked" - 4:08
"Give It Away" - 4:43
"Blood Sugar Sex Magik" - 4:31
"Under the Bridge" - 4:24
"Naked in the Rain" - 4:26
"Apache Rose Peacock" - 4:42
"The Greeting Song" - 3:14
"My Lovely Man" - 4:39
"Sir Psycho Sexy" - 8:17
"They're Red Hot" (Robert Johnson)
Kiedis, Anthony; Sloman, Larry (2004-10-06). Scar Tissue. Hyperion. ISBN 1401301010
(1) Kiedis, Sloman 2004. p. 271
(2) Wikipedia, "Bloodsugarsexmagik".
(3) Kiedis, Sloman 2004. p. 272, 273
(4) Kiedis, Sloman 2004. p. 265
(5) Kiedis, Sloman 2004. p. 264
(6) Kiedis, Sloman 2004. p.108
Maybe the best album of the 90's. It's better than Californication and maybe their best album to date. Some tracks are weaker and a little immature but then you have some very funky, sexy and funny songs too. Playing this on a party can not go wrong! This is not a sellout as many will say, this is simply their best performance to date. Frusciante is awesome together with fleas pumping bass. Chad's drumming is wild and crazy and Anthony's rap-singing is catchy and sexy. A must have!
Although Mother's Milk was a huge success, Blood Sugar Sex Magik was the claim to the Chili Peppers' fame. This album is my favourite, because it's many tracks are so funky, signature Red Hot Chili Peppers style. I definitely recommend it. 1. The Power of Equality - 7/10 Good song to open with. It's supposed to send out a political message, I guess, but the tune is catchy and the lyrics are great. 2. If You Have to Ask - 7/10 I love the way Anthony lowers his voice for the verse, and then John sings in his gorgeous high-pitch for the chorus. It all fits together so well. 3. Breaking the Girl - 7/10 Personally, I don't see why this particular song is such a fan favourite. I can think of many better tracks. But it is a nice, slow ballad, showcasing Anthony's beautiful voice. 4. Funky Monks - 6/10 The bass at the beginning sounds great. The instruments really dominate this song. 5. Suck my Kiss - 8/10 The beat is so catchy, and the lyrics are funky, Anthony-style. I like the way "suck my kiss" is emphasized at the end of each chorus. 6. I Could Have Lied - 8/10 Beautiful song about Anthony's breakup with Sinead O'Connor. He poured his heart out when he wrote these lyrics. 7. Mellowship Slinky in B Major - 6/10 This is a nice jamming song. I especially like the beginning. 8. The Righteous and the Wicked - 5/10 The intro is alright, but the rest of the song isn't very catchy. 9. Give it Away - 9/10 Extremely funky beat, and the lyrics complement the song really well. "Give it away" literally rolls off your tongue. 10. Blood Sugar Sex Magik - 6/10 The album's name sake. It isn't a stand-out song, but it's still alright. 11. Under the Bridge - 10/10 An all-time rock classic, written about Anthony's drug addiction. The lyrics are deep and soulful, and the instru
ments complement the words well. 12. Naked in the Rain - 4/10 Not much to say about this track. The lyrics are OK, I guess. 13. Apache Rose Peacock - 8/10 This track combines funky verses with a melodic chorus. I like it when the guitar sounds like a duck, after the chorus. 14. The Greeting Song - 4/10 Again, not much to say. Compared to the rest of the CD, this song isn't that good. 15. My Lovely Man - 6/10 A beautiful tribute to the late Hillel Slovak. It's more of an emotional song, and not meant to have a catchy tune or be a hit single. 16. Sir Psycho Sexy - 8/10 The lyrics are typical of Sir Psycho himself, Anthony. A favourite among many female fans. I like how John sings most parts of the chorus.. it adds variety. 17. They're Red Hot - 5/10 The album finale. It's a nice, short cover song to end off with. Overall rating - 9/10, because nothing's perfect!
Go out and buy this CD. Spend time looking and admiring the ornamented cover, it's perfect form and shape with the classic elements of black, white and red. Now take your purchase to a place where you can be alone. This is to be your devoted partner for the next few months, maybe years. Unfortunately, you may not like your love-to-be at first. You may cringe at the bangs, or feel lost in the overwhelming flooding of noise. But don't worry. Your senses aren't prepared yet for musical brilliance. Within the seeming incongruety is a rhythm and a structure that is of superior intelligence, which you may be educated into, if you let it. This album grows on you, in a kind of eerie and mystifying way. So sink into a sofa with the lights at twilight, and let your mind and soul be taken where the tracks choose. If we were more able to express our emotions, you'd cry and laugh throughout, and be on another level by the end of Sir Psycho Sexy in an inspiring harmony that makes you feel fulfilled. This album will do wonders for your spirit. Listen until the funk seeps into your Blood. Taste the sweetness of Sugar in almost every musical sentence in almost every song. It may not be as good as Sex. But there's Magic in them there tunes.
Blood... a fluid that carries nourishment and oxygen to all parts of the body. Sugar... a sweet, white crystal. Sex... a sexually motivated phenomena or behaviour. Magik... supernatural power over natural forces. Out of all the Chili's recordings, I must say that Blood Sugar Sex Magik is my all time favourite! It has soul, it has energy, it has John Frusciante! This CD makes me want to jump on my sofa and bounce all over the place. At this point the Chili Peppers line-up looked like this: - Anthony Kiedis as lead vocalist, John Frusciante on Lead Guitar, Michael “Flea” Balzary on Bass and Chad Smith on drums. Anthony's unmistakable voice lends so much power and soul to his lyrics of love and lust, and Chad's drumming is perfect. Which brings me to John and Flea. If you haven't heard the symbiotic relationship between the former's guitar and the latter's bass, you haven't fully experienced music. Below is my review of one the better rock albums of the nineties and one of my all-time favourite CDs. There’s 17 tracks and below I’ll run through some of my favourites.... THE POWER OF EQUALITY A plea for peace to kick off the album as the Chili's let their political views be known, great way to kick things off. The song is about how discrimination still exists in the U.S. and Kiedis does (as usual) a fantastic job in portraying these lyrics by showing a lot of anger as he sings. Good stuff. IF YOU HAVE TO ASK Song documents a sort of Bonnie and Clyde style couple who commit bank robberies. More funky stuff on offer here. For some reason I always skipped past this song when listening to BBSM and I don’t know why because I’ve just discovered that I like it. Very catchy. BREAKING THE GIRL A top tune and slightly different from the average Chili Pepper song. Less funk and more of a ballad but not in a boy b
and kind of way. Kiedis' voice is very expressive, a very dare I say.....nice song? “Twisting and turning Your feelings are burning You're breaking the girl She meant you no harm (chorus) Think you're so clever But now you must sever You're breaking the girl He loves no one else” SUCK MY KISS Really like this song, one of my favourites, even though it’s very underrated. It's often forgotten about when one thinks about the Chili’s music but I like it all the same. It has a cool vibe going through all of it and it’s typically funky. Story of the song is Anthony boasting (jokingly....of course) about his sexual prowess. It isn’t overly dirty like one particular song later on in the album... I COULD HAVE LIED In contrast to the previous song this is a lot slower and more laid back. This song is even more chilled out than Breaking The Girl. A very mellow song, and one I truly enjoy at any time. It shows the Chili's and in particular vocalist Anthony Kiedis are capable of tackling more sensitive material. GIVE IT AWAY More classic Chili Peppers on display here. One of the most recognizable Chili Peppers songs around and if you listen to it it’s not hard to see why it’s still popular. Kiedis shows off his fondness for rapping and comes up with something a little special. Still love this even after all these years. Come on now, sing it with me..... “Greedy little people in a sea of distress Keep your more to receive your less Unimpressed by material excess Love is free love me say hell yes” BLOOD SUGAR SEX MAGIK The song the album is named after. It was an interesting song to pick because this is not a particularly well known Chili’s song, at least compared to others on this album Though it does have a cool title so I can see why it was chosen! Catchy song with a sligh
tly “dark” tone to it. Enjoyable. UNDER THE BRIDGE Written by Anthony and based on his experiences as a Heroin addict, this is a fantastic song, one of my favourites of all time and vintage Chili Peppers. Best song on the album and in my view (and pretty much everyone else’s), the greatest song ever performed by the Chili’s. This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest alternative rock songs of the 1990s. “Sometimes I feel Like I don't have a partner Sometimes I feel Like my only friend Is the city I live in The city of angels Lonely as I am Together we cry” APACHE ROSE PEACOCK Another interestingly titled song and another quality song. Kiedis is singing about a woman and as you’d expect there are some lyrics that have more than just a hint of sexual activity thrown in for good measure. Hey, this is the Chili’s, if this sort of stuff offends you then I suggest you don’t buy the album. Having said that it’s by no means any worse than some of the stuff the likes of Limp Bizkit and Eminem are putting out these days. Anyway, cool song as is becoming the norm with this album. MY LOVELY MAN A great tribute to Hillel Slovak: the former Peppers' guitarist, who tragically passed away due to a drug overdose. Kiedis expresses his feelings about Slovak through his lyrics. Very beautiful and somewhat sad lyrics such as “my lovely man, I’ll see you again if I can” are backed up with a typically funk-filled beat, which combine to make a very nice song. SIR PSYCHO SEXY Surprisingly this is the longest song on the album. Definitely not one to listen to with your parents! Kiedis lyrics about a psychotic sex freak are funny and this is made even funnier by Flea and Frusciante singing as women during the pre-chorus and chorus. The last couple of minutes of the song are dominated by the that of the aforementio
ned two's guitars and it leads to a very mellow, somewhat hypnotic finish to a very racy song. “Now I lay me down to sleep I pray the funk will make me freak If I should die before I waked Allow me Lord to rock out naked” BSSM is a great album to introduce people to the Pepper's music. They have a lot of elements in this album from the rock and funk sound of "Suck My Kiss", the ballad sound of "I Could Have Lied", the rap of "Give It Away", the charming sound of "Breaking The Girl" the dark sound of the song "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" the catchy lyrics to "If You Have To Ask" to the overall greatness of "Under The Bridge". As you can see, a presentation of pure musical excellence all fitted into one CD. A great album that I think is good for anyone to listen to. Essential to any RHCP collection and a great purchase by anyone who appreciates this style of music and great musicians. *For an extra treat pick up “Funky Monks” on DVD on VHS which chronicles the making of BSSM. Did you know that they got the great percussion sound on Breaking The Girl by all 4 members going mad and banging pot and pans together?*
Blood Sugar Sex Magic is RHCP hippest album to date. Where One Hot Minute was dark and heavy, Californication soft, beautiful and powerful, this is just pure rocking power! Here Anthony’s voice is harsher and hipper, not better or worse than at the moment, just slightly different, John Frusciante with less powerful and more speedy playing, Flea with bouncy bass and Chad Smith with, well, longer hair. If you are a Chilli’s fan (you better be!) than you will love this, and if not, it’s a great way to start getting into them. The Flaws The music really is superb, although it does take a while to get into. It’s not completely accessible, but it will grow on you rapidly. Also, there are a lot of sexual implications in the album’s lyrics. Personally, I don’t have a problem with this, and it will never gross you out but some people mightn’t like it/or want their children to listen to it, but I would have no problem with a child having this (from 11+) as long as you think they have a reasonable mature look out on the human body and sexuality. But then again, this wasn’t made with kids in mind and is first and foremost a hard rocking album. It does so well!………. The Songs The Power of Equality Sarcasm rules hear! Basically very much like previous Chilli songs before this album with a party feeling to it. It’s a good song that grows on you. The chorus basically somes the thing up, “The Power of equality, is not yet what it ought to be, it fill me like a hollow tree, The Power of equality” **** If You Have to Ask A decent song which is not really my favourite. Seems a bit predictable but you’ll have to make up your own mind about it. **’ Breaking the Girl Brilliant song hear. Excellent lyrics to this acoustic type song. This shows a softer more melodic type of
music for the Chillis which would be the foundation for Californication. Is it just me, or this this sound a lot like Jethro Tull?! ***** Funky Monks Here you have a great addictive song which symbolizes the Chillis perfectly. Lovely. “There are no monks in my band….I’ll be doing all I can if I die an honest man” **** Suck My Kiss This is the first power guitar rock song on the album. Hits you hard with nice lofty almost ABC style rock on the verses before knocking you to the moon on the chorus. ***** I Could Have Lied Another excellent tune you’ll be singing along to. It is soft and full of remorse for this man, apparently with an angry partner, stewing over how he handled the situation. **** Mellowship Slinky in B Major Great crunchy singing by Anthony. Not as good as the previous 4 tracks. Its in the same vein as If You Have to Ask **’ The Righteous and the Wicked Another addictive tune which is lyrically very good. Still, can’t match up to previous tracks. *** Give It Away Here we go! A tie for best track on the album, this a famous Chilli song. I dare you not to sing along with the lyrics. The chorus just feels so right. An excellent rocking powerful song. I love it. You have to hear this! ***** Blood Sugar Sex Magik Is very very funky and that maybe is the title tracks downfall. Too much funkiness is bad. Take note RHCP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! **’ Under the Bridge A heart wrenching song performed excellently by Anthony. This is dedicated to a previous band member who tragically died after an overdose. The last verse is sang by a chorus. This moving song, tie for best song on this album, wasn’t done justice by the All Saints cover. ***** Naked in the Rain Another romping rocking song that sounds like i
t inspired songs like Get on Top. Addictive, this baby will grow on you if you let it. *** Apache Rose Peacock A song about the things a man sees in New Orleans. Alright verses, with a great chorus. *** The Greeting Song Fast song that has a good melody. Nice guitars, decent lyrics but otherwise standard fare. Pretty forgettable **’ My Lovely Man I great songthat would be moving. I say would be because you’d think this song should be song by a woman. A great, great, great song that seems strange sung by Anthony though. *** Sir Psycho Sexy Now this is of very, very sexual implications. A bit sick and childish but for effort and dare I recommend this song. I truly love that chorus! Not for youths or the faint of heart. (Don’t let granny hear it!) **** They’re Red Hot Purely a trivial song that is more of a kind of finish than an actual song. Quick, fast, fun and a great way to end a great album. So there you have it. A work of genius that has it’s up and downs. It put the Chillis on the map and you have to have it for the masterpieces like Give It Away, Could Have Lied, Under the Bridge, breaking the Girl and Suck My Kiss. I highly recommend this album to everyone but your granny! ****Gorman has politely informed me Chilli is spelled with one L. Having produced this review in word offline I cant be bothered to delete every second L!!!!!!! In future I wont be so lazy. You learn something new everyday at DooYoo!*****
Most people know the Red Hot Chili Peppers as the guys who wrote the classic 'Under the Bridge', well they are and this album encapsulates all the best moments of the Chili Peppers 15 year career in one magical album. From the moment of the first chord of 'The Power of Equality' to the end of the last note in 'They're Red Hot' you are delivered on a rollercoaster of emotion. The beautiful 'Under the Bridge' and the equally evocative 'I could've lied' show off the more mellow side of the band, whilst the frenetic bass lines in 'Give it Away' and 'Naked in the Rain' give Flea the chance to show to the world what a truly great bassist he is. There is not one song on the album which cannot be counted as a masterpiece in its own right and the curious mix of funk, rock, and rap delivers a fresh, upbeat and complete album. Anthony Kiedis' lyrics are spat forth as though his life depends on it, and the title track 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' utilises every talent he has. John frusciant's guitaring is at times awe-inspiring, the solos in 'My Lovely Man' (a brilliant tribute to the Peppers original guitarist, Hillel Slovak who overdosed on heroin) and 'I could've Lied' are among his very best. If you don't have this album, go out now and buy it because it truly is one of the most complete album you will ever buy. And then you'll want the rest !!!
This was the album that shot the Red Hot Chilli Peppers into rock stardom forever. It might not be their most popular, as it seems that its not that well known, but if you like funk, you will no doubt own and love this. The vocals of Antony Keidis are superb. His rapping on this album is often really amuzing, in terms of the lyrics, but perfectly executed in perfect timing. His unique style is clear on his rapping almost as much as it is in his real singing, which he does brilliantly on some tracks, and in my view the best on the anthem, 'Under the Bridge'... in my opinion one of the greatest songs ever written. So much feeling and such great musicianship. Its also amazing in terms of technique. You may well have heard that song with it being their most popular one from this album, but don't be thinking that the whole album is like that. Far from it. It's bursting with fruity basslines from the heroic Flea, who in my opinion is among the greatest bass players living in this day. The guitar work is varied and always pleasing on the ear- the guy achieves a lot of different sounds. That voice of Keidis' just takes you away to LA or something. Its really warm and soothing when he gets going. You can see their apparent influences from artists like George Clinton and The Parliament. In fact he might have had something to do with this album, but i can't be sure. Hence there are all-out funk songs on there, like the second one, 'If you have to ask', with the slightly annoying 70's disco harmonies in the chorus, but still funky to the bone. I'm going to talk about the standing out tracks here- There's 'Mellow Ship Slinky in B major' which is so funky and has a riff so fruity that it would be good in a bowl with custard. The lyrics are amazing- The red hot chilli peppers you see, write at times some quite immature, but at the same time funny lyrics, few of which mean anything to the everyd
ay punter, but im sure they mean everything to the band. The theres 'Give it away', another well known song, where the lyrics fit perfectly, and the music is timed to perfection. A great song. Then of course there's 'Under The bridge' which i have already mentioned and cannot speak highly enough of. Next is another funk classic with amazing lyrics, really taking you to America. Keidis' voice prevides cohesion like no other voice can in this great little number. If you can, get hold of the lyrics, you will wonder what they hell they are on about. 'Sir Psycho Sexy' is another great track with stand-out lyrics. These are the best ones, i think, but the others fill it out wonderfully in a perfect mix. One of the greatest, feel-good CD's in my collection. A true classic from the funk maestroes.
Considering this album was recorded in a haunted house and where the beatles first took LSD, you might think there was a powerful influence over this album;you may well be right... This was the first album by the chilis' on the Warner Brothers record label.They were signed to EMI before,who really weren't that interested in the band.They refused to promote the band that well,they hired a particularly uptight producer (Andy Gill formerly of Gang of Four) and Mothers Milk (the album before this) featured a brand new lineup.The only remaining original members were "Flea" the bass player,and Anthony Keidis,the singer.Mothers Milk introduced the talents of John Fruciante (Guitarist) and Chad Smith (Drums).Blood Sugar Sex Magik continued with this same powerful lineup. This album was recorded in a mansion set deep in the Hollywood hills away from prying eyes,the press and their families.All the band stayed there,with the exception of Chad Smith, during the recording of the album. I think Chad probably missed his home comforts too much,believe me the band slummed it on this one! It's the first album with the producer Rick Rubin at the helm.This guru of recording first DJd' with the Beastie Boys, before going on to produce them and Motley Crue. He was seen as being different from their previous producers in the fact that he allowed them to have free reign over the recording of this album.Andy Gill on the other hand was a bit of a control freak,and constrained the band so much that much of their creativity was lost. So this was the first album which the chilis' had recorded with the same lineup consecutively. The new members had settled in well,and possessed a strong kinship.They were allowed free reign for their music to flow,and they were away from anyone that could disturb them. The artwork and photography for this album were done by a dutch tattoo artist named "Henky Penky."He owns a tat
too museum in Amsterdam and is credited with doing most of the bands tattos. The album weighs in at an impressive 74 minutes long,yet still they had plenty of songs left over.Tracks such as "search and destroy" (a Flea penned instrumental), sikamikanico (a fast rap featured on the Waynes World movie soundtrack) and Soul to Squeeze (from the Coneheads film) never made it on this album.They are fine tracks in their own right,and can be found on various b-sides with the singles released from this album. The album starts off with "the Power of Equality", this is a quite powerful rap dealing with the subject of equality (or rather lack of it) present in American society.Lyrics such as "American equality has always been sour/an attitude I would like to devour/my name is peace this is my hour/can I get just a little bit of power" show the frustration and rage present fighting for equal rights.This song has jangly guitar playing throughout,and never loses that funk element especially at the chorus. "If You Have to Ask" is a laid back and almost narrated groove.The bass line while being hypnotizingly laid back,sometimes ventures into strange funk territory.The chorus,however, is a crescendo of falsetto voices.The song is about streetlife (or more accurately lowlife) found in the bad areas of all cities.Women with too much make-up, bank robbers and hookers all feature on this track.The lyrics comprise of one hell of a lot of street slang. "Breaking the Girl" is a ballad about an experience of stealing a girls virginity. This is followed by feelings of guilt and shame about the experience.The song features gently strum guitar playing,and soft panning drums.It is sung sweetly and features nice backing vocals.Of particular interest is the percussion break in this song,the band took up the playing of hubcaps and oil drums to provide the sound! "Funky Monks" was written due to
the band feeling like monks away from the rest of society while recording this album.It has exaggerated bluesy vocals,with a heavily plucked guitar sound and deep throbby bass.The jazzy drum playing is of interest too. "Suck My Kiss" is about not caring what other people think of you.It is about finding a girlfriend for simple reasons,without thinking about things too much.It is quite a heavy song,yet still undeniably funky.The drum,guitar and bass break during the chorus and the vocals are spot-on. "I Could Have Lied" is a very softly sung and played ballad.It deals with the break-up of a relationship and the heartache that follows.It gives the feeling across that the subject (whether it was Anthony Keidis or not) gave out more love,feeling and emotion than they recieved.The guitar playing,while well played all the way through, drops into a beautiful drawn out solo.The song is sung well and sounds quite pained and sorrowful. "Mellowship Slinky in B Major" is an out and out groovy trip.It has deeply effected vocals,nice backing piano (first played on a grand piano,then later a kids size toy one!),amazingly funky guitar playing which breaks into a sliding solo and off-beat drum playing.The song is about people and things that you love and the respect given to them.It varies from Mark Twain to your Mum! "The Righteous and the Wicked" is another powerful song, this time dealing with the subject of war and the pollution/ destruction of the Earth.The song is softly played during the verses, before well sung backing vocals kick in during the chorus. The bass playing is particularly fine, and the guitar sound is effective.Example lyrics are: "Holy Mother Earth crying into space/tears on her pretty face,for she has been raped". "Give It Away" is probably one of the two best known songs on this album (the other being Under the Bridge, which I'll come to later).It is a
very powerful,very fun and very funky tune.The song is about,purely and simply, good feeling and what things make you feel good. Amazingly funky rapped vocals,waily guitar (played backwards during the solo break), funky sliding bass and heavily played drums all feature.In my opinion this is definitely one for the summer party! "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" has been described as a "psychedelic love groove".The verse is sung in an almost Barry White way (very deep and throaty) and the wah-wah guitar give a laid back feel.The bass is particularly deep and well played and the drumming is percussive and well played. This plays along until the song breaks into the chorus, wherupon it becomes very rocky and thrashy. "Under the Bridge" is probably the best known song (for a more detailed meaning of this song see my RHCP in general review) on this album.It is about one of Anthony Keidis' particularly remorseful and lonely experiences with heroin.The song is a damn fine ballad,and leads to a choral ending.The guitar playing,bass and drums are all subtly played, and lead emphasis on the vocals. "Naked in the Rain" is a song about the beauty and simplicity of nature, and particular, the animal kingdom. It is a song about "gettin away from it all" and losing faith with the human race. It is a funky song with some amazing bass showing off playing during the solo. "Apache Rose Peacock" is a funky jazzy song with a puerile feel to the lyrics.Don't ask me what this song is about!It almost funkily meanders it's away along,with nice guitar playing and bluesy laid back vocals. "The Greeting Song" is a song basically about cars and women.It is played quite heavily with a softly sung and played chorus.The guitar playing is particularly noteworthy. "My Lovely Man" is a absolutely amazing song,dedicated to best friend, and former band member, Hillel
Slovak who died from a heroin overdose in 1988.It is a very fitting and sweet tribute with great vocals,powerful guitar playing,beautiful bass playing (particularly during the solo break) and inspirational drum playing. "Sir Psycho Sexy" is a very l-o-n-g sexist rap,which has got to be the only low point on the album.It is overlong,very sexist with the only redeeming features being the instrumental at the end and the silly singing on the chorus.The wah guitar playing is pretty damn fine though. "They're Red Hot" is a cover version of a minute long,played at a rdiculous pace.It was recorded in the grounds of the mansion and the traffic can be heard going past at the end.It is fun,very silly and played at a blistering pace.The rapping is so fast I can't make it out! To summarise,this is perhaps the chilis' finest album in their 19 year history.It is well produced,well played and fun.The ultimate party album from the ultimate party band.In fact this would definitely be their best album if it wasn't for the release of a certain album by them with the title "Californication"...
This album is the all time greatest funk rock release.Starting from the first track the power and the equality right up till the end of the album this release is flawless.Anthony KIedis successfully blends his rap and funk influences to create a stunning vocal performance that is timeless.The bass playing as on all releases by the red hot chili peppers is unrivalled and enhances flea's claim to the post of worlds best bass player.John Frusciante's guitar playing shows him on top form and confirms the reason why he was re-recruited for Californication.Chad Smith still remains a powerhouse behind the drum kit with a unique and exciting style of aggressive drumming.
Despite dominating the 80's funk scene in LA and having 3 fairly successful albums under their belt, the Chilis just couldn't seem to break on to the mainstream music scene. Then, after the devastation of their original guitarist's (Hillel Slovak) death, they recruited John Frusciante and released "Mother's Milk". It was to be their most successful album to date and they followed it up with their commercial breakthrough "Blood Sugar Sex Magik". Whilst Blood Sugar Sex Magik is filled with the brand of psychedelic funk the Chilis made their own during the 80's, it is way more sophisticated than any of their previous efforts. If you listen to any of their earlier albums you will notice that their style is much rawer and, in my view, less appealing than the brilliance of Blood Sugar Sex Magik. To this day, the Chilis have not forgotten their roots ("Get On Top" from Californication could be implemented seamlessly on their self-titled debut album) but Blood Sugar Sex Magik marked their moving away from hard hitting rap/funk they were so accustomed to and settling in the climes of powerful, emotional and groovy melodies that Blood Sugar Sex Magik is so awash with. The album is more commercial than any of their previous efforts but this is the rare exception in that going commercial was the best the Chilis could have done (unlike Offspring and Green Day). I don't believe it was a conscious decision (unlike the aforementioned bands), just that the style the band was evolving to was more commercially accessible. The Album is full of modern classics; rarely have I ever found so many brilliant tracks on one album. The haunting Spanish feel of "Breaking the Girl", the utter emotion of "Under the Bridge", the hidden sadness of "My Lovely Man"; there's something for everyone on this album. From a musician's perspective, Blood Sugar Sex Magik is a master
piece. The flawless talents of Flea and John Frusciante leave you wondering how such feats are possible on their respective instruments. Flea is constantly heralded as the best bassist to ever pick up the instrument and, although Frusciante receives less critical acclaim, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that can match his lightning fast guitar work and heaven sent talent for songwriting. Anthony Kiedis is one of the most versatile vocalists of modern times. He has no single style and this is one of the more significant reasons behind my love of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their sound on Blood Sugar Sex Magik is so unique and ground breaking that I'd struggle to compare it directly with anything else ever recorded (not something you can say lightly these days). They can be obscene ("Apache Rose Peacock") at times but the great thing is that nothing on the whole album is contrived or put on to look cool. The band genuinely does have style and their mutual songwriting partnership is the key behind their success. Blood Sugar Sex Magik is, I believe, the Chili Peppers in their prime. It captures the time in which it was written excellently. The band doesn’t write like this anymore and never will again. This album merges the hard-hitting funk of their previous four albums and the individual rock they have since moved on to. It will appeal to people of many different musical tastes and is, without a doubt, one of the best albums of the 1990's.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Power Of Equality
2 If You Have To Ask
3 Breaking The Girl
4 Funky Monks
5 Suck My Kiss
6 I Could Have Lied
7 Mellowship Slinky In B Major
8 Righteous And The Wicked
9 Give It Away
10 Blood Sugar Sex Magik
11 Under The Bridge
12 Naked In The Rain
13 Apache Rose Peacock
14 Greeting Song
15 My Lovely Man
16 Sir Psycho Sexy
17 They're Red Hot