“ Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers / Release Date: 1987 / Genre: Indie Rock & Punk „
The third album from the Red Hot Chili Peppers came out in 1987. The Funk Rock band, led by Anthony Kiedis (on vocals) charted for the first time with this one as the founding line-up, who also included Flea on bass, Jack Irons as the drummer and the final full-length album appearance from Hillel Slovak on lead guitar (due to his drug-related death the following year).
1. "Fight Like A Brave"
As they get things started here you see that they get right into the sort of thing which was expected to be found in the music from the band, based upon the albums prior to this as they get into the groove with something which combines their alternative Rock sound with a little Funk. With this get Kiedis coming with rap delivery for a powerful recording.
2. "Funky Crime"
With this one you get a track which brings in a some of the most appealing eighties Funk sounds into what they do in order to show tha the stuff which they perform really supports what the movement was about, and isn't something which just takes minimal aspects of it in order to boost a plain sound.
3. "Me And My Friends"
You see that here the sound of their music undergoes a pretty significant change in the direction of it as the way it is composed takes things in a rather experimental direction which wasn't really performed all that well. However the raps which Tony Flow comes up with are so funky that you can't ignore it as he brings lift to it whilst doing things in a manner which reflects what was heard by the likes of LL Cool J and Run-D.M.C. a short while prior to when this was recorded.
With this you have them coming with a track which uses a riff which was done in a style comparable to what they came up with for their eponymously-named debut. I felt that this was a positive for it as it brings forward their rawer side, and it allows them to get into some pretty nasty material which you expect to get from this early material from them.
5. "Skinny Sweaty Man" (Lude)
6. "Behind The Sun"
The clean sound of this particular track is something which put me off it a little as it didn't really sound much like them and a lot of what you tend to get in their material is lost as they do what sounds to be a very plain eighties California Rock song with only a short rap and Flea's bass work giving indication that their is something more complex in what they do.
7. "Subterranean Homesick Blues"
Here they choose to perform a cover of a Bob Dylan song. it is a funky interpretation of the original, and I felt that the way it was done allowed it to appeal to a a new audience who perhaps wouldn't have been as lively to get down to it. It sees Kiedis opting for the raps this time around again and it lifts the mood somewhat.
8. "Special Secret Song Inside"
You get a track which has them trying out a few new things for this one as they are seen to attempt something which appears to have become much more prominent in the nineties years when they gained the highest levels of success. For this reason, I expected this is one which today's fans will like more than a lot of the pure Funk tunes from these early ones.
9. "No Chump Love Sucker"
This is a high-tempo track from them which sees them dropping the Funk elements to a degree and getting into a lively Rock song which has them just ripping through it in a manner which would have been much more manageable to those who were into the hardcore, yet more mainstream Rock sounds of the late eighties. However, it wasn't really something or me and I couldn't feel it as I know others would have done.
10. "Walkin' On Down The Road"
With this one you have more experimentation from them as they see what they can do with a song which has them getting into a southern-styled tune with a bit of a Metal twist to it. It is a rough on and stands out for the well-rounded experience you get from it and how well it seems to fit in here (despite being so different to everything else).
11. "Love Trilogy"
This is one which has them trying out something rather progressive as they get down to a joint which seems to come out of nowhere with them forming and constructing a composition which sounds like no other with so much going on within it and so many complex changes occurring that you can't keep up with it at times.
12. "Organic Anti-Beat Box Band"
Ending the album off, you have a tune which appears to reflect the opener which you got form the album and I felt that it was a nice way to end it as they perform in a manner which was prominent within the record, and so it is something which represents it well and leaves you on a strong lasting impression of.
This is a pretty fly album from the band and one which really represents what this period was about for them with one which is able to get them performing to a reasonably high standard and doing things in a progressive manner to really get things going for them and show what potential they had) despite staying mainly in the Funk Rock style). It was the most consistent to this point and was the most appealing of their first phase.
Cited as the Red Hot Chili Peppers most drug-influenced album is perhaps one way of describing this album. One thing is for sure though, it represents a celebration of the four founding members of the band together at last on the same album. The previous two albums (Red Hot Chili Peppers and Freaky Styley) had hired session musicians playing at least one of the instruments in the band. On their self-titled first release, both the drummer (Cliff Martinez) and Guitarist (Jack Sherman) were both session musicians drafted in. This was due to the Chilis' founding guitarist and drummer (Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons) relative success with another band. With Freaky Styley, the original drummer decided to play once more with the chili peppers. With this album (released in 1987) all four founding members and school friends were together at last. The album has an amazing upbeat sound to it, and is damn fine party music. Perhaps this is why four of the tracks are present on their best of (What Hits?!) I shall detail each track in turn: "Fight Like a Brave" is a very lively song which is about standing up for your rights no matter who you are. It is a song about unification (quite appropriate), and whether you're rich and poor, no-one can take away your rights. It starts off with a catchy guitar riff leading to quite fast rapping. It has lovely guitar and bass solos and is very upbeat, catchy and fun with a nice touch of humour. "Funky Crime" is a laid back song about funk as a state of mind and attitude. It says that funk can trancend the barriers of race, and due to the fact that funk is seen as black music by the media ("don't you know funk is colour-blind"), he has commited a crime by standing up for it. This song has a lovely laid back wah guitar sound to it,and I admit it does sound a little 80s'. This does not disguise the fact that this song has a very professional sound to it, which was missing
from their previous two albums. "Me and My Friends" is usually seen as a chilis' live song. It is a very lively song which is basically an ode to the two returning original members of the band. It has frantic drumming to start with backed by a nice wailing guitar line. I must admit this is not one of my favourites, but as an ode to the two returning members, it is packed with humour and I can tell that they have fun playing this one live. "Backwoods" is perhaps one of the highlights of this album. It is a song about the masters of rock n' roll, such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Howling Wolf. It is a very fast paced song, which kicks in with simple but very catchy guitar and bass lines. The song slows down, only to go into some rather tongue twisting rapping. I've tried to sing along to it but my voice tends to wave a white flag after the first two lines! It is a very good tribute to the early pioneers of rock n' roll. "Skinny Sweaty Man" is a caricature of the typical frantic business man. To tell you the truth I have trouble making this song out. It verges on the silly, with Anthony Keidis (The lead singer) lapsing into various silly voices during the slow section of the song. The lyrics are pretty strange, and the song is fun but hardly one of the albums' highlights. It is quite pacey slowing to a silly chorus. "Behind the Sun" is a very trippy psychedelic song, released a couple of years after the album as a single. It is a blissed-out laid back song about what we can learn about nature and the Earth from animals. It has a layed back drum line and a delayed guitar sound. It is a nice and pleasent song and has a feelgood sound to it. The lyrics are sung in a particularly spaced out way, and the whole thing sounds pretty good. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" is a refreshing cover version of a good Bob Dylan song. This is so different from the
original it's untrue. The original song was very pacey and bluesy, this on the other hand is very funky, with an amazing bass line resounding all the way through it. It is what any decent cover version should be, different yet still paying homage to what the original version should be. The song still has a nice fast pace about it, yet keeps within the spirit of the original. "Special Secret Song Inside" is perhaps the most contraversial song on the album. The title had to be changed from "Party on Your...(slang term for a certain part of a womens anatomy, same as the nick name for a cat). This was done by EMI due to pressure from parents groups. It is a quite pacey song, and was a gig favourite in the 1990 tours. The song's ok, but I can understand certain people taking offense to it. The song is about lust and desire, and has good fast guitar playing leading to an amazing bluesy solo. "No Chump Love Sucker" is about being taken for a fool by a girlfriend. It is an amazingly bitter song, about falling for a woman who is using you for various reasons and who cares very little. You get a feeling that the woman used the power of seduction to get what she wanted before dumping him. It is a pacey song with powerful backing vocals and drumming. "Walkin' on Down the Road" is a very much overlooked song, and is another tribute to Bob Dylan (This time referring to "Knocking on heavens Door") The song is backed by good vocals and lovely bass playing. It is a song about true friends and trusting your family, and is perhaps slightly pessimistic. "Love Trilogy" has absolutely incredible drumming in it which speeds up in tempo then gradually slows down again. It shows just how good a drummer Jack Irons was, and the bass playing has the usual nice twang to it (fine bass playing by Michael "flea" Balzary as usual). It is a short song about love and desire.
"Organic Anti-Beat Box Band" (where the title for this op came from) is very much a party song (it even has the noise of a crowd in the background). It is primarily a song about the use of drum machines, and how the band doesn't like them (this view changed later on). It is a very fun song and has another tribute to the togetherness of the band. This album was the last time the original line-up played together. About a year after this album was made the guitarist was found dead from a heroin overdose. The drummer checked into a clinic with a breakdown from the shock of his friends death. Anthony Keidis (the lead singer) suddenly quit drugs and a year later the new line up of the new chili peppers was born. Then again, that's another story... This album is fun to listen to, and has some classic tracks. It does sound a little weak compared to their sound of today, but then again this was when they were with EMI, who haardly cared much about the band. Their signing up to Warners with the release of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, was a testament to the chilis' sound with a record company which cared about them. The album is very listenable apart from some weak spots and some sexist lyrics.