When we talk about classic tracks from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, songs from the band’s early days often come up, most notably the Blood Sugar Sex Magik hits like “Under the Bridge,” “Give it Away,” and “Suck My Kiss.” I’m a fan of all those songs, but my favorite Peppers’ songs begin with the band’s reuniting with John Frusciante and the release of 1999’s Californication.
The five songs listed here are a good recipe for feeling good. The vibes are light and breezy
This is where it all started. I recall hearing this for the first time and thinking the Peppers were a different band from everything they had ever been. They were.
Also from Californication. Few songs have more vibe than this one. Chad’s there holding it down hard, but Flea and John’s string-work is just easy and solid. You can just climb right up inside this one and forget anything that ails you.
“By the Way”
The first single from the 2001 album of the same name. Few Peppers’ songs offset two such distinct parts; the melodic part and its harmonies are simply beautiful, and the funk part is an outright rage, with Flea slappin’ it like his life depends on it. I think he might tell you that it does.
The second single from By the Way didn’t show any signs that the band was letting up. To me, this might epitomize the Peppers being the band and musicians they want to be. This song also has lyrics as important as any ever spoken in the history of rock and roll, with “music, the great communicator, use two sticks to make it in the nature.”
“The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”
Like with the rejoining with Frusciante in 2001, the band seems to reinvent themselves with guitarist changes. This song, the first single off 2011’s I’m With You, the band’s first album with current guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, has them fully embracing their funk side. Flea is just outrageously good on this track, and you gotta love a band with the stones to include mention of “cock blockin'” on the first single from a new album.
So, just a few notes on these tunes, but so much more in the music. Simply put, these songs help me have a better day, and I hope they can do the same for you.
Much love always, you beautiful, beautiful people.
Until sometime soon…