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Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers

A one-of-a-kind phenomenon in rock and roll, the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s carved a unique lane in ‘80s music with their energetic fusion of funk and hard rock; but after cop-ing with a string of challenges and outright tragedies, the group transcended their niche with a series of sound-broadening LPs to become one of the world’s biggest bands. Formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1983, by vocalist Anthony Kiedis, guitarist Hillel Slovak, bassist Michael ‘Flea’ Balzary and drummer Jack Irons, the Chili Peppers se-cured a recording contract with EMI Records in surprisingly short order; then they proceeded to build a small, but dedicated following with their self-titled debut album (1984) and George Clinton-produced sophomore effort, ‘Freaky Styley’ (1985). Not until their third album, ‘The Uplift Mofo Party Plan’ (1987), though, did they even scrape the bottom of the Billboard charts, heading off on a successful tour before almost losing it all when Slovak perished due to an accidental heroin overdose on June 25, 1988. Luckily for Flea and Kiedis, they eventually found a dazzlingly talented young guitarist named John Frusciante to take their friend’s place and, after replacing the departed Irons with new drummer Chad Smith, achieved a career-salvaging breakthrough with 1989’s ‘Mother’s Milk.’ The Chili Peppers topped this by fulfilling every ounce of their long-hinted-at potential — and then some — with ’91’s multi-platinum, Rick Rubin-produced ‘Blood Sugar Sex Majik,’ which yielded a wealth of mainstream singles, including ‘Give it Away’ and ‘Under the Bridge,’ and elevated the group to globe-trotting arena headliners. Sadly, Frusciante too soon succumbed to substance abuse, and, amid other disillusionments about rock stardom, he quit the Chili Peppers in May of 1992, forcing them to hastily recruit guitarist Arik Marshall for that summer’s already booked run with Lollapalooza. The band would spend the remainder of the decade in a state of constant upheaval and transition: working briefly with guitarist Jesse Tobias before writing, record-ing and touring behind 1995’s disappointing ‘One Hot Minute’ with former Jane’s Addiction guitar slinger Dave Navarro, who would himself depart from the group by 1998. Fortunately, once again, Frusciante was by this time emerging from his own battle with heroin and agreed to rejoin the Chili Peppers for what amounted to a triumphant career comeback via 1999’s ‘Californification.’ The uncharacteristically subdued, but still warmly received, ‘By the Way’ followed in 2001, and the once-again hit-packed, Grammy Award-winning ‘Stadium Arcadium’ (2006) also kept the Red Hot Chili Peppers flying high. So much so that not even the second, significantly less traumatic departure of Frusciante in 2009 (blamed on amicable musical differences) has thus far soured the Chili Peppers’ remarkable career revival, which continued with the installment of guitarist Josh Klinghoffer prior to 2011’s ‘I’m with You’ album.

 
Tasos Katopodis, Getty Images / Geoffrey Ketler, Aces High Photography
Tasos Katopodis, Getty Images / Geoffrey Ketler, Aces High Photography

Red Hot Chili Peppers Announce U.K. Tour With Babymetal

The massive bill will invade arenas in England and Scotland this December.

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YouTube: Consequence of Sound
YouTube: Consequence of Sound

Red Hot Chili Peppers Called ‘Worst Band on the Planet’ by Fox News Host

In a segment recapping Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and his visit with Koko the gorilla, a Fox News host called the group 'the worst band on the planet.'

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Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea Watches on as Koko the Gorilla Learns Bass

Red Hot Chili Peppers bass legend Flea watches as Koko the Gorilla analyzes and then strums his bass.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers 1989
EMI

27 Years Ago: Red Hot Chili Peppers Release ‘Mother’s Milk’

On Aug. 16, 1989, Red Hot Chili Peppers started to gain traction with the release of their 'Mother's Milk' album.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers 1984
EMI

32 Years Ago: Red Hot Chili Peppers Release Their Self-Titled Debut Album

On Aug. 10, 1984, the Red Hot Chili Peppers released their self-titled debut album.

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Loudwire
Loudwire

Red Hot Chili Peppers Albums Ranked

See how we ranked Red Hot Chili Peppers' albums from weakest to strongest.

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Tim P. Whitby, Getty Images / Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Tim P. Whitby, Getty Images / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Red Hot Chili Peppers Mistaken for Metallica in Belarus, Forced to Sign Metallica Memorabilia

When entering Belarus, customs officials mistook the Red Hot Chili Peppers for Metallica and made them sign Metallica-related memorabilia.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers 2002
Warner Bros.

14 Years Ago: Red Hot Chili Peppers Release ‘By the Way’

On July 9, 2002, Red Hot Chili Peppers kept the momentum going with the 'Californication' follow-up, 'By the Way.'

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Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images
Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis: John Frusciante Was One of the ‘Easiest People to Make Music With’

Anthony Kiedis reflects on working with John Frusciante in a new interview.

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YouTube: RHCP Fans Uruguay
YouTube: RHCP Fans Uruguay

Red Hot Chili Peppers Drummer Chad Smith Rocks With Street Performers

Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith recently took to the London streets to perform with several street performers.

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