The [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Red Hot Chili Peppers[/lastfm] are back, and they have a new album coming out at the end of the month.
Jack FM hasn’t been this excited since [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Janet Jackson[/lastfm] showed her boob on national television.
After all they’ve been through, it’s hard to believe the Red Hot Chili Peppers are still standing nearly 30 years later.
Formed in 1983, the Chili Peppers have sold over 65 million albums worldwide and have scored several #1 singles on numerous rock charts. But the road to success wasn’t easy for the band from Los Angeles. In fact, their early days were quite tumultuous. They released three albums to little fanfare, underwent a string of line-up changes, fought with record producers and dealt with severe drug addictions, the latter resulting in the overdose death of original guitarist Hillel Slovak.
But the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ luck changed in 1989 with the release of their album, Mother’s Milk. The album was more commercially successful than their previous releases and peaked at #52 on the Billboard 200. Fueled by singles like “Higher Ground,” Mother’s Milk became the band’s first gold record in the States. According to one critic, the album had “turned the tide and transformed the band from underground funk-rocking rappers to mainstream bad boys with seemingly very little effort.”
Two years later, the band rose to international super stardom with the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Rick Rubin[/lastfm]-produced Blood Sugar Sex Magik. The album took on a life of its own, selling more than 17 million copies worldwide and reaching #3 on the Billboard 200. The single, “Give It Away,” landed in the top spot on the Modern Rock chart, while “Under the Bridge” went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Shortly after the album’s release, the Chili Peppers hit the road. This included a headlining gig at 1992’s Lollapalooza Festival. However, during this time, guitarist [lastfm link_type=””]John Frusciante [/lastfm] was struggling with his newfound fame, unable to cope with the band’s popularity and the stress of touring. In mid-tour, he abruptly quit and was eventually replaced with [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Dave Navarro[/lastfm], formerly of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jane’s Addiction[/lastfm]. Dave’s first appearance with the Chili Peppers was at Woodstock ’94.
In 1995, the Red Hot Chili Peppers released another album, One Hot Minute. The album, the only one with Dave Navarro, was a darker, heavier sound for the band. Although it received mixed reviews, it still sold eight million copies and peaked at #4.
Just three years later, Dave Navarro left the Chili Peppers due to “creative differences.” It was said that his departure came after he showed up to rehearsal strung out on drugs.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers were on the verge of breaking up when [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Anthony Kiedis[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Flea[/lastfm] decided the only way they could go on was with the return of John Frusciante. John, who was now clean after having kicked his heroin addiction, gladly accepted the invite and reunited with the band.
In June 1999, the Chili Peppers released their seventh album, the critically-acclaimed Californication. The album reached #3 on the Billboard 200 and also topped charts all over the world. It sold 15 million copies, five million in the U.S. alone. Californication spawned three #1 Modern Rock hits: the title track, “Otherside” and the Grammy-winning “Scar Tissue.”
A month after the release of Californication, the Red Hot Chili Peppers played at the now-infamous Woodstock ’99 music festival. The Chili Peppers, who were the last band to perform at the three-day event, did a cover of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jimi Hendrix[/lastfm]’s “Fire.” Ironically, during their set, a small fire broke out and somehow escalated into a violence-filled riot. There was vandalism, looting and rape. The next day, the media vilified the band for playing the Hendrix song.
Putting the Woodstock incident behind them, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ success continued with the release of 2002’s By the Way and 2006’s Stadium Arcadium. Stadium Arcadium sold seven million copies and debuted in the top spot, making it the band’s first #1 album of their career. The album was also nominated for seven Grammy Awards. It won five, including one for Best Rock Album. The band also scored two more #1 Modern Rock hits with “Dani California” and “Snow (Hey Oh).”
The Chili Peppers embarked on another world tour in 2006, and after working non-stop for almost eight years, finally took a break beginning in 2008. During the hiatus, John Frusciante once again quit the band, but this time the split was amicable. John said he felt his musical interests were leading him in a different direction and wanted to fully focus on his solo career.
With new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, the band returned to the studio in early 2010 to begin work on their tenth studio album. I’m With You will be released August 30th, and its first single, “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie,” is Jack’s Song of the Day.
Playing a few warm-up dates in Asia this month, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will officially kick off their I’m With You tour in Bogota, Colombia on September 11th. The tour will continue through 2013, with more dates to be announced soon.
Check out this live performance of the Chili Peppers’ classic, “Under the Bridge.” And is Flea wearing a skeleton costume, or are our eyes deceiving us?
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