(1991) Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik: Anniversary Special

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The sound, the vibe, the rhythm of the songs… if you found yourself moving your hips, jumping, slamming around, or headbanging, you don’t have to be embarrassed. Everything is welcome and accepted when listening to the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS. An eclectic blend of genres with an innovative approach, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS stretched the boundaries of rock, punk, and funk, as well as their own creativity. Always ambitious, they released “Blood Sugar Sex Magic” 30 years ago on September 24th, 1991, which has now easily earned its status as a classic.

John Frusciante‘s guitar playing adds a crunchy clean high pitch and a funky sound, dressed with some punk elements and a dirty-gained rock sound. Anthony Kiedis gave his best lyrics and a distinguished performance of vocals with rapping parts. Flea is responsible for the groovy funk and punk rhythm section that fits perfectly with Chad Smith‘s drumming. All of these ingredients combine to present listeners with “Blood Sugar Sex Magic.” Not only is this album a glorious masterpiece, but it also contains some interesting trivia regarding the place it was recorded: the old mansion owned by famous magician Harry Houdini, which was rumored to be haunted. They moved all of their equipment to the manor and most of the band remained throughout the entire duration of their recordings. Everyone had their own room, in which they worked with their own innovative ideas, resulting in material that would become “Blood Sugar Sex Magic.

The album begins with a couple of up-tempo hip-hop songs with funk backing. “The Power of Equality” and “If You Have to Ask” feature funky guitar rhythms with powerful groovy bass. While they start the album off with strong energy, they likewise lack a bit of originality, feeling like recycled stereotypes when compared to the album’s other stronger material. However, they take a sharp turn with the song “Breaking the Girl,” as it is more melodic – a complete departure from the prior genre canvas. Acoustic and dreamy with pulsating bass, long strings, and a tribal drum beat, the song shows that Anthony Kiedis is capable of singing when he wants to.

The songs start to become more interesting with “Funky Monks,” which starts (naturally) with a funky slapping guitar. Only John Frusciante could be capable of such an amazing funk rhythm, while Flea’s slap-bass is fueled with Anthony Kiedis‘ high-pitched chorus vocals, only adding more flavor into the mix. This is followed by the more rocking “Suck My Kiss.” The heavy bass kicks the listener right from the start with its pure energy. Then, the acoustic near-ballad “I Could Have Lied” shows a softer side of the vocals, with driven and melodic bass, steady drums, and a broken and expressive solo.

Mellowship Slinky in B Major” could be used as the standard of funk-rock; if someone wants to learn or to be introduced to this style, this song is the perfect starting point, with its layers of funk and pure rock riffs. “The Righteous and the Wicked” is another enjoyable song to listen to, beginning with a bass groove that is complimented by a funky guitar, melodic vocals, and a solid hook. It is typical for the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS in its diversity and even contains a nice riff in the middle, which has a definite “hard rock legend” feel.

Under the Bridge” was one of the singles from “Blood Sugar Sex Magik,” despite songwriter Anthony Kiedis having thought that this song – a reflection of his addiction to narcotics – did not suit the band’s style. This track starts with a recognizable main guitar riff that is repeated throughout. In addition, the grand and epic choir towards the end was sung by John Frusciante‘s mother and her friends, giving the song a perfect ending as it fades out.

“Blood Sugar Sex Magik” is a groovy and dynamic album. For those who are interested in the unique sound fusion of funk, rap, and rock, this is a necessary inclusion in your music collection. The RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS really set out to harness the best that they had in the making of this album. Well, they surely accomplished their goal, as this is definitely an record to be remembered!

Written by Peter Jerman

Tracklist

  1. The 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. The Righteous & 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. The Greeting Song
  15. My Lovely Man
  16. Sir Psycho Sexy
  17. They’re Red Hot

Lineup

Anthony Kiedis – lead vocals
John Frusciante – guitar, vocals
Flea – bass, vocals, trumpet, keyboards
Chad Smith – drums, percussion

Label

Warner Brothers

Links

Website

Spotify

YouTube