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ALBUM – Blood Sugar Sex Magik

ARTIST – Red Hot Chili Peppers

YEAR – 1991

Their fifth album?  Yup!  It sure is.  This was probably their “break out” recording, at least into mainstream.

The band had been around for a just under a decade before Blood Sugar Sex Magik came out and had been doing pretty well.  Their scene was very laid back, Californian style, mellow/funky tunes.  Loads of drugs and crazyness.  All ingredients of a rock group.

I think it was prior to this 1991 release that Anthony Kiedis (vocals) got sober – apparently the track “Under the Bridge” is a reference to his down and out with illegal substances.  Other members used, too.  The guitarist, John Frusciante, kept the vice alive long after the release and was soon after cast from the Chili Peppers, luckily only temporarily.

Enough about drug abuse, right?  Ok, then.  Onto lighter topics, such as the music and the near perfect album.  The 17 track masterpiece comprises of all sorts of sounds, ranging from funky riffs and mad bass slapping to lighter, free flowing melodic accoustic guitars and even some belching of pure soul.

Parliament?  Anyone dare talk about George Clinton´s influence on this outfit?  Right.  The album is brilliant, amazing, well-tuned and produced and overall a masterpiece.  It’s very blunt, very gritty and straightforward.  It seems they were on to something, like they’d finally figured out their sound.  It’s a coming together of years of knowing each other all put in to a very powerful effort and album.

I cherish this recording.  I purchased the CD while still living in New York but came to fall in love with a bit later, when I was already living in Ottawa.  It’s the same old story, about how this album brings back memories and what not.  I know it’s beginning to get not annoying, but kinky.  So, I’ll skip the sentimental nostalgia and get to the music.

All songs are brilliant, no one is better than the other – they all have something to say, something special.  It’s such a funky, fun, playful and powerful album.  Damn, this shit is good.  So, you start off with some really funky, cool riffs, especially with “If You Have To Ask” (coolest little guitar riff intro).  “Breaking the Girl” is the acoustic gem, wonderful and light.  “Funky Monks” followed by one of my favourites “Suck My Kiss” is almost too much to handle.  Seriously guys, what the fuck?  This album is incredible.  The Chili Peppers have not come close to an album of this calibre.  “I Could Have Lied” brings you down to earth again, with a wavy and groovy feel, soft and hypnotic, with some almost angry vocals at times, great (the drums seem almost background like, but they make a point, have a listen).  “Mellowship Slinky in B-Major”, again, followed by “The Righteous and the Wicked”, two impressively funky tunes – listen to the bass slapping.  It’s pure joy.  Flea bangs it out.  Then there’s the major hits “Give it Away” and “Under the Bridge”.  My favourite back in ’92 was “Apache Rose Peacock”.  It still has a special place, it’s so fuckin’ funky.  Two more rock tunes, and then there’s a slinky, mellow and psychedelic “Sir Psycho Sexy”.  “I got stopped by a lady cop in my automobile.  She said get out and spread your legs and then she tried to cop a feel.  That cop she was all dressed in blue.  Was she pretty, boy I’m telling you!  She stuck my butt with a big black stick.  I said what’s up, now suck my dick!”  Wow!  ‘Nuff said.


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