Sup, it’s Milo in a fancy new colour, oh boy. However, this is obviously a special occasion as the new Chili Peppers record is out today and I’m rather excited. We figured, here at the Stuff and That HQ (Facebook Messenger), that instead of doing what everyone thought we’d do and review it, like a couple of plebs, we’d do a definitive Top 25 songs of theirs. By we, I mean Reuben and I, which is why I’m in orange, so you can tell between my intricate weaving of stunning word choices and Reuben’s crap.
Hi, this is ol’ Reuben himself. I don’t have a lot to add to Milo’s admittedly crappy intro, but I’ll say that this is Stuff and That’s definitive Top 25 Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs, with songs from albums ranging from The Uplift Mofo Party Plan to By the Way, and they are not just popular singles. This list was difficult to compile, but here you go. If you haven’t already guessed, the songs that I write about will be in this sky blue, because I’m cool like that. (He really isn’t) Oh, and with who’s writing about what, the text about the songs won’t be coloured, but the names of the songs will be, so you’ll be able to tell who’s writing about which song by the colour of its name.
There’s also youtube links on each of the pictures for each of the songs, boi.
25. This Is The Place
After we kept on bumping songs up we made spaces for songs that might not have got into this list at these first spots before, and This is the Place is one of those. In my original personal list, I put this very high. That’s because it houses a mature vocal performance from Anthony Kiedis, a funky bass riff and a nice Stadium Arcadium sort of feel – before Stadium Arcadium.
Admittedly, this is one of the Chili Peppers’ sillier songs, in music, not in context. That’s because its admittedly pretty repetitive, as most of the song is repeating one line. But it gets louder each time! It manages to be a particularly memorable song after all, though, and a pretty catchy one at that.
23. Higher Ground
Apologies for Reuben’s misinterpretation of Otherside, he’s a bit of an idiot. Unless he changed it, in which case, never mind. I have only properly just got into this song. As well as Keidis’ cleanish, very, very 80’s vocals, this songs boasts some excellent bass licks and hi-hat-heavy drumming, plus one of the first examples of the heaviness John Frusciante can reach, if he can be bothered that is.
Somehow Milo doesn’t really like this one. Personally, it is one of the best tracks on Stadium Arcadium, and it easily deserves its place on this list. It follows some great funk and showcases some brilliant songwriting, whilst Flea goes crazy on his bass for the whole time and John Frusciante has a few wig-outs.
21. Funky Monks
This song is exactly what it says on the tin. Funk, funk, funk. FUNK. It might be a little too long, but I can cope with some extra funk.
20. The Power Of Equality
One of the finest examples of sensical songwriting in The Chili Peppers discography, this song would’ve been a bit higher on this list if it weren’t for Reuben and his totalitarian sensibilities. Delivered with a brilliant, aggressive performance from Keidis, the righteous message of the song is hammered in with some great lines, my favourite of which can’t be repeated (how naughty!).
Variety is the spice of life, and Midnight is filled with that very thing. Starting with string instruments followed with some keyboards (which are a rare thing in Red Hot Chili Peppers) and a slightly disjointed structure as a song, it’s a unique one. It’s one of my personal favourites on By the Way, at least, as it really comes to life towards the end with a powerful use of John Frusciante’s backing vocals and a strong melody at the heart of it.
18. Love Rollercoaster
What could be considered a strange choice, especially for a best of list, is actually one of the best covers by any band, in my own, undereducated opinion, not just RHCP. Probably the only good thing Dave Navarro did for the band, it features an admittedly great riff, funky enough to keep up wit’ dat Fleabass, anyway. The addition of theme-park-centric raps, of course, brilliantly sung, adds that lil’ bit o’ spice which pushes it apart from the original and gives it a bit o’ The Chilis.
17. Hump De Bump
One of my personal favourites on Stadium Arcadium, Hump de Bump features a criminally funky guitar part from John Frusciante, which, of course, goes perfectly with the bass. The funk is also felt in Anthony Keidis’ vocal performance and Chad Smith’s drumming, it’s essentially a big flippin’ funk fing.
16. No Chump Love Sucker
The earliest song on this list, I couldn’t bear seeing it be omitted from their creamy crop. Serving as the epitome of their riotous early sound, the best of Slovak’s last album is the perfect farewell to the sound that, though bettered by Frusciante, ultimately died with their first guitarist. As to avoid ending on a bum note, the song also includes some fine examples of SHOUTING and has successfully added a phrase to my own vocabulary.
15. Snow ((Hey Oh))
Definitely a favourite of Stadium Arcadium for me, it took a disappointing amount of convincing Reuben to get this on the list. Feeling like it should be on By The Way, the constant, fiddly guitar riff and smooth bassline, paired with another brilliant bit of vocals. However, what I thought was written as a heartfelt tribute to their fans, was actually a song about heroin, how fun.
Similar to Snow ((Hey Oh)), musically and, if the titles any indication, in subject matter as well, Dosed, like Midnight, has an awe-inspiring chorus, pulling in Frusciante’s backing vocals to great effect. It also features an underrated turn from Flea, who performs some great non-funk bass (who’d a thunk?).
This is classic Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s got the complete performance on each the bass, guitar, drums and vocals. Kiedis does his thing while he’s helped by quite deep instrumentals which include powerful bass, drifting drum beats and some of the best less-is-more guitar work from ol’ Frusciante. This song is, in my opinion, the perfect example of the Chili Peppers’ clean sound that they adopted in Californication, which although more accessible for the mainstream, certainly not less complicated or enjoyable to listen to. It’s pretty catchy to boot.
12. Universally Speaking
A top-notch example of what By The Way felt as an entire album, Universally Speaking is easy listenin’ at its finest. From the first beat of Chad Smith’s wonderfully consistent drumming, it could be foretold as a blast to listen to. Throw in an appropriately funky bassline, a catchy chorus (complete with “ooooo”s), a quality performance from Kiedis and a lovely lil’ riff, as well as whatever makes that weird noise, and you’ve got a song that can compete with some of the others on By The Way, which ain’t no easy feat.
11. Under The Bridge
Milo’s probably more the lover of this track than I am, but I’ve listened to it a hell of a lot, especially since I used to listen to Greatest Hits every other day way back when. I’m probably as in love with Under the Bridge as he is. It’s the first glimpse of the Chili Peppers’ clean style, and one of the very best examples of it. It’s catchy, easy listening with some nice unrefined vocals by Anthony Kiedis – which isn’t a bad thing. The difference in sound between this and the best of By the Way or Californication shows how far they came with the sound but does not show a difference in quality. Not only is Under the Bridge a classic but it’s also one of the best examples of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ songwriting skills and their ability to captivate audiences around the world – as this was their first hugely successful single.
Readymade is one of the highlights of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 21st Century discography, no question. It’s the heaviest song they’ve written aside from Suck My Kiss. In some ways, I, personally, prefer it to Suck My Kiss, but Milo wouldn’t have that. Oops. Forget I mentioned that song… Anywhom, Readymade is powerful, funky and with a very strong melody at the heart of it. Anthony Kiedis’ more shouty vocals of Stadium Arcadium are set free in this song, along with Chad Smith’s pounding drums and Flea’s riffage (I’m pretty sure I’ve already told you this is a word, Mark…) ability, whilst John Frusciante brings back the joyous guitar style of Blood Sugar Sex Magik as he does in the rest of the album — but with some more bite as a result of the well-placed power chords. If I had my full say, this song would be a lot higher.
9. Apache Rose Peacock
Remember Funky Monks up at the start of this list? Well, Apache Rose Peacocks is even funkier. The ridiculous lyrics are at some of their best in this song and the immaturity is in full flow, whilst the guitar really brings the funk bouncing out, and the bass work carries along the song. The song really excels in its chorus, however, as is a common occurrence in Blood Sugar Sex Magik, when the backing vocals and trumpets come out in full force. The trumpets can’t be beaten.
8. Subway To Venus
Probably one of the last songs where Anthony Kiedis royally flips the flip out, Subway To Venus is easily the topest-notchiest song of Mother’s Milk. Adding to Kiedis’ wonderfully mad vocals, Chad Smith performs some great hyperactive drumming, reminding me fondly of Jack Irons and his time with band and an awesome slice of songwriting. Flea and Frusciante go hand-in-hand together with their immense bass and guitar and, top it off, TRUMPETS.
7. By The Way
One that surprised me, right, Reuben didn’t even have this on his list. Wow, I am ashamed, how poor. I, on the other hand, being the By The Way fanboy I am, had this lil’ number a lot higher than it is now, I think. The merging of Californication and uber-funk couldn’t be clearer in this song, with it’s rapped verses and ridiculously catchy chorus. I personally believe that this is especially a great Frusciante performance in particular, with that final, stripped down riff one of my favourites of all time, though it only lasts a few seconds.
We both appreciate this may be a slightly odd choice for such a high spot, but it’s definitely deserved of it. Easily is simple listening at, pretty much, its best. The song doesn’t try anything too ambitious, as it keeps it simple and fun. What puts it above most other Chili Peppers tracks is its brilliant energy — though its successful mixing of the more reckless style of early 90’s Chili Peppers style and the new cleaner sound should not go without a mention (as with most of Californication). It’s unrelenting energetic rock.
5. Around The World
Around the World houses the best bass performance I’ve ever heard. Flea’s ridiculously skilled bass takes over this track from its memorable starting bar to the rap verses until his show-off around 2:13 mark. Flea’s immense basswork is punctuated with Kiedis’ top-class vocal performance, with both his classic rapping and clean singing used effectively throughout the track, from the funk-induced verses to the oddly poppy chorus – which does work with the rest of the song, somehow. Most of all, however, Around the World contains the same sort of energy Easily does – just with some added funk.
4. Suck My Kiss
Suck My Kiss is the most dirty, heavy and funky masterpiece Red Hot Chili Peppers have ever written. With frankly ridiculous lyrics, it’s a glorious song. Never before had the Chili Peppers performed anything quite so head-banging as this, or with as solid a bass riff, and never again. Although Readymade also has a very powerful riff, along with a few other Stadium Arcadium tracks, I don’t think any quite get to the lofty heights of Suck My Kiss; One Hot Minute also has some heavy tracks, but none have the same funk or quite the same bite as this track. The power chords and crazy guitar work also help a lot for that heavy sound, along with Kiedis’ aggressive rap-singing. Chad Smith, however, seems like he was trying to break his drum set.
3. Give it Away
What a funky pile of awesomeness. There just isn’t anything not funky in this song. Unlike Suck My Kiss which, though exceptionally funky, I find little more to the heavier side, Give It Away is the beautifully funky awemazatacularness of RHCP boiled down to a funky concentrate. We’ve got offbeat, brushy drumming from Smith, a great, funky turn from Frusciante, with some rewind (because there is never too much rewind), the shouty, nonsensical vocal stylings of Kiedis and, above all, the funky-ass Fleabass. Oh, and a didgeridoo.
2. Dani California
Dani California is an absolute classic, and will always be in my heart as a result of its throwing up of nostalgic juices and its stupidly catchy
chorus everything. It’s got it all. The baffling lyrics, the state names, the catchy chorus, the moderate heaviness, the guitar wig-outs (one of ’em being Milo’s favourite guitar solo), the funky bass line, the accomplished drumming Chad Smith is known for and one of Kiedis’ best vocals to date. Dani California mixes everything that is great from Californication and Blood Sugar Sex Magik and then awesomes it up even more than was thought possible. There is nothing wrong with this song. It is godly. No, in fact, it is a God.
So what’s number 1, den?
‘Cause The Chili Peppers have so many legendary songs, we couldn’t just pick 25, so let’s obnoxiously block your view of No. 1
Especially in Michigan
This Velvet Glove
Taste the Pain
Catholic School Girls Rule
The Zephyr Song
Get Up and Jump
Strip My Mind
Punk Rock Classic
If You Have to Ask
Storm in a Teacup
Blood Sugar Sex Magik
1. Can’t Stop
What else? Yes, yes I mentally dominated Reuben to get this, their greatest hit, to the top of the list, though it didn’t take much convincing as he had it second. What can I say? Everything The Chili Peppers did right is this song. Kiedis has enough rap and sing to deliver the amazingly silly lyrics to your face and deliver them to your mind hole. Frusciante, as well as providing one of the best backing-vocals performances ever, has the perfect merging of funk and that Californication sound we all love so dearly and some sublimely chosen power chords. On top of that, Flea provides the main driving force of the funk that the riff pacily weaves itself around and Chad Smith drums the meaning into the word offbeat. There is no fault to this song, it keeps everything energetic without sounding too riotous, it takes By The Way and refines it down beautifully. Add in a healthy dose of nostalgia and you don’t just have the definitively best Red Hot Chili Peppers song, but you have my favourite song ever. But for the purpose of this list, let’s just stick to Chili Peppers, yeah?
I woulda probably liked Dani California as number one, but oh well. Can’t Stop is pretty damn godly too. If you haven’t heard Red Hot Chili Peppers before, listen to at least the top five songs. Now, to listen to The Getaway and eventually review it! To be honest, even though the Chilis are my favourite band, I am still wary of the new album. But I’ll listen to it anyway.
So that’s that. I got my way because Reuben’s a bit spineless, Red Hot Chili Peppers got a new album, this has been quite the beastly article, I can’t be arsed to do anything else, have some links to finish ya’ off.
Buy that sweet new album: DINGUS
Read my thing about the other Chili Peppers albums: DANGUS
Sexy pic: DONGLE
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations,
Bringing redundant opinions for scrollers everywhere,