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Top 10 Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs

Top 10 Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs

Top 10 Red Hot Chili Peppers songs are a bit like pearls down in the ocean. It’s full of them down there. But you probably don’t need more than ten of them to be happy.

Am I confident that I will be able to choose the ten finest, most elite tracks out of the hundreds of official and unreleased RHCP songs? Yes, yes, I am. I’ve been studying for this my whole life, writing music reviews in hopes that I’ll one day get the chance.

Today I’m looking for old socks, readying my ears for some dynamic Flea-Frusciante magik, and picking the Top 10 Red Hot Chili Peppers songs ever.

How I picked the songs

You’ve probably heard about The Red Hot Chili Peppers. They’re the ones with tens of hit singles and sold-out global tours. The guys with the socks..? Yeah, that’s them.

Yes, we all have our favourites. Some of them are covers, b-sides, rarities and number one hits too. My favourite is “Gong-Li.” I sometimes play it on my guitars.

But we’ll have none of that nonsense here. It’ll all be about greatness. John Frusciante, Flea, and Chad Smith are some of the greatest rock musicians of their generation. Anthony Kiedis is a charismatic frontman. There were other competent players in the band through the years, such as guitarist Hillel Slovak.

Did I listen to all of The Red Hot Chili Peppers that exist? Nearly. Did I have to listen to “Uplift Mofo Party Plan” for this list? Don’t be silly!

Yes, I’m picking the best-known, most memorable and highly influential tracks for my list of “Top 10 Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs.”

10. “Can’t Stop” – from the album “By the Way” (2002)

Believe it or not, some concertgoers have been known to complain about the Chili Peppers’ long concert jams. “Can’t Stop” delivers the good immediately with one of guitarist John Frusciante’s most memorable, funk-inspired riffs.

It’s no wonder this continues to be the opening RHCP song in concerts (following a short jam, naturally). It’s direct, gets the blood pumping, and allows Kiedis to throw lyrics like an experienced prized fighter might throw punches.

Rarely has the band’s brand of funk-pop been more inspired. They’re so confident, in fact, that Frusciante delivers one of his shortest, most memorable guitar solos.

9. “Soul to Squeeze” – from the single “Give It Away”

A characteristic of truly great bands I’ve written about seems to be their ability to toss some of their greatest songs off as b-sides. “Soul to Squeeze” is one of Chili Peppers’ best songs and was given away for the soundtrack to “Coneheads.” Talk about confidence!

The track features one of Frusciante‘s prettiest guitar melodies and a melancholy-ridden Kiedis-sung chorus. It’s a masterful lesson in dynamics.

Of course, by the time the band shot the striking circus-themed video for “Soul to Squeeze,” the guitarist was out of the band. It made it all bittersweet, just like the song itself.

8. “Around the World” – from the album “Californication” (1999)

During the 1980s, Kiedis and the Chili Peppers were a bit too sex-crazed in their music for true commercial acceptance. With “Around the World”, they found the sweet spot between lustfulness and radio-friendly grooves.

The song begins with a demented band intro before slipping into a smooth rock groove dominated by Flea’s basslines. Meanwhile, Kiedis sings about having affairs in places as geographically distant as Switzerland and the Wisconsin woods. Classy!

7. “Aeroplane” – from the album “One Hot Minute” (1995)

“Aeroplane” is one of the songs that should make you want to check out “One Hot Minute.” It’s the most seamless collaboration between RHCP and guitarist Dave Navarro.

For all the talk about the former Jane’s Addiction not fitting into the Chili Peppers’ mould, “Aeroplane” suggests otherwise. It’s one of the band’s best 90s songs, albeit not one that would make their top 10 billboard songs.

It’s got a funky groove, traces of classic rock and just like Navarro himself, it is sweet but frightening. File this under “bubblegum goth” and play it often!

6. “Suck My Kiss” – from the album “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” (1991)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a rhythm machine at the core of things! “Suck My Kiss” gave their aggressive funk style the success it deserved.

It’s a primal sound, complete with sexy and utterly silly lyrics. No, the Peppers’ music doesn’t always require contemplation. Check out songs like “Sir Psycho Sexy” for further proof.

But, just like James Brown’s best work, “Suck My Kiss” is adamant about raising you off your couch and starting you dancing.

5. “By The Way” – from the album “By the Way” (2002)

Few bands get away with being both poppy and quirky. “By The Way” is an excellent rock radio hit that maintains all of RHCP’s idiosyncrasies.

It expertly fits together some of the band’s best traits. The first hook is quiet, simple and emotional as can be. The verse is pure punk mayhem. And Frusciante’s backing vocals complement Kiedis’ singing and rapping flawlessly. It brought them, once more, top of the modern rock charts.

4. “Otherside” (1999)

When John Frusciante joined the Chili Peppers, he was a Steve Vai-inspired virtuoso. By the time of “Otherwise”, he had learned to make use of every note he played.

The famous riff as well as the mood, are inspired by goth music, notably The Cure. The music video takes inspiration from expressions cinema such as “The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.”

Meanwhile, Kidis passionately sings about the human unconscious, the eternal battle between light and darkness.

3. “Give it Away”

“Give it Away” is one of the touchstone moments of the 1990s, a power jam so powerful that it has never once drifted outside of the mainstream.

While the playing is impressive, both flashy and restrained at times, it’s the energy that producer Rick Rubin provided the track that gives it its appeal.

Meanwhile, Kiedis, already a rock n’ roll survivor by 1991, talks about lessons learned from Bob Marley or friend River Phoenix in this life-affirming funk-rock track.

2. “Scar Tissue” – from the album “Californication” (1999)

John Frusciante perfectly announced his unlikely return to the Red Hot Chili Peppers with the memorable guitar intro to “Scar Tissue.” It was the first single of his second tenure with the group.

It was a song that described the band’s rough journey. By this stage, many of the band’s members, past and present, had dealt with extreme drug addiction.

Kiedis sings “Scar Tissue” like a confession of vulnerability. No wonder his memoir uses this title.

1. “Under the Bridge”

“Under the Bridge” is the greatest song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and one of the best pieces of rock music.

Musically, it crystallizes the band’s ongoing obsession with bands like the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The famous Frusciante-riff is one of the favourites of beginner guitarists.

It’s also a lesson in musical dynamics. It begins as a shimmer, and it ends as a sonic boom.

But the most striking element is Anthony Kiedis’ lyrics. These poetically describe the downward spiral of drug abuse.

“Under the Bridge” is an emotional song. But it survives repeated listens. And it is so powerful that it has become an anthem. From Los Angeles to Moscow, Kiedis has sung this with audiences that know its every word.

Here’s our playlist of the Top 10 Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs:

About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website www.alt77.com. Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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