Californication featured in a reader’s poll of the 50th best albums since the start of Q magazine:
49 Red Hot Chili Peppers
WARNER BROS. 1999
For all their apparent fragility, musically speaking Red Hot Chili Peppers keep getting stronger. The shambolic funk is long gone, usurped by muscular pop underpinned by singer Anthony Kiedis’s poetic musings. Californication also marked the unlikely return of recovering addict John Frusciante – briefly replaced by Dave Navarro – who looked like a derelict but played guitar like a titan. Suddenly, after the deaths, the pain and the horrors we can only guess at, everyone knew just how great this band had become.
What We Said Then “If they implode after this, at least they’ll have done so with no small amount of style.” Q154 ****
What Happened Next They sold records in Britain, they re-conquered America. And then they went quiet again.