2002 By The Way Clippings (unknown sources)



Blood, Sugar, Sex.. Armchairs?!
Preview suggests Chilis are to pursue laid-back vibe.
THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS ARE set to surprise fans by going for a laid-back style on their new, Rick Rubin-produced album, ‘By The Way’.

Set to be released by Warner Bros on July 8, the record will feature 14 or 15 songs (at the time of going to press the exact running order had still to be determined), and much of it is best described as classic American rock akin to the vibe of The Eagles and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Only the first single, `By The Way’, is recognisable as having connections to the trademark Chili Peppers’ combination of freaky stylee and funk; the rest of the record sees them developing the approach of their last album, 1999’s `Californication, and taking it into fresh areas.

At times the songs are almost orchestral – as on ‘Midnight’ and ‘Dosed’ – with others employing a salsa rhythm (Cabron’) or calypso beat (‘Lemon Trees On Mercury’). Vocalist Anthony Kiedis seems particularly suited to the band’s new vision, going
for an altogether smoother delivery than has been the case in the past. Guitarist John Frusciante comes up with several motifs that are both melodic yet also with more punctuation on a song that makes up a part of the fabric. It’s his ability to make a brief emphasis that lifts much of the material to a very high level.

It will be interesting to see how diehard fans react to the record. While ‘Californication’ was the biggest seller the band have had so far (selling a million copies in the UK alone), ‘By The Way’ might be seen as a step too far. On the other hand it might just open them up to a new audience.

The album will include the following tracks: ‘By The Way’, ‘Cabron’, ‘The Zephyr Song’, ‘Don’t Forget Me’, ‘Venice Queen’, ‘I Could Die For You’, ‘Dosed’, ‘Midnight’, ‘Lemon Trees On Mercury’, ‘Tear, ‘Universally Speaking’ and ‘Warm Tape’. The Chilis headline London Docklands Arena on June 26, supported by Andrew WK.



By The Way


WITH A collective age somewhere in the region of 150 years, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have no right to be making the music of their lives. ‘By The Way’, though, is though unquestionably their masterpiece. So what went right? Firstly, frontman Anthony Kiedis has clearly once and for all wrestled creative control from Flea and his irritatingly bubbling bass. Secondly, guitarist John Frusciante here plays like an angel. Thirdly, the Chilis are now in the enviable position of being able to do just what the hell they like.

The result of all this is a set of songs which drop all pretence at funk — and for a band always previously prefixed by the term ‘funksters’, the Chills were thoroughly hopeless at it —and sit instead slap bang in the middle of the cavernous space between The Beach Boys’ summer sunshine pop and Led Zeppelin’s seismic rock. With some ska, new wave and mariachi thrown in for good measure. Better still, there’s no cock-headed sexist twaddle to wade through either. From the frenetic ‘By The Way’ and the haunting ‘Don’t Forget Me’ to the thoroughly wonderful pairing of ‘On Mercury’ and ‘Minor Thing’, this is a band operating at the height of their powers. Happily for them, and us, it’s as if ‘Party On Your Pussy’ never happened.



By The Way

‘STEAK KNIFE, card shark, con job, boot cut’, never let it be said that middle-aged beefcake Anthony Kiedis doesn’t perfectly voice the inner turmoil which we all face on a day to day basis. ‘Black jack, dope dick, pawn shop, quick pick,’ he continues enthrallingly on this, the title track from the Chili Peppers’ fine last album. We’ve all been there, Anthony. We’re feeling ya, bro.


8 Red Hot Chili Peppers

By The Way

BUFF SURF-DUDE Anthony Kiedis gets kidnapped by mulleted cab driver who happens to be an obsessive fan. Kiedis frantically pages bandmates Flea and John Frusciante. The nimble-fingered bass-botherer rescues his friend and drives off safety. Unwittingly, drummer Chad Smith hails the errant cab driver. Mulletboy cannot believe his luck at a second stab at kidnapping a Red Hot Chili Pepper.


Red Hot Chili Peppers By The Way

The follow-up to 1999’s Californication. Once again, Rick Rubin produces.

Waning libido? Bassist Flea’s break-up with his girlfriend? Whatever the catalyst, the Chili’s eighth studio album sees their trademark ‘socks-on-cocks’ funk kow-tow to Beach Boys harmonies and a broader sonic palette. Throw Away Your Television (via hotel window, presumably), is pants, but elsewhere, Beatles-esque trappings and John Frusciante’s concise guitar hooks punctuate the strongest Chili’s album since 1991’s Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Being an odd mash of psycho-babble, buddy loyalty and parental advisory, Anthony Kiedis’ lyrics still need deciphering, and may not merit the grapple. Still, when he and his cohorts fire on all cylinders — witness the Motown groove of Universally Speaking — they’re irresistible. Best of all, perhaps, is Dosed, built on a sweet and simple guitar arpeggio, and despite that title, concerning neither drug nor sexually transmitted disease. Who’d have thought it?

James McNair

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