RHCP put together a 15 track CD which was given away with an issue of MOJO. This article explains their choices.
They’re Red Hot!
15 Tracks Selected by the Band
Two months ago the Red Hot Chili Peppers sent a rather abusive letter to MOJO asking the magazine team to cover the band in no uncertain terms. The note also included a series of other acts that they’d like to see covered in MOJO. We suggested, that since they were so damn smart, they might want to edit the issue of the magazine and curate an accompanying CD that would show-case their roots and influences. This issue of MOJO and this compilation are a direct result of that correspondence. You’ll find the elements the Chilis have been involved with stamped with their approval. You’ll also find the sound-track to this issue on this CD. Welcome then to the Uplifting MOJO Party Plan courtesy of the world’s biggest rock band…
1. Gang of Four: Natural’s Not In It
“It’s what shaped the sound of the rookie Red Hot Chili peppers,” declares Flea of the Gang Of Four’s debut LP, Entertainment!, and explaining how the band’s guitarist Andy Gill came to produce the Chili’s debut. One of post-punk’s most politically charged groups, the Leeds four-piece demonstrate a firm understanding of both the rock and funk idiom on this sloganeering track. Altogether now: “This heaven gives me a migraine!”
2. Circle Jerks: Group Sex
Chili’s guitarist John Frusciante was 10 years old when he discovered Group Sex, the Circle Jerk’s debut album. Formed in 1970 by ex-Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris and Red Cross guitarist Greg Hetson (now in Bad Religion), the LA foursome transformed slam-dancing into a virtue and, with this album, managed to underline the sheer gonzoid power of their live shows by serving up 14 tracks of goof-ball punk thrash in 16 minutes.
3. Ohio Players: FOPP
The Chillis discovered the Ohio’s Love Rollercoaster on the 1996 Beavis and Butthead do America soundtrack, but the Players’ influence on the band can be heard on heavier tracks like FOPP (a track also covered by Soundgarden in the late ‘80s). From the Dayton crew’s 1975 album, Honey, it’s a guitar-laden piece of salacious funk-rock. What does Fopp mean? You work it out…
4. Sly and the Family Stone: Life
If the Red Hot Chili Peppers feel an affinity with Sly And The Family Stone it’s down to Sly’s intuitive ability to bridge the gulf between funk and rock music something which Anthony Kiedis and the Peppers have clearly drawn upon for inspiration. So too is the uplifting nature of Sly Stone’s message- a point born out on the righteous nature of this, their title track of their fourth album
5. Adolescents: L.A. Girl
Hailing from Fullerton, Orange Country, the Adolescents’ brand of snotty punk has influenced everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the entire Epitaph label roster and far beyond. While the initial line-up of the aptly named combo fell apart after the release if its debut album in 1981, L.A. Girl is a short, sharp reminder of the Adolescents’ primal power and the impact the first time round.
6. The Weirdos: Life Of Crime
“The Weirdos were LA’s first punk group and are first rate, original and funny people. Their first few singles are works of genius,” states John Frusciante. The Weirdos’ crash a-and-burn has led to a highly erratic career. Nevertheless Life Of Crime- a B-side to their debut single, 1877’s Destroy All Music- is a fine piece of LA charred punk. …
7. James Chance: Contort Yourself (Original Version)
Milwaukee-born saxophonist Chance slipped in easily among the No Wave Crowd on his arrival in New York in the late ‘70s due to a flamboyant dress sense and the chaotic nature of his jazz-funk ensemble, The Contortions. Contort Yourself is a mash of syncopated funk and disco- rhythms led by Chance’s effusive sax, taken from their debut album, released in parallel under the alias James White.
8. James Brown: There Was A Time
There Was A Time was originally recorded in 1968, and showcases Brown’s signature style: heavy bass lines, pattered drums and The Godfather’s emotive exhultations throughout. The Chili’s acknowledged debt to The Godfather Of Soul is such that they’ve invited Mr Brown to support them on their UK dates this month….
9. Blonde Redhead: Elephant Woman
The angelic tones of Japanese songstress Kazu Makino and the Milan-born Amedo Pace characterise this New York collective’s dream-like cinematic musical invective which is underpinned by drummer Simon Pace’s freedom approach. A firm favourite of Frusciante’s, Blonde Redhead appear in MOJO Rising on page 32 at John’s request.
10. The Slits: Typical Girls
London-based all-girl outfit The Slits gave punk a truly female voice and melded rock, reggae and dub to create their own piercing, angular sound. Their debut album, Cut, was helmed by reknown reggae producer Dennis Bovell, boasted a pre-Banshees Budgie on drums and featured Dennis Morris’s controversial cover shot. …
11. Descendents: Myage
Descendents appeared in ’79, then promptly disappeared after four separate line-up changes. Myage is the opening track from second album Milo Goes To College, released just before a second sabbatical (singer Milo Aukerman went off to college to study Biochemistry). At two minutes, it’s one of the longest songs on the album- a speedy chunk of teen-angst.
12. Wipers: D-7
Formed by Greg Sage in 1977 in Portland, Oregon, The Wipers are one of the most independent outfits in the history of American Music. Despite Sage’s refusal to play the game, his influence of the pre and post grunge generations remains significant. While Sage politely refused to open for Nirvana, The Wipers’ profile was raised hugely when Kurt and co covered this dark and brooding track during their notorious 1992 Reading performance.
13. Harmonia: Dino
Formed in 1973 when ex-Kraftwerk and Neu-er Michael Rother joined Cluster’s Dieter Moebius and Hans Roedelius with a vague collaborative plan, this Krautrock three-piece were described by Brian Eno as “the world’s most important rock group” at the time. “This is a masterpiece,” says John Frusciante of Harmonia’s debut 21 years later. …
14. Frank Zappa: Son Of Mr Green Genes
As a teenager John Frusciante made tapes of Zappa’s guitar solos and learnt the lot. He also complied a CD of his fave FZ moments for Rykodisc which has yet to be released. The story of his audition for Frank’s band can be found on page 74. Meanwhile here, the nine minute Son Of Mr Green Genes sees Zappa extending himself into jazz rock territory to fine and fearsome fusionistic effect.
15. Funkadelic: Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow
Funkadelic’s George Clinton blows speakers and the odd mind on this, the hypnotic fuzz-funk freak-out that made up the title track from the band’s second album,. Clinton produced the Chili’s second album, Freakey Styley, and remains close with Kiedis and co.
And there’s More:
As the Chili’s jukebox was being manufactured the band suggested alternative tracks that may be suitable for inclusion. None of these suggestions arrived in time to make the final cut, but we’d like to reward the band’s diligence by including them here…
Circle Jerks Behind The Door
Sly And The Family Stone Family Affair
Adolescents Kids Of The Black Hole
The Weirdos Solitary Confinement
James Chance Designed To Kill
James Brown Lick and Split
Blonde Redhead Equis
The Slits Newtown
Descendents I’m Not A Loser or Youth Of America
Frank Zappa Dog Breath
Funkadelic I Bet You
Now we suggest you hunt them down and compile a second version of the Chili Peppers Jukebox.
Forum Discussion Thread with Youtube vids of the tracks so you can listen!