17 Songs, 1 Hour 13 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The fifth album from the Red Hot Chili Peppers emerged on September 24, 1991—the same day as Nirvana's Nevermind—heralding both a creative reboot for the band and an alternative-rock remake of the American pop charts. Before this, the Chili Peppers were rubbery, convulsive California college-radio faves rapping about sex, friendship, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Teaming with super-producer Rick Rubin for Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the band became a hard-grooving rock juggernaut, hitmakers with powerful ballads and arty music videos. Sure, they still rapped about sex ("Sir Psycho Sexy"), friendship ("My Lovely Man"), and the Los Angeles Lakers ("Mellowship Slinky In B Major"), but there was more maturity, honesty, and personality at play.

Frontman Anthony Kiedis' lyrics moved from simplistic hooks to a more freewheeling beat-poetry. Guitarist John Frusciante went from metal crunch to airy, Meters-style funkiness. Rubin's spacious and dry production—delivered at a mansion in Laurel Canyon—highlighted the subtleties of bassist Flea and powerhouse drummer Chad Smith, cementing their status as one of the greatest rhythm sections of the '90s. The album's first single, the indelible funk bomb "Give It Away," gave the Peps their first Hot 100-charting pop single. Other songs like "Suck My Kiss," "Apache Rose Peacock," and the ribald, Blowfly-esque "Sir Psycho Sexy" may have been less suitable for radio play, but they were likewise horny stompers with monster grooves. However, the album's second single, "Under the Bridge," made the Chili Peppers superstars and got them into the Top 10. The tender ballad reflecting on Kiedis' years of drug abuse was an outlier in the Chili Peppers catalog that ultimately helped make Blood Sugar Sex Magik one of the era's indelible rock codices.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The fifth album from the Red Hot Chili Peppers emerged on September 24, 1991—the same day as Nirvana's Nevermind—heralding both a creative reboot for the band and an alternative-rock remake of the American pop charts. Before this, the Chili Peppers were rubbery, convulsive California college-radio faves rapping about sex, friendship, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Teaming with super-producer Rick Rubin for Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the band became a hard-grooving rock juggernaut, hitmakers with powerful ballads and arty music videos. Sure, they still rapped about sex ("Sir Psycho Sexy"), friendship ("My Lovely Man"), and the Los Angeles Lakers ("Mellowship Slinky In B Major"), but there was more maturity, honesty, and personality at play.

Frontman Anthony Kiedis' lyrics moved from simplistic hooks to a more freewheeling beat-poetry. Guitarist John Frusciante went from metal crunch to airy, Meters-style funkiness. Rubin's spacious and dry production—delivered at a mansion in Laurel Canyon—highlighted the subtleties of bassist Flea and powerhouse drummer Chad Smith, cementing their status as one of the greatest rhythm sections of the '90s. The album's first single, the indelible funk bomb "Give It Away," gave the Peps their first Hot 100-charting pop single. Other songs like "Suck My Kiss," "Apache Rose Peacock," and the ribald, Blowfly-esque "Sir Psycho Sexy" may have been less suitable for radio play, but they were likewise horny stompers with monster grooves. However, the album's second single, "Under the Bridge," made the Chili Peppers superstars and got them into the Top 10. The tender ballad reflecting on Kiedis' years of drug abuse was an outlier in the Chili Peppers catalog that ultimately helped make Blood Sugar Sex Magik one of the era's indelible rock codices.

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