Red Hot Chili Peppers

Essential Albums

Artist Playlists

More To Hear

About Red Hot Chili Peppers

“We represent the Hollywood kids/Hollywood is where we live,” the Red Hot Chili Peppers chanted on their 1987 manifesto “Organic Anti-Beat Box Band,” and decades later, these alt-rock icons still embody all that is sunny and seedy about L.A. That dichotomy was baked into their sound from the moment frontman Anthony Kiedis, bassist Michael “Flea” Balzary, guitarist Hillel Slovak, and drummer Jack Irons formed RHCP in 1983, fusing Black Flag’s furious punk and Parliament’s horny funk. The band’s berserker bass-slappin’ energy, absurdist humor, and strategic placement of tube socks made them college radio’s resident court jesters throughout the ‘80s, but Slovak’s death from a heroin overdose in 1988—and Irons’ subsequent depression-induced exit—forever altered the band’s DNA. The arrival of muscular drummer Chad Smith and wunderkind guitarist John Frusciante helped thrust 1989’s hard-rockin’ Mothers Milk toward gold-record status and, as the alternative revolution raged, RHCP emerged as kings of the mosh pit with 1991’s Blood Sugar Sex Majik. But that album also revealed the melancholic nuances of Flea and Frusciante’s playing, providing Kiedis with an emotional outlet to reckon with his troubled past on the blockbuster ballad “Under the Bridge.” Blood Sugar’s multi-platinum success drove Frusciante into a drug-fueled period of seclusion, during which the band soldiered on with Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro. But a cleaned-up Frusciante returned for 1999’s massively successful Californication, which twisted the band’s funk-rock template into a sobering, sophisticated collection of cautionary tales. They continued their chart-topping, festival-headlining reign well into the 21st century, even after Frusciante left the band again in 2009 to nurture his prolific solo career. The fact that they welcomed him back once more in 2019 only confirms that Frusciante’s artful style is the special spice that gives these Peppers their everlasting zing.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada