Saturday, March 11, 2017

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Greatest Hits CD

A few months ago, I was listening to a Japanese radio station, and one song came on that I'm pretty sure was by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was mostly instrumental, and the bass line just blew me away. I'd never considered them to be all that great as musicians, but I was willing to change my opinion after hearing that song. I tried finding it again on youtube, with no luck. However, I did end up watching a few videos with Flea doing solos, and, yes, I admit he's really good. On the other hand, I also think he's insane, and a bit hard on the eyes. Anyway, I asked for a Chili Peppers CD for Christmas, and  I received their Greatest Hits collection.

This one came out in in 2003, although Amazon says that the original release date was 2000, and consists of 16 tracks. It includes the standards, like Under the Bridge, Give it Away, Californication, Scar Tissue, Otherside, Suck My Kiss and By the Way. When I first saw the Chili Peppers, it was in their MTV music video for Give It Away. The band's jumping around and spasming reminded me a lot of me when I was trying to act in some way but didn't know how to control my own muscles. That is, they looked like small children still learning how to dance. And that image of them never changed while each new song came out. Which is partly why I was surprised that they'd sounded so good on that one song a few months ago on the radio.

My first listen through the CD left me unimpressed. The songs are all radio standards, and none of them really stood out. But the second time, with the sound cranked up higher on my MP3 player, four songs struck me as being exceptional - Californication, Parallel Universe, Road Trippin' and Fortune Faded. It's really hard to pick out one element in Californication that makes the song, because all the pieces fit together so well, from the lyrics, to the vocals, to the bass line and the entire arrangement. In fact, my focus is the bass work, and it's so integral to the song that I can't separate it out from the other instruments. It's just a very good song. Parallel Universe strikes me as more of a synth song than a guitar/bass/keyboard arrangement, but there's no synth in it. Flea's bass work is just amazing. It's now one of my favorite songs to watch on youtube. And Road Trippin' and Fortune Faded have the most distinctive bass lines on the CD. Good stuff.

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