Contact Us

15 Years Ago: Red Hot Chili Peppers Release ‘Californication’

Warner Bros. Records

Although they regularly sat atop the charts in the early ’90s, the Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ fortunes started to fade as the decade wore on. Luckily, they turned things around in 1999 with the release of ‘Californication.’

In the midst of a drug-induced spiral, longtime guitarist John Frusciante left the group in ’92, right in the middle of the tour supporting what was then their biggest album to date, ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik.’ The group eventually replaced Frusicante with former Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro for 1995′s lightly regarded ‘One Hot Minute.’ Navarro’s not-unexpected departure then opened the door for the reunion with Frusciante, and the reconstruction of their most successful lineup finally put the Red Hot Chili Peppers back on the right track.

The band once again enlisted Rick Rubin as producer, reprising the role he played on their previous two studio efforts. Yet, in some ways, nothing was the same anymore. Up to that point in their career, the Red Hot Chili Peppers had been known for writing relatively carefree funk party-anthems. They used ‘Californication’ as an opportunity to broaden their horizons, both lyrically and musically.

Not that they couldn’t still play the funky, jovial band that people had come to know them to be — as heard on ‘Around The World’ and ‘I Like Dirt.’ But other tracks, like the record’s first single ‘Scar Tissue’ and ‘Otherside,’ were more straight-forward pop tracks, focusing on loneliness and remorse. ‘Porcelain’ also showed a more delicate, though not entirely unfamiliar, side to the Chili Peppers.

Jim Scott, hired by Rubin to be the recording engineer for the album, said in 1999 that reacquainting Frusicante with the songwriting process was the first item on the checklist. The group rehearsed in bassist Flea’s garage for the bulk of the summer of 1998. Scott said this process prepared them well when the time came to record the songs.

“After I started working with them, the Peppers became happy with the sound, but all I did was simply capture the sound of the band in the room,” Scott says. “We recorded 30 songs in about a week, which is a lot of tape and a lot of performances. But they were playing great, so all we had to do was get it down.” As such, the process included minimal overdubs, he added.

Fans responded strongly to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ return to form. Buoyed by the success of the album’s first single ‘Scar Tissue,’ as well as subsequent singles ‘Otherside’ and its title track, ‘Californication’ sold over five million copies in the United States alone as of January 2003.

Listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Californication’

Next: Chili Pepper Chad Smith's Legendary Drum Battle With Will Ferrell

More from 103.7 The Hawk

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://kmhk.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on 103.7 The Hawk quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on 103.7 The Hawk quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!