If you always wondered what the Red Hot Chili Peppers would sound like covering their fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees — both the expected (the Ramones, Iggy Pop) and the decidedly less so (Dion, the Beach Boys) — here’s your chance.
The Chili Peppers have prepared a special download-only EP release, to be available May 1 via Warner Bros, featuring six songs from previous Hall of Fame honorees. Also included are David Bowie and Neil Young. Each, the Red Hot Chili Peppers say, were influential on the band in one way or another.
Meanwhile, the Chili Peppers have returned to the road after frontman Anthony Kiedis recovered from foot surgery. The remaining Peppers began work on a new studio release, during the down time. This as-yet-unnamed project follows up a signature year for the band, as its 2011 release “I’m In You” earned a Grammy nomination and the Peppers were inducted last week into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The 27th annual induction ceremonies will be televised in a premiere event on HBO in early May.
Five of the six included tracks on this new EP have never been available digitally: Dion’s “A Teenager In Love” was released as an international maxi-single; the Ramones’ “Havana Affair” was originally issued as a 7-inch single and featured on the compilation We’re A Happy Family: A Tribute To The Ramones; Iggy Pop’s “Search & Destroy” has only appeared on a now out-of-print maxi-CD: this live version of “I Get Around” was first played during Brian Wilson’s 2005 MusiCares induction speech; and Bowie’s “Suffragette City” was previously only available as a B-side to the band’s single “Aeroplane.” Young’s “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” was recorded live during the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ current tour supporting their album I’m With You.
For more information, go to the band’s Web site: www.redhotchilipeppers.com.
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and related solo projects. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – I’M WITH YOU (2011): Though they often play with a familiar steely aggression, the Red Hot Chili Peppers seem nevertheless to be rounding the corner into middle age. I’m With You, the band’s first project since the 2006 double-album Stadium Arcadium, is often focused on departures — of youth and of old friends, perhaps a direct reaction to the exit of guitarist John Frusciante. The longest layover in band history, clearly, gave them time to think. Still, this being the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and thunderous bassist Flea being, well, thunderous on the bass, you’d expect most of these ideas to be buried deep in the group’s trademark whomping frat-boy funk, right? Not so fast. This Rick Rubin-produced efforts ends up as the most layered, complex offering in a Peppers’ catalog dating back almost three decades.
JOHN FRUSCIANTE – SHADOWS COLLIDE WITH PEOPLE (2004): hat is the sound of a lone Pepper? Not as hot, not as funky … but more distinctive than you might expect. While some of 2004?s Shadows Collide With People shares bits of Chili Pepper-ness, there are definitely a few non-Pepper moments. First of all, the electric guitar does not play a big role here. No, a strummed acoustic is used to build the bed of sound supporting the vocals. This isn’t really out of left field with respect to the Peppers: acoustic guitars are used there, just not to this degree. What is very Pepper-like is the tempo, with much of the album settling into that familiar mid-tempo “Californication”/ “Scar Tissue” area. It’s also quite amazing to hear Frusciante’s vocals.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – GREATEST HITS (2003): The Chili Peppers is one of those bands that I resisted. They were getting airplay from Mother’s Milk (“Higher Ground”, no doubt) and I just did not get it. Then Blood Sugar Sex Magik came out. This was the Peppers’ London Calling, their Dark Side Of The Moon (and hopefully not their Frampton Comes Alive). The funk was undeniable: killer guitar riffs and powerful in-the-pocket drumming, all anchored by Flea’s kinetic and soulful bass. So one day at work I’m listening to BSSM and a co-worker asks me if I’ve heard the ‘real’ Chili Peppers. He offers up his LP copies of Uplift Mofo Party Plan and Freaky Styley. Cripes, this stuff is nuts!