The Red Hot Chili Peppers is California funk rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers' self-titled debut album, released in 1984, and produced by Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers struck a deal with EMI records. However, the band that guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons were also in (called What Is This?) struck a deal with MCA records two weeks prior, thus the two were unable to play with the band. The Chili Peppers found replacements with former Weirdos drummer Cliff Martinez and studio guitarist Jack Sherman.
The recording of the album was not a smooth process. Andy Gill and the band fought over creative issues, with Gill directing them towards a more "radio-friendly" sound. The Red Hot Chili Peppers was released with the Chili Peppers disappointed in the production. It failed to chart in the Billboard Hot 200.
They went on tour to support the record but the rest of the band did not get along with Sherman. They only earned about $500 each from that tour. Both albums, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Squeezed by What Is This? did not do well, so Jack Sherman was fired from the Peppers and Hillel Slovak returned to perform on Freaky Styley, the Chili Peppers' second album.
In Kiedis' autobiography Scar Tissue, he says that he was demolished when he saw that Gill had written the word "shit" next to the title of the song "Police Helicopter" on a notepad as it was one of the first songs they had written and in Kiedis' words "It embodied the spirit of the band which was the kinetic, stabbing, angular, shocking assault force of sound and energy".
Critical and commercial response
The album is generally accepted as being a critical and commercial failure. The few reviews that were published of the album were negative, with the exception of the first issue of Spin magazine
which, according to Anthony Kiedis
in his autobiography Scar Tissue
, gave the album a positive review.. Stephen Thomas Erlewine
gave the album negative review , and stated that "their first effort didn't quite gel into a cohesive album."
, giving the album only 2½ stars out of 5. The band lost a substantial amount of money from the album and the supporting tour. As of 2007, it had sold about 300,000 copies worldwide.
All songs were written by Flea
, Anthony Kiedis
, Cliff Martinez
and Jack Sherman
, except where noted.
- "True Men Don't Kill Coyotes" – 3:40
- "Baby Appeal" (Flea, Jack Irons, Kiedis, Hillel Slovak) – 3:40
- "Buckle Down" – 3:24
- "Get Up and Jump" (Flea, Irons, Kiedis, Slovak) – 2:53
- "Why Don't You Love Me?" (Hank Williams) – 3:25
- "Green Heaven" (Flea, Irons, Kiedis, Slovak) – 3:59
- "Mommy, Where's Daddy?" – 3:31
- "Out in L.A." (Flea, Irons, Kiedis, Slovak) – 2:00
- "Police Helicopter" (Flea, Irons, Kiedis, Slovak) – 1:16
- "You Always Sing the Same" (listed as "You Always Sing" on later releases) (Flea, Irons, Kiedis, Slovak) – 0:19
- "Grand Pappy du Plenty" (Flea, Andy Gill, Kiedis, Martinez, Sherman) – 4:14
Bonus tracks on 2003 remastered version
- "Get Up and Jump" (demo) (Flea, Irons, Kiedis, Slovak) – 2:37
- "Police Helicopter" (demo) (Flea, Irons, Kiedis, Slovak) – 1:12
- "Out in LA" (demo) (Flea, Irons, Kiedis, Slovak) – 1:56
- "Green Heaven" (demo) (Flea, Irons, Kiedis, Slovak) – 3:50
- "What It Is" (a.k.a. "Nina's Song") (demo) (Flea, Kiedis) – 3:57
; Sloman, Larry Scar Tissue
. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 1-4013-0101-0.