Record of the Day: Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Greatest Hits"

Record of the Day: Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Greatest Hits”

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Greatest Hits (Cd Warner Bros.936248596-2)

Like many bands of the generation following the Police (REM, Jamiroquai, Radiohead, etc.) the Red Hot Chili Peppers
they manage to demonstrate all their ability mainly on stage, while on record they have difficulty sustaining the entire duration of a work from a compositional point of view.
Their albums (but also those of too many old lions) always contain three or four excellent songs followed by pieces of much more modest caliber that act as filler, even if it must be said that once performed in concert even the less successful songs take on a enthralling that relegates their not particularly brilliant writing to the background.

A collection of all their greatest hits is therefore the ideal dimension to get to know this famous formation at the height of its ability, avoiding missteps given that all the songs contained in this compilation are of a high level.

The group's music cannot be simply defined as rock since it is linked to different musical worlds, from blues to rap, within which funk plays the main role; they managed to maintain a strong compactness of sound despite the continuous rotation of musicians within the group.
Thanks to a rock-solid rhythm section, the Peppers are able to shake up the most difficult audience with a wealth of rough guitars, simple riffs on bass ostinatos that never let go and choruses that hit the mark from the first listen.

Chad Smith's drums and Flea's bass are inextricably intertwined into a single body that shows no signs of slowing down, while John Frusciante's guitar demonstrates equal skill in both solo and rhythmic excursions; Anthony Kiedis' voice is not lost in subtleties and authoritatively stands up to the rhythmic hurricane that the group manages to create in its best moments, often moving on long steps of bass and drums without chords.

All the songs that have conquered the world charts are present, from “Suck My Kiss” to “Californication” passing through the good cover of Stevie Wonder's “Higher Ground” (which however does not bear comparison with the original or with the fantastic version by Stevie Ray Vaughan).

Carlo Boccadoro, composer and conductor, was born in Macerata in 1963. He lives and works in Milan. He collaborates with soloists and orchestras in different parts of the world. He is the author of numerous books on musical topics.

This text is taken from “Lunario della musica: A record for every day of the year” published by Einaudi, courtesy of the author and the publisher.