3 Songs for People Who Say They Don’t Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers

When the Los Angeles-born band Red Hot Chili Peppers burst onto the scene in the 1980s they provided a new and fresh blend of sounds. Part-rock, part-spoken word (or even rap), the group was funky and brash. Oh, and they wore socks in places that socks weren’t usually worn. For the band that featured bassist Flea and lead singer Anthony Kiedis, the sky has always been the limit.

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Yet, somehow some say they aren’t a fan of the group. Perhaps they’re too popular. Perhaps they’re too nontraditional. Whatever the reason, here below we wanted to create this list to showcase a trio of songs from the Peppers that we think any music fan can get behind. Indeed, these are three songs for people who say they don’t like the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

[RELATED: The Meaning Behind “I Could Have Lied” by Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Alleged Relationship that Inspired It]

“Under the Bridge” from Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)

A heart-on-the sleeve song about drug addiction and isolation, this song is as emotional as it is affective. Released in 1991 from the band’s breakout LP Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the track has become one of the group’s most famous songs. It even features drummer John Frusciante’s mother singing the operatic background vocals. If someone hears this track and says they dislike it, they probably hate all music. On the indelible offering, Kiedis sings,

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a partner
Sometimes I feel like my only friend
Is the city I live in, the city of angels
Lonely as I am, together we cry
I drive on her streets ’cause she’s my companion
I walk through her hills ’cause she knows who I am
She sees my good deeds and she kisses me windy
Well, I never worry, now that is a lie

“Scar Tissue” from Californication (1999)

In 1999, the Red Hot Chili Peppers had a moment. The group hadn’t put out a record in four years (One Hot Minute), but when they dropped Californication at the end of the decade, all of a sudden they were everywhere thanks, in part, to the song “Scar Tissue.” On it, the band offers a blend of pop and rock that almost goes near Americana—there is just something classic about it and that fact was evident as soon as the album came out. It’s numinous, familiar. On this single, Kiedis sings,

Scar tissue that I wish you saw
Sarcastic mister know-it-all
Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you, ’cause
With the birds I’ll share

With the birds I’ll share this lonely viewin’
With the birds I’ll share this lonely viewin’

“Black Summer” from Unlimited Love (2022)

In 2022, the Red Hot Chili Pappers released two albums. One of those, Unlimited Love, featured this single “Black Summer.” And while the track may not be as popular or well known as the two songs above, it is just as deep, just as gripping. Over the past four decades, the band has honed its abilities. You can feel the shorthand among them—the talent, the refinement. They’re at the top of their game in the same way a veteran basketball team can be, throwing no-look passes to each other. On this standout song, Kiedis sings,

A lazy rain am I
The skies refuse to cry
Cremation takes its piece of your supply
The night is dressed like noon
A sailor spoke too soon
And China’s on the dark side of the moon

Platypus are a few
The secret life of roo
A personality I never knew (get it on)
My Greta weighs a ton
The archers on the run
And no one stands alone behind the sun

It’s been a long time since I made a new friend
Waitin’ on another black summer to end
It’s been a long time and you never know when
Waitin’ on another black summer to end

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Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

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