Red Hot Chili Peppers: Ranking Their Albums From Worst To Best

1. Blood Sugar Sex Magik

Blood Sugar Sex Magik
EMI

What else? 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik is that rare album where everything fell into place nicely at the right place and the right time. The band finally had some kind of stability in the line-up which meant messrs Flea, Frusciante and Smith were pretty tight musically, Kiedis had become pretty handy at the whole frontman thing, and most importantly, they had been introduced to a certain Rick Rubin, who would push each member's own considerable talents into a whole new direction. What followed was 17 songs of near perfection.

What's remarkable about Blood Sugar Sex Magik is how fresh it still sounds more than two decades later. Much credit must go to Rubin for this, who realised that the Chilis unique brand of funk-rock was their greatest strength and brought back the funkiness after the more metal-tinged sound of previous release Mother's Milk. In a rock climate dominated by Nirvana, Guns N' Roses and Metallica, there was no mainstream band that sounded like this. Even now, the irresistible combination of Flea's squelchy bass-slapping and Frusicante's spiky riffs cement songs like The Power Of Equality, Funky Monks and Apache Rose Peacock as cornerstones of the funk-rock genre.

But turning up the funkiness isn't the only good Rubin did; he also encouraged the group to step outside their comfort zone and tread more melodic ground with more delicate tunes such as Breaking The Girl, I Could Have Lied and of course the album's breakout single Under The Bridge. The latter, derived from an old poem by Kiedis, is still a fine achievement even if it does suffer from years of overplay - Kiedis's intimate lyrics can definitely tug on the heart strings at the right moment and is pretty damn poignant from a man who once sang about partying on pussies.

Some rock albums become iconic over time, just think of the band's own heroes - Jimi Hendrix had Electric Ladyland, the Stones had Exile On Main St - and the Chilis have Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Simply put, one of the most important albums of the 90s.

Contributor
Contributor

Northern Irish man living and working in London. Heroes include Ledley King, James Ellroy and whoever invented elasticated sweatshorts. Follow me on Twitter - @MJLowry23

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