What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
Blood Sugar Sex Magik is the fifth studio album by American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, released on September 24, 1991.
Produced by Rick Rubin (who produced all of the Johnny Cash American Recordings that I listened to yesterday). Unlike the Peppers' previous producers, Rubin was someone that they felt confident to ask for guidance and input during times of difficulty. He would often help arrange drum beats, guitar melodies and lyrics.
The musical styles of Blood Sugar Sex Magik differed notably from the techniques employed on the Chili Peppers' preceding album, Mother's Milk, and featured little use of heavy metal guitar riffs. Kiedis began to write about anguish, and the self mutilating thoughts he would experience as a result of his heroin and cocaine addiction; he believed his life had come to its lowest point under a bridge in downtown Los Angeles. Rubin stumbled upon a poem that would become the lyrics to "Under the Bridge", and suggested Kiedis show it to the rest of the band. Kiedis was, however, apprehensive because he believed the lyrics to be "too soft" and unlike the band's style.
Flea, who had centered his bass playing around the slapping technique, downplayed on this in favor of more traditional and melodic bass lines. One specific jam would lead to the breakout song on the album: Frusciante, Flea and Smith were all playing together—with Kiedis at another part of the room watching—when "...Flea started playing this insane bass line, and Chad cracked up and played along...I always had fragments of song ideas or even specific isolated phrases in my mind. I (Kiedis) took the mic and belted out 'Give it away, give it away, give it away, give it away now." Originally, "Give it Away" did not fare well in the mainstream; several of Warner Bros.' target radio stations refused to air it, telling the band to "come back to us when you have a melody in your song." KROQ (of Los Angeles), however, began to play the single several times daily, and that, according to Kiedis, "was the beginning of the infusion of 'Give It Away' into mass consciousness."
The band sought to record the album in an unconventional setting, believing it would enhance their creative output. Rubin suggested the mansion magician Harry Houdini once lived in, to which they agreed. A crew was hired to set up a recording studio and other equipment required for production in the house. The band decided that they would remain inside the mansion for the duration of recording, though Smith, convinced the location was haunted, refused to stay. Frusciante agreed with Smith, and said "There are definitely ghosts in the house," but Frusciante felt they were "very friendly. We have nothing but warm vibes and happiness everywhere we go in this house." For over thirty days, the Chili Peppers worked inside the house. Flea's brother-in-law documented the creative process on film. When the album's recording was complete, the Chili Peppers released the film, titled Funky Monks.
Blood Sugar Sex Magik produced an array of hit singles including the hugely successful "Under the Bridge" and one of their most popular songs, "Give It Away". The other three singles released were "Suck My Kiss", "Breaking the Girl", and "If You Have to Ask".
Guitarist John Frusciante quit the band mid-tour in 1992 (not returning until 1998) due to his inability to cope with the album's popularity. Steve Huey of AllMusic stated that Blood Sugar Sex Magik is "...probably the best album the Chili Peppers will ever make."
Blood Sugar Sex Magik is ranked number 310 on Rolling Stone's the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time".
I was stationed in California in 1991 and remember hearing RHCP on KROQ... they still rock.
After the Stray Cats broke up, Brian Setzer took a long walk from his rockabilly past with his first solo album, 1986's The Knife Feels Like Justice, but while it was a fine LP and a modest success, later that year the Stray Cats reunited for the first of many times to record Rock Therapy, and by the time Setzer made his way back to the studio on his own, he'd seemingly grown tired of his new heartland rock gestures and dove back into the retro style that had made his name.
While 1988's Live Nude Guitars leans toward rockabilly and uptempo roots rock, the production (mostly by Setzer and Larson Paine, though Dave Stewart and Chris Thomas work on a few tracks) is a lot slicker than anything the Stray Cats ever put to wax, and the big, glossy sound of "Rockability," "Red Lightning Blues," and "She Thinks I'm Trash" tends to work against the songs, and the synthesizer line and drum machine on "When the Sky Comes Tumblin' Down" are simply cringe-inducing.
Setzer does offer a few flashes of the more contemplative direction of The Knife Feels Like Justice on "Every Tear That Falls" and "Love Is Repaid by Love Alone," but they don't work especially well in this context, and the widescreen ballad "The Rain Washed Everything Away" is an odd closer for the album.
Setzer demonstrates some typically fine guitar work on Live Nude Guitars, but it's a creative hodgepodge that desperately needs a cleaner focus, and suggests he was in need of a new creative direction; the next time Setzer was heard from as a solo artist, he was fronting his big band, the Brian Setzer Orchestra.
Ugh... I've been searching for "X - Los Angeles" on vinyl for months. I prefer finding used albums in a record store, but I broke down and ordered a shrink-wrapped reissue. It arrived in the mail today.
And then I went to my local record shop today and guess what they have on the shelf...
Yep, a nice vintage copy of "X- Los Angeles" at half the price.
Tempted to send back the new one and go buy the used one. It's not the price that matters to me, it just seems more rewarding to find one by hunting instead of just clicking. And I guess I'm weird to prefer a touch of ring wear on the cover vs shrink wrap.