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When the Red Hot Chili Peppers first burst on the pop music scene in the late 1980s, they were unlike anything anybody had ever seen. With a frenzied energy led by frontman Anthony Keidis and a sound that mixed funk, rap and rock, they hopped on stage wearing nothing but tube socks on their private parts and changed the game.
The original lineup of the Chili Peppers, led by Kiedis and bassist Flea, played throughout California during much of the mid-80s, but it was not until guitarist John Frusciante joined the band in the latter half of the decade that their career began to take off.
In 1989, the band released Mother's Milk, their first album with Frusciante on guitar and Chad Smith on the drums. The foursome proved to be the formula for success, as the album was a substantial hit thanks in large part to its cover of the Stevie Wonder track "Higher Ground" along with the funk-infused single "Good Time Boys." Over the next several years, RHCP became known for their one-of-a-kind live shows that not only featured unmatched energy, but often included Flea playing on stage with nothing but his bass covering him in all his glory.
The Chili Peppers became a household name with the release of Blood Sugar Sex Magik in 1991. The album, a critical success, included what remain some of their best hits such as "Give it Away," "Breaking the Girl," "Suck My Kiss" and "Under the Bridge," which unquestionably remains the band's anthem. "Give it Away" highlighted the band's alternative rapping style that Kiedis is known for.
Despite the success, Frusciante left the band due to personal struggles and in his absence, it was hard to recreate the talent and soul he brought to the band. After making it through the 90s, Frusciante rejoined the band at the end of the decade just in time to help them release their much-heralded comeback, 1999's Californication.
Californication marked a new era for the band and included some of their most commercially successful tunes. Along with the album's title track, "Scar Tissue," "Otherside" and "Road Trippin" all were substantial hits.
During the 2000s, few rock bands were bigger than the Chili Peppers. Along with Californication, 2002's By The Way remains an underappreciated masterpiece while the 2005 double album Stadium Arcadium was one of the most ambitious projects of the decade. The 2011 effort I'm With You marks the band's tenth studio album and represents a whole new starting point.
Though Frusciante has since left the band to pursue a solo career, the core of the band (Kiedis, Smith and Flea) remains steady, and with the talented Josh Klinghoffer in Frusciante's stead, the recent Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame inductees are hitting the road (and the air) to tour throughout Europe and the United States. So whether you reside in Gelsenkirchen, Germany; Sofia, Bulgaria or Houston, Texas, check out the RHCP's tour schedule and see when the legends are hittin' up a venue near you so that you can grab your Red Hot Chili Pepper concert tickets now.