Review #186: Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Karla Clifton
4 min readOct 15, 2021

#186: Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Growing up, one of my friends’ parents loved mentioning how they saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert once and they were “terrible. Just awful.”

Well, I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers many years later, and they were amazing. Just fantastic. Flea did a handstand and then walked across the stage on his hands. I’d like to see that friend’s parents — who are about the same age as the bandmembers — do THAT.

However, they did NOT play “Under The Bridge,” which was a big bummer.

I’m obsessed with everything about this album. I love the album cover, I love Anthony Kiedis’ voice, and I love how the guitar seems to be actively trying to punch you in the face. Californication also made the cut, but part of me wishes By The Way or Stadium Arcadium were on the list. Honorable mention to their cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” on Mother’s Milk (an album cover they were sued for).

If you’re into band lore, RHCP has tons of it. In fact, they have a separate Wikipedia page called “List of Red Hot Chili Peppers band members.” Here, I’ll CliffNotes it for you: Jack Irons of Pearl Jam, Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction, & DeWayne McKnight of Parliament-Funkadelic. Everyone wants to be part of RHCP. If they need a subpar rhythm guitarist or backup singer, I’m available, guys!

Read Anthony Kiedis’ memoir Scar Tissue for just a little bit of the tea. John Frusciante is also a wild character — he joined as a teenager, and has been in and out of the group several times basically because of drugs.

Finally (and most importantly), drummer Chad Smith looks EXACTLY like actor Will Ferrell, and they once had a drum-off.


“The Power of Equality” People in pain, I do not dig it/Change of brain for Mr. Bigot. A message we can all get behind.

“If You Have To Ask” — I love how all these songs just flow right into each other.

“Breaking the Girl” — The funk songs on this rule, but I always thought the acoustic ones were kind of pretty too. I never realized how California these guys were back in high school.

“Funky Monks” — Anthony Kiedis’ inflection on all these songs is insane. I also love the disconnected breakdown at the end of the song.

“Suck My Kiss” Be my girl I’ll be your man! You have to listen to the Richard Cheese cover of this one.

“I Could Have Lied” — I’m such a sucker for the rolling fingerpicking guitar thing.

“The Righteous & the Wicked” — Honestly, I can’t fathom how someone consistently comes up with guitar parts like this. John Frusciante is a complete freak of nature.

“Give It Away” — Have you guys seen them do this one on The Simpsons? Maybe they should change the lyrics permanently to What I’d like is I’d like to hug and kiss ya. Everyone can enjoy that!

“Blood Sugar Sex Magik” — “Karla, there is NO WAY they’re gonna play that song,” my friend finally said to me after I screamed for it the fifth time. He was right.

“Under the Bridge” — This was originally a poem Anthony Kiedis wrote about doing drugs under a bridge. Can you BELIEVE they didn’t play this?

“Naked In The Rain” — This bassline! Flea is doing some work here! Did you know that he’s the feral kid on The Wild Thornberrys? God, I wish I was a Red Hot Chili Pepper so bad.

“Apache Rose Peacock” — Similar theme to “Lola” by The Kinks, but much, much weirder.

“My Lovely Man” — Why aren’t I a teenage guitar prodigy?

“Sir Psycho Sexy” — This album gets more and more unhinged as it goes on.

“They’re Red Hot” — Haha what fun! This is a quick-and-dirty cover of Robert Johnson’s song of the same name. I love when the final song on an album is also the most insane.


“The Greeting Song” — I’m putting this one here because Anthony Kiedis has basically said that he hates it, but I kind of dig it. The guitar is so fun and fast!


This album should replace Sex Ed in American public schools.

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