One Hot Minute
One Hot Minute is the sixth studio album by the American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, released on September 12, 1995, on Warner Bros. Records. The worldwide success of the band's previous album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991), caused guitarist John Frusciante to become uncomfortable with their status, eventually quitting mid-tour in 1992. Vocalist Anthony Kiedis, who had resumed addictions to cocaine and heroin in 1994 after being sober for more than five years, approached his lyricism with a reflective outlook on drugs and their harsh effects.
|One Hot Minute|
Original album artwork by Mark Ryden
|Studio album by Red Hot Chili Peppers|
|Released||September 12, 1995|
|Recorded||June 1994–February 1995|
|Studio||The Sound Factory, Hollywood, California|
|Genre||Funk metal, alternative rock, hard rock, psychedelic rock|
|Red Hot Chili Peppers chronology|
|Singles from One Hot Minute|
One Hot Minute was a commercial disappointment despite producing three hit singles and reaching number four on the Billboard 200 chart. It sold fewer than half as many copies as Blood Sugar Sex Magik and received much less critical acclaim. Navarro was ultimately fired from the band in 1998 due to creative differences.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers had released Blood Sugar Sex Magik in 1991. The album was an instant hit, selling over seven million copies in the United States, and turned the band into an international sensation. Guitarist John Frusciante was having difficulty coping with the band's newfound fame and started to dislike it. Frusciante often argued with his bandmates, and sabotaged performances. He began taking heroin and steadily increased his usage of the drug over time. Frusciante quit the band in 1992, during its Japanese leg of the tour. He returned to his home in California and became a recluse.
Stunned, the remaining Chili Peppers, who had no suitable replacement for Frusciante, hired Arik Marshall to play the remaining dates after being forced to reschedule. Upon returning to Hollywood, the band placed an ad in the L.A. Weekly for open guitar auditions, which Kiedis considered to be a waste of time. After several months of unsuccessfully looking for a suitable guitarist, drummer Chad Smith suggested Dave Navarro. He had always been the band's first choice, but had been too busy following the 1991 breakup of Jane's Addiction. Navarro eventually accepted the position after productive jam sessions.
Recording and productionEdit
Kiedis knew that the band's sound would inevitably change when Navarro joined. In June 1994, the band entered The Sound Factory, a recording studio in Los Angeles, to record the album. The band completed a few basic tracks, when Kiedis began having difficulty singing. He had been through a dental procedure in which an addictive sedative, Valium, was used; this caused him to relapse, and he once again became dependent on drugs. Kiedis had slipped from five years of sobriety and began reusing narcotics he'd sworn never to use again. The band took a short break from recording to perform at Woodstock '94, which was the first show Navarro played with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
After resuming production, Navarro questioned the methods of the Chili Peppers' recording procedures. He wondered why such a considerable amount of jamming was involved with the album's conception. Various qualms followed, and the process soon became uncomfortable for the band. Months went by, and only small amounts of material were written. Kiedis made a trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan in December, where his family realized he'd resumed an active addiction once again. He returned to Hollywood in late January 1995, when he finally finished recording his vocals. The rest of the recording was completed within the next month.
Writing and compositionEdit
Sample of "Warped", the first single from the album; it incorporated prominent heavy metal riffs and among the darkest lyrics throughout the record.
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Sample of "Aeroplane", the third single from One Hot Minute, which included Flea's daughter and her kindergarten class singing background vocals.
Considering Kiedis had resumed heavy drug use and Frusciante was no longer present for collaboration, songs were written at a far slower rate. Working with Frusciante had been something Kiedis took for granted: "John Frusciante had been a true anomaly when it came to song writing. He made it even easier than Hillel Slovak to create music, even though I'd known Hillel for years. I just figured that was how all guitar players were, that you showed them your lyrics and sang a little bit and the next thing you knew you had a song. That didn't happen right off the bat with Dave." Drummer Chad Smith suggested it was writer's block that was holding Kiedis back from coming up with lyrics, however Kiedis strongly denied this. With the writing process taking too much time and Kiedis returning to his drug habit, Flea for the first time on any of the band's albums, besides contributing music as usual, took over and wrote some of the song's lyrics, including "Transcending", his tribute to River Phoenix along with the intro and outro to "Deep Kick", a song that told the story of his and Kiedis's youth. Also for the first time on any album, Flea contributed lead vocals which he performed on his solo track titled "Pea".
Stylistically, One Hot Minute diverged from the Chili Peppers' previous records—especially Blood Sugar Sex Magik. The album was characterized by prominent use of heavy metal guitar riffs and hints of psychedelic rock. Navarro, unlike Flea and Kiedis, was not influenced by funk music. He told Guitar World in 1996, "It doesn't really speak to me. But then again, when I'm playing with three other guys who I love and feel camaraderie with, it's enjoyable to play funk." Navarro's own style was influenced mainly by classic rock guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, as well as gothic rock guitarists Robert Smith and Daniel Ash. Continuing a trend that started on Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Kiedis diverged even further away from his signature rapping, only doing so on a few tracks. One Hot Minute took almost two years to write, and its recording and production was not a smooth process. Navarro felt as though he was an outsider to the other members. His writing in Jane's Addiction was independent from other contributors, whereas the Red Hot Chili Peppers was a far more collaborative group. Navarro himself noted that the band's dynamic was more balanced than that of Jane's Addiction, which was often dominated by frontman Perry Farrell.
Overall, One Hot Minute lyrically confronted the dark, melancholy and remorseful feelings Kiedis kept to himself. Many of the songs were written at a time when he was hiding his resumed addiction. "Warped" directly faced Kiedis's distraught moods as a hysterical cry for help: "My tendency for dependency is offending me/It's upending me/I'm pretending to be strong and free from my dependency/It's warping me." He also felt disappointed that "no one had suspected that I'd slipped from my more than five years of sobriety." The track itself was composed of heavy guitar riffs and echoing vocals which attempted to convey a distressed state. "Aeroplane", the album's third single, was more upbeat than many of the album's songs; but it still contained various references to Kiedis's personal issues: "Looking into my own eyes/I can't find the love I want/Someone better slap me before I start to rust/before I start to decompose." The song also featured Flea's daughter Clara and her kindergarten class singing backing vocals on the last verse.
"Tearjerker" was a tribute to Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain. Kiedis felt Cobain's death "was an emotional blow, and we all felt it. I don't know why everyone on earth felt so close to that guy; he was beloved and endearing and inoffensive in some weird way. For all of his screaming and all of his darkness, he was just lovable." "My Friends" addressed more of Kiedis' own somber thoughts rather than those of "his friends": "My friends are so distressed/And standing on the brink of emptiness/No words I know of to express/This emptiness."
Promotion and releaseEdit
While piecing together the final components of the album, the band recorded a video for "Warped". They asked Flea's brother-in-law, Gavin Bowden, to direct it. The video involved Kiedis and Navarro kissing towards the end as a way of breaking the monotony of cumbersome video recording. Thinking nothing of it, they continued to shoot and finished several days later. Warner Bros., however, saw the video and instantly wanted it thrown away, considering it to be unmarketable and that the kiss would alienate a large portion of the band's fan base. The band came to a consensus to let the kiss remain on the final cut, prompting a backlash from the college segment of their audience, who took offense at the action. Kiedis said of the situation: "If they couldn't accept what we were doing, we didn't need them anymore."
One Hot Minute was released September 12, 1995. It was certified Gold just more than two months later on November 11; since then it has gone Double Platinum in the United States. The album peaked at number four on the Billboard Top 200. "My Friends" peaked at number one on the Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts. The song also peaked at number 29 on the UK Singles Chart, and "Aeroplane" at number 11. Several days following the album's release, Kiedis continued to use drugs despite the numerous interviews he was scheduled to attend.
|Los Angeles Times|||
One Hot Minute was not as universally well received as Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and was ultimately considered to be a poor follow-up. It did however receive mixed to positive reviews from critics. Daina Darzin of Rolling Stone said "One Hot Minute dives into the emotionally deep end of drug addiction and loss", and that the album "is a ferociously eclectic and imaginative disc that also presents the band members as more thoughtful, spiritual—even grown-up. After a 10 plus-year career, they're realizing their potential at last." David Browne of Entertainment Weekly said that "One Hot Minute wails and flails like a mosh-pit workout tape, but it also has moments of outright subtlety and maturity." He goes on to praise Kiedis for "keeping his boorish tendencies under control." Browne, however, criticizes the band for "attempts at cosmic philosophy which often trip up on hippie-dippie sentiments", and some songs "fall back on tired frat-funk flop sweat." "The Peppers work their own little patch with considerable expertise," wrote Peter Kane in Q. "The incoming Navarro rarely fails to deliver the goods and upfront the taut ball of energy going by the name of Anthony Kiedis still makes for a suitably rubbery-lipped frontman, if not exactly a lovable one." Q also included One Hot Minute in its 'best of the year' roundup: "A bulging, blistering blend of a skewed ballads and physically intimidating workouts that charge around like a bull on a promise."
AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that "following up Blood Sugar Sex Magik proved to be a difficult task for the Red Hot Chili Peppers", and "Navarro's metallic guitar shredding should have added some weight to the Chili Peppers' punk-inflected heavy-guitar funk, but tends to make it plodding." Erlewine went on to add that "by emphasizing the metal, the funk is gradually phased out of the blend, as is melody." Robert Christgau gave the album a rating of "dud".
"My Friends" was considered by Erlewine to be a blatant attempt to hold on to the mainstream audience gained by "Under the Bridge", and that in contrast, "the melodies are weak and the lyrics are even more feeble." The song also "tries to be a collective hug for all [of Kiedis's] troubled pals." Rolling Stone, on the other hand, said the song was "lovely", and incorporated a "vaguely folky chorus, and sports the same sad wishfulness of 'Under the Bridge' and 'Breaking the Girl'." The article went on to praise "Warped" claiming it "mixes harrowing lyrics with a multi-toned, layered intro and a whirling dervish of noises and big-rock rhythms surfing through and over big, funky hooks. It's like, well, a drug rush." Rolling Stone went on to say that the title track was "funky and fun. It's about love and sex. What the hell. Some things don't have to change." Entertainment Weekly said "some of these songs last a little too long and could have benefited from a trimming", though they credited Kiedis for sounding "nearly spiritual" on "Falling into Grace".
Unreleased Deep Kick documentaryEdit
In 1994 and 1995 the band, along with director Gavin Bowden, began work on a documentary titled "Deep Kick", named after the third track on the album. The documentary was expected to be similar to Funky Monks, which documented the making of band's 1991 album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik although it would also feature mini-films intercut featuring each member of the band. Some footage from the documentary has been released on the internet including Anthony's segment along with a segment of the band with The Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting for the Man" playing over the footage. Footage from the in-studio version of the "My Friends" music video also came from this shoot. It is unknown if the project was ever completed and if it was, why Warner never released it.
One Hot Minute tourEdit
The One Hot Minute tour began several days after the release of the album. The band opened the tour with a European leg. Kiedis felt that as a musician, he was becoming somewhat lackluster. The short European leg ended in early November, and the U.S. portion was scheduled to begin 10 days later; however, it was postponed until early February. A few shows into the commencement of the U.S. leg, Kiedis badly injured his leg while engaging in what he calls "eyes-closed robotic dancing". He tripped over a monitor and fell off the stage, ending up hanging by his calf from his microphone cable, resulting in a cast which he wore for the next two months. Kiedis reflected that it "was nice to see that people were still interested in coming out to see what we do", as there had been a four-year gap since the release of Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Following the conclusion of the U.S. tour, the Chili Peppers took two weeks off before several Australia and New Zealand performances. The band then played at the Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco, before finishing the tour in Europe.
Kiedis had remained sober the entire tour and maintained positive disposition during shows. Navarro, however, was growing tired of touring, and that was beginning to grate on his fellow band-mates. Kiedis suffered an additional injury in Prague after falling off the stage while attempting to execute a back flip. He was forced to wear a back brace for the next few shows, which restricted his actions to the area around his microphone. After shows in Paris and London, the band returned home to Los Angeles. Kiedis began taking drugs once again, though he forced himself to discontinue after several weeks. The band was then asked to play in the North Pole for roughly 100 contest winners of a concert set up by Molson, a Canadian beer company. While the show was mildly motivating to the band, they returned home after two days.
Months went by without any scheduled concerts due to the album's poor sales. Following another relapse and a stint in rehab, Kiedis and the rest of the band prepared for a summer tour, their first in almost seven months. Before the tour could begin, Kiedis had an accident on his motorcycle and was rushed to the hospital after severely injuring his hand. Due to his drug addiction, it took seven doses of morphine before the pain was assuaged. Following discharge from the hospital, he was forced to wear a full-arm cast for several months, resulting in the cancellation of all remaining scheduled concerts. Halfway through Kiedis's recovery, the band was asked to play the Fuji Rock Festival in July 1997. By that time, Kiedis's cast had receded down to the elbow and he felt well enough to play. A large typhoon had been forecast to hit the festival several hours before the show. The concert took place anyway, and when the Chili Peppers got on stage to play, the audience was being soaked in torrential rains, and the band found it virtually impossible to play their instruments. After eight songs, the lighting and sound equipment was torn from the stage and the band was obliged to an impromptu finish.
Returning home, the Chili Peppers parted ways and, for the most part, remained secluded from each other through the rest of 1997. No new material was written during that time, and it was not until the beginning of 1998 that the band began rehearsal. At that point, Navarro had become dependent on drugs, with Kiedis also struggling to remain clean. The band decided they would have a talk with Navarro and attempt to convince him to enter rehab. The discussion escalated into a heated dispute, and Navarro fell over an amplifier in a drug-induced daze. In April 2010, Navarro discussed this incident, stating that: "One [of the reasons I was fired] was [because of] my drug use at the time. The other was musical differences. Anthony says it was because I tripped and fell over an amp while on drugs. I say that he was on more drugs than me at that point. We both had a loose relationship with reality. Who do you want to believe?"
The band made an attempt to begin writing for a follow-up and had written and began recording one song titled "Circle of the Noose", but it was never completed or officially released. The song, which is the last to feature guitar work from Navarro prior to his departure, was a tribute to the late qawwali-devotional singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Navarro described the song as totally pop, dirge-like and said the song was one of the favorite songs he had done with the band. He said "The best way I can describe it is it's like pepped- up '60s folk with '90s ideals, but I would hate to label it as folk because it's not, it moves." On June 7, 2011, Navarro was asked by a Chili Peppers fan on his blog about "Circle of the Noose" and said he didn't have the recordings but would love to hear them. Flea was also asked in 2011 through his Twitter page about the song and was shocked that anyone knew about it. He responded by saying "Holy cow! how in the hell do you know about that? It had a sample of nusrat fateh Ali khan in it...never was finished". On February 3, 2016, a rough mix of "Circle of the Noose", which had been recorded on March 16, 1998, was leaked to the internet. Dave Navarro tweeted "WOW what a trip down memory lane" in response to the leak.
At this point in 1998, Kiedis and Flea decided it was time to fire their guitarist. Navarro was furious when confronted by Kiedis and Flea, but eventually accepted his termination. The Chili Peppers were fighting, and on the verge of breaking up. Flea was beginning to question the band's future and thought it may be necessary to break the band up. He made one last attempt to keep the band together, asking Frusciante to rejoin. Frusciante had recently completed a drug rehabilitation program after more than five years of heroin addiction, and gladly accepted the invitation.
During the tour for One Hot Minute, all songs from the album except “One Hot Minute”, “Tearjerker” and “Falling Into Grace” were played. Those three songs have never been played live by the band. As of 2016, “Pea” and “Aeroplane” are the only songs from One Hot Minute that the Red Hot Chili Peppers have played in full since Dave Navarro left the band. The band however did tease "My Friends", “Let's Make Evil” and "Walkabout" during the I'm With You World Tour. Chad Smith was asked by fans during a February 2014 online interview about the band's reasons behind not performing the songs and he responded by saying "We don't really feel that connected to that record anymore. No special reason, not to say we would never play those songs but we don't feel that emotionally connected to that music right now."
- All songs written by Red Hot Chili Peppers (Flea, Kiedis, Navarro, Smith).
|7.||"One Big Mob"||6:02|
|10.||"One Hot Minute"||6:23|
|11.||"Falling into Grace"||3:48|
|12.||"Shallow Be Thy Game"||4:33|
|Japanese edition bonus track|
|iTunes Bonus Tracks|
|14.||"Let's Make Evil"||5:17|
|15.||"Stretch You Out"||6:18|
Twenty-one songs from the One Hot Minute sessions are known to exist. Thirteen made it to the final cut of the album. "Melancholy Mechanics" was released as a bonus track on the Japanese pressing of the album, as well as a b-side to the "Warped" single and "Let's Make Evil" and "Stretch" (originally a song that was connected onto the end of "One Big Mob") were released on the "My Friends" single. "Bob" (a song about close friend Bob Forrest) would finally surface eleven years later as a iTunes bonus track in 2006. The song features percussion by Stephen Perkins. "Blender" was one of two songs ("Stretch" being the other) that was dropped from the album's final cut at the last minute. The song has never been released. "I Found Out", a cover song originally recorded by John Lennon was released on the 1995 album Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon. It is unconfirmed if the song was recorded during the album sessions although many speculate it was because Rick Rubin produced the song. "The Intimidator" and "Slow Funk", two songs mentioned in interviews by Chad Smith have never been released. It is unknown if either song was a working title for another released song. An unsequenced/unmastered version of the album exists which features extended jams, more lyrics, longer intros/outros and some studio chatter.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Flea – bass guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Pea" and co-lead vocals on "Deep Kick"
- Anthony Kiedis – lead vocals
- Dave Navarro – guitars, backing vocals
- Chad Smith – drums
- Keith "Tree" Barry – violin on "Tearjerker"
- Jimmy Boyle – backing vocals on "One Big Mob"
- Louis Mathieu - backing vocals on "One Big Mob"
- Lenny Castro – percussion on "Walkabout", "My Friends", "One Hot Minute", "Deep Kick", and "Tearjerker"
- Aimee Echo – backing vocals on "One Hot Minute", "One Big Mob"
- Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa – chants on "Falling into Grace"
- John Lurie – harmonica on "One Hot Minute"
- Stephen Perkins – percussion on "One Big Mob", "Warped" and "Bob" (iTunes bonus track)
- Kristen Vigard – backing vocals on "Falling into Grace"
- Gabriel James Navarro - crying on "One Big Mob"
- The Aeroplane Kids - backing vocals on "Aeroplane"
- Stephen Marcussen – mastering engineer
- Rick Rubin – producer
- Dave Sardy – mixing engineer, recording engineer
- Dave Schiffman – engineer
- Don C. Tyler – digital editor
- Mark Ryden – album artwork
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||2|
|Canadian Albums (Billboard)||6|
|Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)||1|
|French Albums (SNEP)||3|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||2|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||1|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||2|
|UK Albums (OCC)||2|
|US Billboard 200||4|
|1995||"Warped"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||13|
|Modern Rock Tracks||7|
|"My Friends"||Modern Rock Tracks||1|
|Mainstream Rock Tracks||1|
|1996||"Aeroplane"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||12|
|Modern Rock Tracks||8|
|Top 40 Mainstream||30|
|France (SNEP)||Platinum||387,100 *|
|United States (RIAA)||2× Platinum||2,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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