Red Hot Chili Peppers back in action

Nick Schmeichel

Nick Schmeichel

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have triumphed over many adversities to achieve a level of stardom not to be overlooked.

The death of original guitarist Hillel Slovak, multiple drug addictions, and many breakups have all had an impact on the band, which has been making music since 1983.

John Frusciante, Anthony Kiedis, Michael Balzary (Flea), and Chad Smith are now releasing their ninth studio album, “Stadium Arcadium.”

Again working with long-time friend and producer, Rick Rubin, the 28-track, double-disc album is hitting stores May 9. Thirty-eight songs were originally going to be released as three albums spaced out every six months, but the band decided to take the top 28 tracks and release them all at once.

According to Spin magazine, Kiedis said, “[Recording] was like Christmas every day. I’d get in the car at the end of rehearsal, and I’d stick in the CD that we’d recorded and be like, ‘Wow, I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to do with this, but I know it’s going to be great.’ “

The launch of “Dani California” marks the first single that has been released by the band since their 2001 multi-platinum album “By The Way.” “Dani California” is a representation of every girl that Kiedis has ever known. Other songs that have had the same depiction are song “By The Way,” with lyrics.”Dani the girl is singing songs to me beneath the marquee,” and the song “Californication,” with the lyrics “Teenage bride with a baby inside getting high on information.” All of these references are about “Dani California.”

Kiedis, Flea, Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons founded the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1983. The band acquired a following before releasing their first album due to their hectic live performances. The original lineup, however, did not last long because Irons and Slovak were committed to another band. After the release of their self-titled album and having problems with Slovak, Jack Sherman replaced Slovak on guitar. Slovak and Irons returned to the band in 1985.

After releasing albums “Freaky Styley” and “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan,” the band once again lost Slovak and Irons. Slovak continued to have drug problems throughout the band’s touring performances. In May 1988, Slovak was clean on the European tour and their problems seemed gone. However, on June 27, 1988, Slovak was found dead after overdosing on heroin. Irons refused to continue with the band after Slovak’s death.

“Mother’s Milk,” the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s fourth album, marked the first album completed with John Frusciante and Chad Smith. The songs on this breakthrough album are rarely played at their shows, the album took the Chili Peppers to the next level.

1991 propelled the Chili Peppers to where they are now, at the top, as one of the greatest bands of all time. “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” was released in September of 1991. “Give It Away” was the Chili Peppers’ first-ever number-one hit. Along with “Give It Away,” “Under the Bridge,” “Breaking the Girl,” and “Suck My Kiss” helped complete the 74-minute album. This also began the band’s relationship with Rick Rubin.

This album, however, almost tore the band apart. Frusciante was having difficulties dealing with the success, and in May of 1992, during the tour for their new album, Frusciante left the band. Frusciante soon developed a heavy heroin addiction, and the band was forced to replace Frusciante with Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro.

In the fall of 1995, the band released their sixth studio album, “One Hot Minute.” The album was the first and only album that Navarro would record with the Chili Peppers. The album was a flop compared to their previous attempts, and Navarro left the band in 1998 to focus on his own music.

After spending time in rehab, Frusciante returned to the band in 1998 after a visit from Flea. Frusciante, after nixing his drug habit and releasing two albums of his own material, was ready for the 1999 release of “Californication.” “Scar Tissue,” “Otherside,” and “Californication” propelled this album to the top of the charts. “Californication” produced the bands longest tour. After touring two years and performing in front of 200,000 people in Moscow, the band released their first concert DVD in 2001, “Off the Map.”

“By the Way,” the eighth studio album, was released in 2001. The album only produced two singles, “By the Way” and “Can’t Stop.” The album was the mellowest the band has ever released. After touring another two years, the band released their second concert DVD, “Live at Slane Castle.”

The band also released their first live album after the “By the Way” tour. “Live at Hyde Park” was recorded during their performance in London. According to Spin magazine, the three shows performed at Hyde Park set a world record for the highest-grossing concert event at a single venue in music history. The shows, sold out within a few hours, had an audience of 258,000. The shows produced $17,187,234 taking the record from the Bonnaroo Music Festival, which grossed about $14.5 million.

Kiedis also released his autobiography, “Scar Tissue,” in October of 2004. Kiedis talked deeply about his friends, music, battle with drugs, and the girls he has loved. The book also has the stories behind many of the Chili Peppers’ popular songs.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have proven themselves to be one of the greatest rock bands of all time. According to Rolling Stone magazine, John Frusciante is number 18 on the “Top 100 Guitarists” list, and Flea and Smith have been noted as some of the top musicians with their respective instruments. Kiedis has acquired exceptional taste when writing lyrics that display his tortured past and his astounding future.

According to an article in Spin magazine, Flea said, “[Stadium Arcadium] is a sum of everything we are as a band.”

Look for their ninth studio album in stores May 9. Judging by the past, the new album has a chance at being one of the top albums of the decade.