The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a band that needs no introduction.
Since forming in Los Angeles in 1983, they have become one of the most iconic and influential rock bands of all time.
With a unique blend of funk, rock, and punk, this Californian group has created a sound that is truly their own and has sold over 80 million records worldwide.
In this article, we will list the 35 most popular Red Hot Chili Peppers songs ever, based on their popularity and impact on the music industry.
From their early hits like Give It Away and Under the Bridge to their more recent tracks like Dark Necessities, Go Robot and Black Summer these are the songs that have solidified the “Funky Monks” as one of the greatest bands of all time.
With over 1000 million views this song needs no presentation, just by listening to the first seconds you will recognize it.
Released in 1999, Californication gave the name to the album and got a hit in a short time.
By featuring crystal-clear guitars and smooth vocals this track describes the plasticity and desperation in the society covered by the “American Dream”.
This piece became also popular due to its video clip which was really innovative back in the 2000s.
2. By The Way
From the 2002 album of the same name, this song is one of those that describes the band perfectly: chanting and emotional sections combined with catchy and energetic choruses.
According to lead singer Anthony Kiedis, the track introduces “Dani” who represents every girl he has known in his life.
3. Can’t Stop
2002 was a great year for the Chili Peppers, this track is also part of the album By The Way and just like the previous song is much loved by fans.
The lyrics of the piece comprise random phrases connected creatively.
That’s why the listener doesn’t have much to understand just feel the funky, muted rhythm and enjoy.
Fortunately for the majority of devoted fanatics, this song is played in 99% of their live concerts.
4. Dani California
In 2006 the group released a double album titled Stadium Arcadium and the first single was Dani California.
The track alludes to a girl named Dani who has a hard life, she is pregnant, robs banks, and takes drugs.
However, Kiedis meant to highlight that her life was that difficult because she was born in such a turmoil place like California.
This tune became a hit that sounded on every radio station at the time of its release and became really acclaimed thanks to the video clip.
5. Around The World
Coming back to 1999, we have the first track of the album Californication.
The formula of the song is simple, a crazy groundbreaking intro full of distortion combined with a funky verse plus an anthemic chorus.
The piece describes different places on the planet throughout the lyrics, showing the fascination Anthony has for them.
Leaving Frusciante’s recording aside, we have a song from the most obscure Chili Peppers’ album: One Hot Minute. In this 1995 album, Dave Navarro was in charge of the guitars but the funky is not lost at all and this song is a very good example.
Featuring strong, thick basses and bright rhythmic chords this piece is inspired by a blues song called Jesus Is My Aeroplane.
The title evokes how the members feel regarding music, a power that takes them to an elevated place.
7. Snow (Hey Oh)
The second track of Stadium Arcadium is perhaps one of the most remembered hits by the public.
Although the vocals sound melancholic and sweet, the song has a deeper meaning that may surprise the listeners.
Snow (Hey Oh) references cocaine and China White heroin, white and powdery drugs that were used by Anthony Kiedis.
8. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
After five years without new recordings, guitar player Josh Klinghoffer joined the group and the Funky Monks create the wonderful album I’m With You in 2011.
The track was the first single and consists of a smooth bass line and a cheerful chorus.
The meaning of the song is just a compilation of memories of the singer and the people he has met throughout his life.
The album Californication is plenty of hits and Otherside is not an exception.
The song is inspired by a dream or nightmare Kiedis had and the meaning is related to drug abuse.
The video clip was influenced by the style of the famous painter Picasso.
Otherside is the second most viewed Red Hot Chili Peppers song on YouTube reaching more than 600 million plays.
10. My Friends
Coming back to the 1995 album, this song deals with themes such as friendship and loss.
A nostalgic, sweet track that comprises acoustic guitars, mellow vocals, and vigorous emotion.
11. Give It Away
Here we have a song from the album that made the band famous for the first time.
Back in 1991, the Peppers released the album Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and Give It Away is one the most popular track from that recording.
This incredible piece offers a rapped verse plus funky guitar and bass.
The song seems not to have a specific or deep meaning, just highlights a way of thinking connected to the phrase “the more you give, the more you receive”.
12. Dark Necessities
Up to this point, everyone knows this catchy track. Back in 2016, the group released Dark Necessities the first single of their eleventh studio album The Getaway.
As you may think and likewise many other Chili Peppers songs, this piece alludes to the use of substances and dark temptations.
13. Under The Bridge
Once you listen to the soft Frusciante guitar intro, you will instantly know that is about Under The Bridge.
This anthemic song takes part in the 1991 album Blood Sugar Sex Magik and became a flagship of the band.
With quiet vocals accompanied by a bright-sounding guitar, the song tells about Kiedis’ memories in the city of Los Angeles, where he had a rough time and literally lived under a bridge.
14. Scar Tissue
Scar Tissue was released as the second single from their 1999 album Californication.
The track addresses the theme of drug addiction and the personal struggles that individuals may experience as they work towards sobriety.
The song’s upbeat guitar melody creates a contrast with the more heavy and emotional lyrics written by Kiedis, who has personally struggled with addiction.
The lyrics provide insight into the difficult and isolating journey toward recovery.
15. Behind The Sun
This catchy song from their third album The Uplift Mofo Party Plan was released as a single in 1987.
The track features a funky, upbeat sound with lyrics that explore themes of love and loss.
Apart from the mentioned themes, this song tells the story of a trip to Mexico that Kiedis made with a friend and both were under the effects of drugs.
16. Zephyr Song
17. Suck My Kiss
18. Higher Ground
20. Knock Me Down
21. Go Robot
22. Black Summer
23. Factory of Faith
24. Hump de Bump
25. Soul to Squeeze
26. Look Around
27. Me and My Friends
28. Road Trippin’
29. Tell Me Baby
30. Breaking The Girl
31. Parallel Universe
32. Desecration Smile
33. Sick Love
34. Monarchy Of Roses
35. True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes
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