Collectibles #2: Red Hot Chili Peppers Californication (1999)
This is the album that brought Red Hot Chili Peppers back into the limelight. RHCP weathered a tumultous decade in the 1990s, which saw the arrival of guitarist John Frusciante in 1989 and his departure just 3 years later, as well as the changing of three guitarists (Arik Marshall, Jesse Tobias and Dave Navarro) to their lineup.
Californication marked the return of John Frusciante after successfully combating his drugs addiction. He returned being clearer and more focused than ever, and in the process, brought a whole new energy and drive to the Peppers.
Californication was released to great critical acclaim in 1999, and it spawned several hit singles. The first single, Scar Tissue, topped the Billboard Modern Rock tracks for a whopping 16 weeks! It set a record for most weeks at number one for that chart. Scar Tissue also helped RHCP win their second Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 2000.
The second single, Otherside, topped the Modern Rock Chart for a further 13 weeks, solidifying RHCP as a formidable rock act. They followed it up with Californication, another chart topper, but it was most remembered for its music video, which featured the Peppers in animation going through the city as if they were in a video game. It's rad stuff no doubt.
This album is one of those rare gems where just about every track is good. The album opener, Around The World, is a high-powered track featuring funky bass lines by Flea, the best bassist in the world®.
Parallel Universe is another pulsating track with a huge climax showcasing Frusciante, Flea and Chad Smith (drums) at the height of their powers. The song, I Like Dirt, was even used by Perfect Ten for their "All Hits, All Day" jingle back then. Another outstanding track is Road Trippin', a tender and delicate acoustic song to close the album.
This special limited edition release comes with a bonus VCD featuring the videos for Scar Tissue, Around The World, Otherside and Californication. They're visually arresting and hugely creative. You got to check it out for yourself.
This package is almost extinct in Singapore, but I believe you can still find it in very ulu corners somewhere. It might even qualify as a rarity. So if you are one of the few people who have it, good for you. This is an Asian version of the album, so even Amazon considers it an Import, meaning it is more expensive than the regular edition.