The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a multiple Grammy Award-winning American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1983 by Anthony Kiedis (vocals), Hillel Slovak (guitar), Michael "Flea" Balzary (bass), and drummer Jack Irons.
Throughout their career, the band has fused various elements of punk, funk, heavy metal, rap. They hold the record for most number one singles on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart with eleven and have held a record of eighty-one weeks at number one.
Inconsistent and unstable lineups have influenced the band's music, style, and success throughout their nine studio recordings. The most notable of such was the addition of guitarist John Frusciante, following the death of original guitarist Hillel Slovak. With the band, Frusciante assisted in propelling the foursome's once turbulent musical career into a successful and popular affair. Their second album together (fifth collectively), 1991's highly influential Blood Sugar Sex Magik, has gone multi-platinum in several countries and since became an international sensation, selling over twelve million copies. During the process, however, Frusciante became disillusioned with the band's newfound success and abruptly quit in the summer of 1992. The Chili Peppers subsequently enlisted former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro for their next effort, One Hot Minute. Released in 1995, it failed to meet the acclaim that Blood Sugar Sex Magik saw, and as a result, sold roughly five million units, less than half of its predecessor. Unsolved creative differences between Navarro and the rest of the band led to his departure soon after.
Meanwhile, Frusciante had become severely addicted to heroin and was on the brink of dying. In 1998, he managed to complete drug rehabilitation and rejoined the Chili Peppers at the request of Flea. The foursome returned to the studio in 1999 to create Californication, the band's most commercially successful album to date. The Chili Peppers followed up three years later with By the Way, an album displaing a more subdued side of the band. Most recently, the group released Stadium Arcadium in 2006, making it the first time a Red Hot Chili Peppers' line-up had not changed for three consecutive studio recordings.
The musical style of the band can best be described as a mix of funk, alternative rock, and hard rock. Kiedis provides a range of vocal styles while singing. His approach of spoken verse and "rapping" (the primary characteristic of his vocals up to Blood Sugar Sex Magik) complemented with more traditional vocals have helped the band maintain a relatively consistent style. Nevertheless, as the group has matured, the vocal sequences present in albums starting from Californication have drastically reduced the number of rapidly sung verses. By the Way only contained two songs which remained true to the rap-driven-verses and subsequent melodic choruses. Kiedis' more recent style has been developed through coaching throughout all nine of Red Hot Chili Peppers' albums.
Hillel Slovak's style was strongly based on blues and funk. Early replacements, including former guitarist John Frusciante, based their style significantly on Slovak's.
John Frusciante brought a more melodic and textured sound to more recent albums such as By the Way, Californication and Stadium Arcadium. This contrasts with his previous abrasive approach in Mother's Milk, as well as his dry, funky and more docile arrangements on Blood Sugar Sex Magik.
Dave Navarro brought an entirely different sound to the band during his tenure, with his style based on heavy metal, progressive rock and psychedelia.
Flea's bass guitar style is an amalgamation of funk, psychedelic, punk, and hard rock. The groove-heavy, low-tuned melodies, played through either finger style or slapping, have contributed to the Red Hot Chili Peppers' signature style. While Flea's slap bass style was prominent in earlier albums, later albums (post "Blood Sugar Sex Magik") have more melodic bass lines. He has also used double stops on some newer songs, e.g. Hey