Lockdown is and has been a weird time for everyone. Whether you’re a hero on the front line, doing essential work, or staying home to prevent the spread. We’ve had to make immense changes to our everyday dwellings. Certain patterns have emerged, with people shaving their heads, banging pots and pans at 8PM every Thursday, or face-timing relatives.
However, you need the perfect playlist to accompany the new norms of our lockdown lives. So, I’ve decided to highlight some songs from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which I think will compliment the moods and activities we’ve become accustomed to in lockdown. These are the tracks which I’ve personally stuck on in many different situations.
So, let’s have a gander at some of the tunes…
When you’re out on a stroll: “The Zephyr Song”
When you’re stuck in your home all day and the walls start talking to you, you might decide to go on a little walk around a local park. I think that a lot of people who weren’t normally avid walkers are starting to discover the wonders that it can do to clear your mind. What better song to explore nature with than the ethereal sounding ‘Zephyr Song’. It’s upbeat tempo will not only help you put one foot in front of the other, but it’ll broaden your mind to your rural surroundings.
When you’re feeling creative: “Snow (Hey Oh)”
Not only is this track bursting with some vibrant, artistic melodies, but I think that anyone wanting to channel their inner artist can take massive inspiration from John Frusciante. He’s a real idol of mine; the guitar in this song is equally complex as it is beautiful. He fully engages in the expressive side of guitar playing. Anyone getting creative, whether that be painting, writing or anything, can take inspiration with how he approaches his art.
When you want to have a bit of a kip: “The Longest Wave”
I don’t know if anyone else has found this, but at the beginning of lock-down, doing nothing was surprisingly tiring. I often found myself spending ages lying on my bed, thinking forward to times when I’ll be able to see my mates again. Whilst music and sleep might not be the best combination, at a low volume I could see how this track would do the trick. It’s a really wavy and mellow tune, with sweeping guitar chords from Josh Klinghoffer and soothing vocals from Anthony Kiedis.
Needing some extra energy: “Right On Time”
It’s safe to say that a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ songs could have fit in this category. If you stick any track on from their Rick Rubin produced album Blood Sex Sugar Magik, then I’m sure you’ll get out of your rut and want to get moving. Whether this is cleaning around the house, lifting some weights in the back garden, or going on a jog, I find that the track ‘Right On Time’ puts me in the mood. Flea’s bass is unbelievably jumpy, Anthony’s vocals punchy, and John’s guitar exploding with his classic overdriven tone.
When you’re missing live gigs: “Can’t Stop”
Can’t stop reminiscing on the gigs of the past? (See what I did there?). Whilst the Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the greatest live bands to ever hit the stages, there’s one song in particular which has become a staple of their set-list. After they do an ‘intro-jam’, where Flea, Chad and John improvise an energetic arrangement, John teases the beginning of this tune. Avid listeners will be familiar with the classic “dun-da” guitar melody. As it builds up, the crowd does too, with help from Chad’s acceleration drums and Flea’s vibrant, flea-like movements across the stage. Not only is it an amazing song, it represents the energy, feel and passion which you can only witness with live music. And if you’re not missing live gigs at the moment, I’d still listen to this track. It’s class!
When you want a little dance: “Higher Ground”
This Stevie Wonder turned RHCP track first featured on their 1989 album Mother’s Milk, their last album with producer Michael Beinhorn. Flea’s conventional ‘slap’ style is the first thing you’re introduced to on the track, coupled with raw and punchy drums from Chad. Most tracks from the RHCP have a nice upbeat melody, but this song takes it to another level, making it virtually impossible for listeners to not move to the beat.
When you want to be with your mates: “My Friends”
This track came from an interesting moment in the band’s timeline. John had just left the band after increased pressures from their popularity, and so they introduced Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro as his replacement. Their resulting album, One Hot Minute, is bursting with his input, often harbouring a darker theme and more minor sounding arrangements. This track explores the darker side of friendships, with a narrative suggesting we should stay together in moments of depression and sadness. I think it’s rather apt for the current climate, where people are feeling more tested than ever.
When you’re doing some online shopping: “Give It Away”
One thing which I’ve seen many people posting about online would be the fact that, in lock-down, they’ve rapidly increased their online spending. It makes sense, given that you can’t nip into town to buy a new jacket or a copy of the Indiependent. However, people have maybe taken it a bit far, spending money on things which they wouldn’t normally do if they weren’t stuck at home all day. I’m guilty of this too, buying a Nintendo Switch just before lockdown. Anyways, are you wondering how I’ve made the reach with this RHCP song? Well, it seems like people are ‘giving’ away their money, treating themselves to the latest and greatest, so you may as well listen to an up-beat funky tune while doing so…
When you want to chill out with your family: “Under The Bridge” or “Californication”
The reason why I picked these two tracks is due to the fact they’re some of the more well-known songs from the Chilis. If someone says they haven’t heard of the Red Hot Chili Peppers before, stick one of these tunes on and I’m sure they’ll eat their words. I think they’d be nice background music for when you want to sit in the garden with your family, chatting away and forgetting about your worries.
So that’s it, a few songs which should accompany your lockdown activities perfectly. I hope you’re all doing well and hopefully we’ll be seeing more live music sooner, rather than later!
Words by Tom Moorcroft