September 24, 2016

25 years ago today: 2 incredibly great albums came out — "Nevermind" (Nirvana) and "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" (The Red Hot Chili Peppers).

My son John puts together a blog post that's so much better than anything I'd be able to say... and I love these albums primarily because he played them and we watched the videos on MTV:
These albums came out a little too early for me to pay attention to them at the time, when I was just 10. But when I started getting into music and playing guitar a few years later, these were two of the very first albums I got, and they both shaped my approach to music.

They're both the kind of album you listen to straight through, over and over, not skipping over any tracks, because each one feels essential, from the hits to the songs you might have forgotten about but are happy to hear when they come on (Nirvana's "Lounge Act," RHCP's "My Lovely Man").

When I made a list of "the 40 greatest grunge songs," I ranked "Lithium," from Nevermind, #1....

Meanwhile — that same day! — the Red Hot Chili Peppers were putting out a 17-song funk masterpiece, Blood Sugar Sex Magik. "Give It Away" captures the essence of the band: gleefully sexual, deceptively simple, rhythmically infectious....
It's hard to imagine a better song-with-video than "Give It Away" — still completely enjoyable after a quarter century...



... the height of cosmic glee hitting the market the same day as that quintessence of dramatic gloom, Nevermind.

25 comments:

rhhardin said...

I've never heard of either album.

There's some deep musical cultural divide.

tim maguire said...

The Red Hot Chili Peppers is one of those bands I would like to like, but don't. They're boring.

Yancey Ward said...

rhhardin,

How old are you?

holdfast said...

That was my grade 12 year. We listened to those CDs endlessly, and watched the videos on MuchMusic, Canada's MTV.

IMHO, the Chili Peppers have held up much better over time. Maybe Cobain would have evolved as an artist, like Eddie Vedder did, but I doubt it.

Laslo Spatula said...

The Peppers soundly beat Cobain in the Homoerotiic Category.

Which is why they outlasted Cobain, shotgun aside.

I am The Replacement Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

Cobain didn't like 'frat boy' types coming to his shows, or appreciating his music, for that matter.

The Peppers welcomed this crowd, and partied with them.

As the frat boys partied with the Peppers they also grew curious about the Pepper's tight, muscled bodies.

The frat boys told themselves that admiring the taut form of Anthony Kiedis did not make them gay, but the seeds of accepting Homoeroticism were now planted.

Of course, most of them didn't picture themselves having sex with Kiedis, but they allowed themselves to imagine banging the same girl with him.

In this mental scene they pictured the body of Kiedis in much more detail than the nameless female blonde being banged between them. They saw his sinew, they saw his sweat.

These are the same guys that, in a prior era, would've called Freddie Mercury a fag.

Music moves the Overton Window.

I am The Replacement Laslo.





Laslo Spatula said...

Maybe one of these Frat Boys allowed himself to imagine Kiedis disengaging from the nondescript imaginary girl and positioning himself behind the Frat Boy.

"It's just the tip, dude" Kiedis says before stroking the frat boy's hair. "It's not like we're sucking each others' cocks or anything."

Then Flea enters the room.

'This is going to get freaky' the Frat Boy thinks to himself...

I am The Replacement Laslo.



Bill Peschel said...

Watching the RHCP video, all I could think of was "Yabba Dabba Yabba Dabba Yabba Dabba Dabba Do Now"!

Weird Al is more powerful than Anthony Kiedis.

Laslo Spatula said...

Now -- twenty-five years later -- the Frat Boy is a husband, with children, sells insurance, wears khakis.

He goes to the swim meets of his High School-age son, and notices the boys' taut swimmer bodies.

Comfortable in their skin.

Toweling off.

Then, upon returning home, he goes into the study, takes off his shoes, puts on "Suck My Kiss."

It all seems ages ago.

I am The Replacement Laslo..

EDH said...

Twenty-five years later, the baby whose penis appears on the cover of Nevermind.

Today, Elden lives in Los Angeles with his mother and focuses on making art and growing tomatoes. Over the past few years, his interest in art has developed after he interned for street artist Shepard Fairey, who has acted as a mentor. But Elden is still trying to figure out how he feels about Nevermind. “It’s a trip. Everyone involved in the album has tons and tons of money. I feel like I’m the last little bit of grunge rock,” Elden says, “I’m living in my mom’s house and driving a Honda Civic.”

madAsHell said...

Red Hot Chili Peppers.....They played a concert with white gym socks on their dicks.

If you have to depend on a visual gimmick, then your music is secondary.

Bryan Townsend said...

Well, I'm certainly not in the right demographic, but I couldn't even get to the one minute mark in the Red Hot Chili Peppers song before deep boredom set in. 1991 was not a year with anything memorable for me.

mccullough said...

I was 19 when both albums came out. Still love them both. The Sweet Leaf outro riff on Give It Away is outstanding

Crimso said...

"Which is why they outlasted Cobain, shotgun aside."

Too soon.

After the 80s, this was a breath of fresh air. With just a hint of sour garbage smell thrown in (to good effect).

Birches said...

I agree, holdfast. RHCP holds up better than Nirvana. If Cobain was still around, people wouldn't love Nirvana as much as they do. I'll commit heresy right now by saying Foo Fighters are better than Nirvana.

Mark said...

1991 was not a year with anything memorable for me

The 1990s are basically the decade that music died. There have been a handful of exceptions, but those are artists/acts that are more or less throwbacks.

SteveR said...

in 1991 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released Into the Great Wide Open, one of many very good, if not great albums in a 35 plus year span. 1991

Birches said...

Get off my lawn, amiright, Mark?

Birches said...

Unlike most of the readers here,I'm guessing, I still listen to new, modern rock. I've been struck by how similar much of it is to late 80s pop: lots of synthesizers, very unserious. I wonder if we're due for another change.

I won't try to pretend to know what the counterculture kids like these days though. I think they are probably into EDM, which I know nothing about.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I couldn't get away with "Who?" in this instance, so let's just say: not important or interesting.

Fabi said...

'Give it Away' is a masterpiece. It sounds as fresh today as the first time I heard it. Great bass riff by Flea, too.

john mosby said...

RHCP were asked by Krusty the Clown to sing "I wanna hug and kiss you" instead of "I wanna put it in you"....

JSM

loudogblog said...

I cannot resist posting this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtV_nQKhkdY

Lost My Cookies said...

Mothers milk was better, and Sexy Mexican Maid is a masterpiece

Zach said...

Disagree with people saying the Chili Peppers have aged better. The Chili Peppers sound more similar to things that people are doing today, so they sound more familiar. Nirvana sounds only like Nirvana, which is impossible for anyone to do today, unless they're commenting on or reacting to Nirvana.