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#ThrowbackThursday: “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chilli Peppers "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" Warner Bros Records
  – Red Hot Chilli Peppers "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" Warner Bros Records

by Sean Smith

The Red Hot Chili Peppers released their latest album The Getaway last week. It is the band’s eleventh studio album and their first without Rick Rubin serving as their producer since their 1989 album Mother’s Milk. The new album was produced by Danger Mouse, who along with making up one half of the group Gnarls Barkley with CeeLo Green has produced records for the likes of Adele, The Black Keys and Beck.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been making the media rounds as of late to promote the new album, which have led to some newsworthy stories coming out. In an interview with Rolling Stone bassist Flea revealed how he broke his arm right before they were suppose to start recording the new record, leaving him unable to play the bass for six months. The incident occurred when he was in Montana snowboarding with lead singer Anthony Kiedis and Metallica frontman Lars Ulrich when he fell and broke his arm requiring him to undergo surgery followed by some rehab to get his arm ready to play again.

The band also made an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden where they joined the host for his popular Carpool Karaoke segment. If you haven’t yet seen the segment, it wasn’t just the typical sing-a-long between Corden and his musical guest around Los Angeles. This installment also featured Corden wrestling with Anthony Kiedis on a random persons front lawn, which is where according to Kiedis in a radio interview some days later, things turned from fun to serious rather quickly. According to Kiedis, a neighbor ran out into the street screaming that her baby wasn’t breathing. It was at that point that he performed CPR on the child getting the baby to start breathing again prior to an ambulance arriving on scene and taking over. The filming for Carpool Karaoke then resumed after the incident.

Between potentially saving a child’s life and putting out their new record The Getaway last week, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have had quite the eventful last few weeks. In light of the band releasing their latest album, we thought we would take some time this week to remember an early hit from the California band.

The Chili Peppers released their fifth studio album Blood Sugar Sex Magik in September of 1991. The album would be the first of many to be produced by famed record maker Rick Rubin. The first single released from the album “Give it Away” proved to be a viable hit for the band, becoming their first number one when it topped the Billboard Modern Rock Track chart. However, this week we want to focus on the second single released from Blood Sugar Sex Magik “Under the Bridge.”

Lead Singer Anthony Kiedis originally wrote the words to “Under the Bridge” not for a song, but rather for a poem that he meant to remain private. Kiedis got the inspiration to write what would become the lyrics to “Under the Bridge” from his days as a heroin addict, with the bridge in the title referring to the place he used to go to feed his addiction. The song is written from his perspective after achieving sobriety, and the loneliness he talks about in the song comes from others around him still using drugs as he distances himself from them trying to maintain his sobriety. As stated, it was originally written as a personal poem, not meant for sharing with millions of people through song. The reason for it becoming a song is because as Rick Rubin was looking through Kiedis’ notebook for lyrics he came across it and after some convincing got him to turn it into song.

The song was even more successful for the band then “Give it Away” was, as it would achieve the crossover appeal that “Give it Away” could not. “Under the Bridge” became a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart where it peaked at the number six position. However, it performed even better on the more mainstream Billboard Hot 100 chart. It peaked at the number two spot on that chart achieving the band their first real mainstream crossover success.

So with the Red Hot Chili Peppers releasing their new album The Getaway last week, this week we take time to remember the band’s 1991 crossover hit “Under the Bridge.” Enjoy.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 

“Under The Bridge”

From Blood Sugar Sex Magik

Warner Bros. Records 

 

 Red Hot Chili Peppers  Carpool Karaoke

From The Late Late Show with James Corden

CBS

Related Media 

Red Hot Chili Peppers 

“Give It Away”

From Blood Sugar Sex Magik

Warner Bros. Records