November 28, 2008

Chili Peppers Are Red HOT!

As a long-time casual fan of the Chili Peps, there were a few incredible tracks sprinkled throughout their albums but I never saw the greatness of By The Way coming, and never thought they'd top it.

Stadium Arcadium is packed with excellence, even if it offers no new territory. It's almost a better recorded Greatest Hits package in and of itself.  Between 2 CDs, I couldn't chop the best down to 1 CDR, I had to make an mp3 disc as a companion to my Best Of disc.

Two months after wrapping up a two year tour for By The Way, the band began work on a new project. Those sessions grew into a three album project to be released as single albums 6 months apart.  In the end though, the band felt they would have new music to release by the time the last installment came out, and the best of the 38 tracks were pulled together for this double dose of Chili Pepper madness. ( of the 10 remaining tracks can be found as b-sides.

This album was recorded at what is known as The Mansion, the haunted former home of Harry Houdini. 

A top-notch RTI pressing, the vinyl was mastered by Steve Hoffman & Kevin Gray from all-analog tapes.

Each song was rehearsed, then recorded in one to three takes live in the studio, with no pro-tools and few over-dubs.

The vinyl sets are both 4 LPs, the more limited deluxe set is on 180g vinyl in a fancier over-sized foil box with two 16 page books each for Mars & Jupiter. Even the box top inside is foil with the band printed over it. Full printed single cardboard jackets for each record feature a member of the band with the four panels each a section of a panoramic photo.  The jacket backs also compose a larger view. The standard issue is 150g vinyl in a smaller package consisting of 2 gatefolds- 1 Mars, 1 Jupiter, in an outer slipcase. Standard issue photo (right) by BillWX.

The best-selling album of 2007 featuring 5 hit singles, it took home its share of Grammy awards: Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Producer of the Year (Rick Rubin), and was nominated in several other categories including Best Box Set or Limited Packaging, Album of the Year.

Great article about the recording process on

WB's Because Sound Matters sells the 180g Deluxe vinyl box for $32.99- 1/3 of the $99.98 list price, and even less than the $39.98 standard pressing.

By The Way is 2x 130g vinyl in plain white poly-lined sleeves with a separate 1-sheet insert of lyrics.

Seems not much thought went into the cover art as it's one the Pep's worst covers.

Red Hot Chili Peppers TV on youtube.


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