Spotlight CD: By The Way – Red Hot Chili Peppers 2002

Following the 90’s success of  BloodSugarSexMajik, One Hot Minute, and Californication, the Red Hot Chili Peppers took things down a notch for By The Way.  As the saying goes, “less is more”, By The Way has less of the funky jams, less flirtations with punk and ska, and instead emphasized extended John Frusciante guitar jams. The change of style grabs your attention and hooks you in more than any other RHCP cd. It’s definitely my favorite album by the band.  Then I had the pleasure of seeing them perform the album live in Orlando. It is still one of my top 3 all-time concerts.  I highly recommend buying their concert DVD in support of the tour.  It was shot at Slane Castle, one of the finest concert films ever recorded.

The CD is really John Frusciante’s finest moment.   Guitar solos segued with Flea’s bassline create some of the most magical grooves in the Hall Of Fame band’s catalog.  Add in some of Anthony Kiedis’ most personal and candid lyrics and you can see this is a band reaching maturity.   Anthony was totally in love and it clearly shows here with multiple love songs with substance on the album.   Drummer Chad Smith described By The Way as  “very honest, raw, emotional music. It’s a very dynamic, rich and lush album. Probably the best collection of Chili Peppers songs we’ve ever put out.”

Here are five of my favorites:






“BY THE WAY”  The lead single, when that bass hits in concert, the mosh pit is in full effect.

“DON”T FORGET ME”    Anthony, clean and sober, reminding himself of the hold that drugs held on his life.   Perhaps Frusciante’s finest guitar track ever?

“CAN’T STOP”    Even on a serious themed CD, you still have to party!  Bringing the funk back.   One of the best videos of the 2000’s, an MTV favorite.

“DOSED”   This song and “Tear” show off Anthony’s sincere happiness about being healthy, motivated, and totally in love with his long-time girlfriend.

“THROW AWAY YOUR TELEVISION”   Flea’s turn to shine, heavy bass funk and another feel good jam with a little message for the fans.   When you’re seeing them live, you just can’t contain yourself smiling.