Smile from the Streets You Hold

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Smile from the Streets You Hold
Studio album by John Frusciante
Released August 1997
Recorded 1988–1996
Genre Psychedelic rock, experimental rock, avant-garde, lo-fi
Length 61:23
Label Birdman Records
Producer John Frusciante
John Frusciante chronology
Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt
(1994)
Smile from the Streets You Hold
(1997)
To Record Only Water for Ten Days
(2001)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Sputnikmusic 5/5 stars[2]

Smile from the Streets You Hold is the second solo album by John Frusciante. The record was released during a time when Frusciante was not performing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was released on August 26, 1997 on Birdman Records, while Frusciante was still addicted to drugs. The record is an amalgamation of songs from various periods of time, mainly extras not included on Frusciante's debut Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt (1994); included, however, are several tracks recorded around 1996 and "A Fall Thru the Ground" from 1988.

Recording[edit]

Many songs from Smile from the Streets You Hold were recorded when Frusciante was still with the Chili Peppers and are from the same period as his previous solo album, Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt.

In a 1997 interview with Guitar Player, Frusciante claimed to have maintained active communication with the spirit world during the album's recording phase:[3]

Actor River Phoenix, a good friend of Frusciante and the rest of the Chili Peppers, is featured on two tracks, "Height Down" (originally titled "Soul Removal"), and "Well I've Been" (originally titled "Bought Her Soul").[4] Both songs were supposed to be released on Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt, but were pulled by request of Phoenix's family after Phoenix's death.

"More", "I Can't See Until I See Your Eyes", and "Estress" were recorded to a cassette on a boombox in 1996. Frusciante's poor health is apparent in his voice.

Release[edit]

Frusciante had Smile from the Streets You Hold and Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt removed from record stores in 1998 after rejoining the Red Hot Chili Peppers because he felt uncomfortable with them being available to the public. He is quoted as saying that he released Smile from the Streets You Hold for drug money. Niandra Lades was eventually re-issued and in the early 2000s, Frusciante stated he will one day re-release Smile from the Streets You Hold, although this has yet to happen as of 2014.

There is also a second print of Smile from the Streets You Hold available. The songs on the second print are much lower in sound quality and have frequent hiss and hum, most notable in "Nigger Song" which obscures the recording somewhat. It is believed that the original release had had the recordings professionally cleaned up, but the second release used Frusciante's untampered tapes by mistake.

The title song "Smile from the Streets You Hold", is split in two separate tracks. Frusciante once said the song was about a friend of his who had died, but the first half was written and recorded before their death and the second half of the song afterward.

The second print also includes an extended version of "Life's a Bath". Another notable difference between the 17-track version and the 18-track version is that on the former, John can be heard taking a hit from a bong on "For Air".

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by John Frusciante.

  1. "Enter a Uh" – 8:06
  2. "The Other" – 1:36
  3. "Life's a Bath" – 1:18
  4. "A Fall Thru the Ground" – 2:24
  5. "Poppy Man" – 1:21
  6. "I May Again Know John" – 8:47
  7. "I'm Always" – 2:33
  8. "Nigger Song" – 4:15
  9. "Femininity" – 2:35
  10. "Breathe" – 6:21
  11. "More" – 2:07
  12. "For Air" – 3:55
  13. "Height Down" – 4:00
  14. "Well, I've Been" – 3:06
  15. "Smile from the Streets You Hold" – 5:09
  16. "I Can't See Until I See Your Eyes" – 1:30
  17. "Estress" – 2:17

18-track versions[edit]

All songs written by John Frusciante.

  1. "Enter a Uh" – 8:09
  2. "The Other" – 1:36
  3. "Life's a Bath" – 1:39
  4. "A Fall Thru the Ground" – 2:20
  5. "Poppy Man" – 1:16
  6. "I May Again Know John" – 8:48
  7. "I'm Always" – 2:33
  8. "Nigger Song" – 4:15
  9. "Femininity" – 2:34
  10. "Breathe" – 6:12
  11. "More" – 2:08
  12. "For Air" – 2:57
  13. "Height Down" – 3:52
  14. "Well, I've Been" – 3:07
  15. "Smile from the Streets You Hold, Part 1" – 4:09
  16. "Smile from the Streets You Hold, Part 2" – 0:56
  17. "I Can't See Until I See Your Eyes" – 1:30
  18. "Estress" – 2:20

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Sputnikmusic review
  3. ^ Rotondigic, James. "Till I Reach the Higher Ground." Guitar Player, November 1997.
  4. ^ "Smile from the Streets You Hold Involvement". River-Phoenix.org. Retrieved 2007-07-06.