Can't Stop (Red Hot Chili Peppers song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Can't Stop"
Single by Red Hot Chili Peppers
from the album By the Way
ReleasedJanuary 24, 2003
RecordedApril 2002
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Flea, Frusciante, Kiedis, Smith
Producer(s)Rick Rubin
Red Hot Chili Peppers singles chronology
"The Zephyr Song"
"Can't Stop"
Music video
"Can't Stop" on YouTube

"Can't Stop" is a song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers from their 2002 album, By the Way. It is the third single released from the album.

The song was the Chili Peppers' eighth number one on Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, where it spent three weeks topping the chart, and peaked at number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] The song performed moderately well on various other charts worldwide,[2][3] as well as Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts, respectively.[1][4]

Composition and lyrical denotation[edit]

The song is instrumentally composed in 4/4 standard time and in the key of E minor. The verse plays twice before the bridge, as well as the chorus. During the bridge, Frusciante plays sparsely in a reggae style, only strumming on the up-beat. Following the bridge, Frusciante utilizes a fuzz (Big Muff Pi by Electro Harmonix) in his solo. He also makes extensive use of a tone-bend.[5]

Lyrically, "Can't Stop" is a prime example of the band's occasional use of writing lyrics to an established rhythm, rather than rhythms to established lyrics.[6] Kiedis writes in his typical circumlocutory style. Nonetheless, the predominant theme of cultivating an inner, personal energy (evidenced in the title and the final line: "This life is more than just a read-through.") can be understood in almost every line. The verses are addressed to the listener (or perhaps to himself), in an instructional tone, with references to Kiedis's own life, as well as citing the inspiration of Defunkt ("Defunkt, the pistol that you pay for") and Julia Butterfly Hill ("J. Butterfly is in the treetops"). The bridge marks a slight departure, as Kiedis suggests he had temporarily forgotten this philosophy, and looks to a new girlfriend to help himself back on his feet.

Music video[edit]

The Mark Romanek-directed music video for the single features all four of the band members doing seemingly random and excessively abstract actions such as holding many water bottles or attempting to balance buckets on their heads. It begins with the camera swooping through a yellow tube to Anthony Kiedis, wearing glasses, and is subsequently followed by the foursome running through a hall with light fixtures attached to their backs. The band engages in various activities, such as wearing a giant purple hippopotamus mask, playing with rubber balls, jumping, abstract scenes with boxes, buckets, water bottles, trash cans, flying through the air, pink foam peanuts, plants, playing guitar in a room full of empty blue chairs/room with lamps turning on and off.

At certain segments of the video, one can see guitarist John Frusciante playing an orange Toronado and a silver Fender Stratocaster,[7] which is unlike his style due to the fact that he only plays vintage guitars (both guitars being under five years of age). Frusciante later explained he was instructed to play the guitars by director Mark Romanek since they blended well with the color scheme used in the video; he also noted that he was never actually playing the guitars.[8]

Inspiration for the video was attributed to Austrian artist Erwin Wurm, as indicated by the sign at the end of the video.[9] The lighting was positioned in order to provide a clean-cut, contemporary atmosphere which would integrate with the video's concept.[9] Orange was chosen to be the backsplash color by Romanek. His creative hand attempted to mirror Wurm's abstract "One Minute Sculptures", by having the band perform random scenes, which seem to fit no purpose. However, in retrospect, they were not intended to be anything more than arbitrary actions, fitting with the ideas expressed in Wurm's work.

Reception and chart performance[edit]

The song itself is distinct, especially when in comparison to the various other tracks on By the Way. Some consider the song to be among the only true punk/funk sounds on the entire album, along with "Throw Away Your Television".[10][11] "Can't Stop" was considered to be "energetic" and melodically encompassing, by combining textured, melodic, and funky themes together into one.

The song was the Chili Peppers' seventh number one on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, and second from the album By the Way. It also peaked at number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1][2] Regardless of the moderate recognition it received on the Billboard Hot 100, the song is a live performance staple.[12]

Track listing[edit]

CD single 1
  1. "Can't Stop" (John Frusciante single mix) – 4:29
  2. "If You Have to Ask" (live)
  3. "Christchurch Fireworks Music" (live) – 5:42
CD single 2
  1. "Can't Stop" (John Frusciante single mix) – 4:29
  2. "Right on Time" (live)
  3. "Nothing to Lose" (live) – 12:58
CD single 3/7" single
  1. "Can't Stop" (John Frusciante single mix) – 4:29
  2. "Christchurch Fireworks Music" (live) – 5:42


Red Hot Chili Peppers[edit]

  • Anthony Kiedis – lead vocals
  • John Frusciante – guitar, handclaps, backing vocals
  • Flea – bass
  • Chad Smith – drums, handclaps


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2003) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[13] 38
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[14] 65
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[15] 47
France (SNEP)[16] 68
Germany (Official German Charts)[17] 48
Ireland (IRMA)[18] 30
Italy (FIMI)[19] 22
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[20] 23
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[21] 65
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[22] 40
Scotland (OCC)[23] 16
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[24] 70
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[25] 39
UK Singles (OCC)[26] 22
UK Rock and Metal (OCC)[27] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[28] 57
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[29] 1
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[30] 15

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2019) Position
Portugal (AFP)[31] 511


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[32] Gold 45,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[33] 2× Platinum 1,200,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b c Allmusic – Red Hot Chili Peppers Singles chart positions
  2. ^ a b "Worldwide Charts for "Can't Stop"". aCharts.
  3. ^ "Worldwide Charts for "Can't Stop"". Music Square. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Billboard Red Hot Chili Peppers' Singles Chart Position; Various Charts. [1]
  5. ^ Can't Stop Guitar Commentary; John Frusciante
  6. ^ Spin Magazine Interview. August 13, 2002.
  7. ^
  8. ^ The Making of Can't Stop: The Video – Red Hot Chili Peppers Greatest Hits
  9. ^ a b Red Hot Chili Peppers 'Can't Stop' video; interview with Director of Photography, Jeff Cuttler. [2].
  10. ^ Rolling Stone Magazine; By the Way Review – Tom Moon
  11. ^ PopMatters; By the Way Review – Kimberly Mack
  12. ^ "Red Hot At The 'Dome". Rob Honzell, Calgary Sun.
  13. ^ " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can't Stop". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  14. ^ " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can't Stop" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  15. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 21 no. 11. March 8, 2003. p. 11. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  16. ^ " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can't Stop" (in French). Les classement single.
  17. ^ " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can't Stop" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  18. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Can't Stop". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  19. ^ " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can't Stop". Top Digital Download. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  20. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 11, 2003" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  21. ^ " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can't Stop" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  22. ^ " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can't Stop". Top 40 Singles.
  23. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  24. ^ " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can't Stop". Singles Top 100.
  25. ^ " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can't Stop". Swiss Singles Chart.
  26. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  27. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  28. ^ "Red Hot Chili Peppers Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
  29. ^ "Red Hot Chili Peppers Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard.
  30. ^ "Red Hot Chili Peppers Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard.
  31. ^ "Top AFP – Audiogest – Top 3000 Singles + EPs Digitais" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  32. ^ "Danish single certifications – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can't Stop". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved February 16, 2021. Scroll through the page-list below until year 2021 to obtain certification.
  33. ^ "British single certifications – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can't Stop". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 23, 2021.

External links[edit]