Out in L.A.

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Out in L.A.
Compilation album by
ReleasedNovember 1, 1994 (1994-11-01)
Red Hot Chili Peppers chronology
The Plasma Shaft
Out in L.A.
The Best of Red Hot Chili Peppers
Singles from Out in L.A.
  1. "Deck the Halls[1]"
    Released: 1994

Out in L.A. is a compilation of rare tracks by the Red Hot Chili Peppers released November 1, 1994, on EMI. Interpreted by music critics as an attempt by EMI to capitalise on the group's newfound success with Warner Bros., it collects remixes, demo recordings, live covers and outtakes. On release, Out in L.A. received negative reviews from music critics.


The tracks contained are varied with the inclusion of four remixes, live cover songs of Jimi Hendrix and Thelonious Monk ("F.U." is a joke lyric over the melody of "Bemsha Swing"), the band's first demos and joke songs. The 1988 outtake, "Blues for Meister", which was the first song sung by Flea that the band released, was the only song released or recorded with then guitarist DeWayne McKnight who would soon be replaced by John Frusciante that same year. The song uses a backing track recorded by Flea and Irons, before Slovak's death.

The songs "Stranded" and "Flea Fly" are two of the band's earliest recordings from 1983 when they went under the name Tony Flow And The Miraculously Majestic Masters Of Mayhem. The other demo recordings included come from the band's first demo tape are the first the band made and are described in Anthony Kiedis' autobiography Scar Tissue as being the most prolific sessions the band ever had. The demo recording was produced by Spit Stix, Flea's then bandmate in the legendary punk band, Fear. Four of these songs were recorded with Jack Sherman and Cliff Martinez on the band's first album however, these early versions are said to be the preferred ones as they capture the original vibe intended. Hillel Slovak's and Jack Irons's playing are instrumental to this. Many of these tracks were included in the remastered versions of the band's first two albums and it was these demos that eventually got the band their first shows and eventually a recording contract with EMI. The band's joke cover of "Deck the Halls" was released as a very rare 7-inch promotional jukebox single in 1994. "Knock Me Down" was featured as the track's b-side.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
The Commercial Appeal[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[4]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[5]
The Great Rock Discography3/10[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[8]

In a zero out of five review, Select critic Matt Hall referred to it as EMI's "predictable" collection of outtakes, demos, remixes and "ropey" live cuts, released to capitalise on the band's success with Warner Bros., but complained that "everything passable that the Chilis recorded for EMI has already been released." He criticized the inclusion of short tracks and felt that the 12" mix of "Higher Ground" was the album's only consolation, hoping that the album's compiler "will get septic fingers from the splinters gained while indulging in such a blatant display of barrel-scraping."[9] Bob Bahr of The Courier-Journal also called it an attempt by EMI to cash-in on the group's Warner Bros. success and believed that hardcore Chili Peppers fans would not need the album. He praised the first three remixes, particularly the dance remix of "If You Want Me to Stay", and drew attention to the live tracks, but believed the demos and unreleased song snippets are radio unfriendly, concluding that "the only thing that the rough-hewn Out in L.A. proves is that the Red Hot Chili Peppers needed no studio tricks or mirrors to be funky. And we knew that anyway."[10]

More favorably, NME writer Dele Fadele wrote that while Out in L.A. was not a definitive examination of the group's "motherfunky beatnik mishmash" period, believing their first two albums to be more revealing in that respect, "its selection of remixes, OK live tracks, dodgy demos and self-indulgent unreleased songs induces a wry smile."[7] Chuck Eddy of Entertainment Weekly wrote that the outtakes "aren't bad" by the standards of "overrated" bands, believing that the "more recent freaked-out dance remixes wear out their welcome sooner than the decade-old demo tape pogos, partly because their rubber-lipped rapping was less awkward when they were trying to be old-school."[11] Larry Nager of Honolulu Star-Bulletin notes that while the album displays the group's "patented funk-heavy sound", their a cappella rendition of "Deck the Halls" "won't be keeping Boyz II Men up nights."[12] In the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Gary Graff felt that the contents were "a bit too obscure and inconsistent for all but true devotees", with its tracks combined in "a manner too scattershot to shed any real light on the Chili Peppers' modern funk attack." While criticising the demo tracks for being inferior to their completed versions, he praised Ben Grosse's "taut and spicy" remix of "Behind the Sun", and the "fun" concert recordings.[13]

Retrospectively, AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine described it as a "tepid collection of remixes and obscurities" which would only appeal to devoted fans of the band, although "even they might have their patience tested by this overly long compilation."[2] In The Rolling Stone Album Guide, Out in L.A. is described as a collection of "early-Eighties demos that are essentially an homage to Flea's bass playing and little else."[8] Ira Robbins of Trouser Press opines that the compilation provides an "otherwise unavailable" taste of the group, with its diverse array of remixes, "demos of lesser tracks" from early albums, "fragmentary outtakes that deserved to remain that way", "crummy" live covers and "a brief, rude jazz incident" ("F.U."). "Of possible value to scholars of the band," he wrote, "Out in L.A. is way too uneven to be of serious concern to anyone else."[14]

Track listing[edit]

Out in L.A. track listing
1."Higher Ground" (12-inch vocal mix – Stevie Wonder cover)5:18
2."Hollywood (Africa)" (extended dance mix – The Meters cover)6:33
3."If You Want Me to Stay" (Pink Mustang Mix – Sly & the Family Stone cover)7:03
4."Behind the Sun" (Ben Grosse remix)4:43
5."Castles Made of Sand" (live – Jimi Hendrix cover)3:18
6."Special Secret Song Inside" (live)3:12
7."F.U." (live – Thelonious Monk cover)1:17
8."Get Up and Jump" (demo version)2:37
9."Out in L.A." (demo version)1:56
10."Green Heaven" (demo version)3:50
11."Police Helicopter" (demo version)1:12
12."Nevermind" (demo version)2:09
13."Sex Rap" (demo version)1:35
14."Blues for Meister"2:54
15."You Always Sing the Same" (demo version)0:16
17."Flea Fly"0:39
18."What It Is"4:03
19."Deck the Halls"1:02
Total length:54:12


  • A majority of the track lengths given on the back cover are incorrect, most notably for "Flea Fly", which is listed as 1:37. Another key mistake was the listing of the incorrect recording dates for the demos. The booklet states they were recorded in 1982 however the band did not form until 1983. Neither of these mistakes were ever corrected. The album also fails to even list recording dates for a few songs most notably "Blues for Meister" and "Deck the Halls".


Red Hot Chili Peppers

Additional musicians



Chart performance for Out in L.A.
Chart (1994) Peak
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[15] 94
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[16] 44
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[17] 37
UK Albums (OCC)[18] 61
US Billboard 200[19] 82


  1. ^ a b "Red Hot Chili Peppers – Deck The Halls". Discogs. 1994. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Out in L.A. – Red Hot Chili Peppers". AllMusic.
  3. ^ Nager, Larry (November 5, 1994). "Recordings". The Commercial Appeal: C5. Retrieved May 7, 2024.
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (1997). "Red Hot Chili Peppers". Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music. London: Virgin Books. p. 100. ISBN 1-85227 745 9.
  5. ^ Eddy, Chuck (1994-11-11). "Album Review: 'Out in L.A.' Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  6. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). "Red Hot Chili Peppera". The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 905. ISBN 1-84195-827-1.
  7. ^ a b Fadele, Dele (November 26, 1994). Dee, Johnny (ed.). "Long Play". NME: 45.
  8. ^ a b "Red Hot Chili Peppers: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2011-03-17. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  9. ^ a b Hall, Matt (December 1994). "New Old Albums". Select: 100. Retrieved May 7, 2024.
  10. ^ Bahr, Bob (December 24, 1994). "Reviews". The Courier-Journal: 24. Retrieved May 7, 2024.
  11. ^ Eddy, Chuck (November 11, 1994). "Music Capsule Review: Out in L.A. (1994)". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2024.
  12. ^ Nager, Larry (November 18, 1994). "Red Hot effort gets chilly reception". Honolulu Star-Bulletin: 26.
  13. ^ Graff, Garry (November 24, 1994). "Music". Green Bay Press-Gazette: Music: 19. Retrieved May 7, 2024.
  14. ^ Robbins, Ira. "Red Hot Chili Pepeprs". Trouser Press. Retrieved May 7, 2024.
  15. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Out in L.A." (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 3, 2023.
  16. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Out in L.A.". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 3, 2023.
  17. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Out in L.A.". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 3, 2023.
  18. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 3, 2023.
  19. ^ "Red Hot Chili Peppers Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved August 3, 2023.