The Red Hot Chili Peppers (album)

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Cover art designed by Gary Panter
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 10, 1984
RecordedApril 1984
StudioEldorado Studios, Hollywood, California
ProducerAndy Gill
Red Hot Chili Peppers chronology
The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Freaky Styley
Singles from The Red Hot Chili Peppers
  1. "Get Up and Jump"
    Released: August 10, 1984

The Red Hot Chili Peppers is the debut studio album by American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, released on August 10, 1984, via EMI America and Enigma Records. The album was produced by Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill, and is the only Peppers album to feature Jack Sherman on guitar. Sherman was in the band as a replacement for founding member Hillel Slovak, who'd left the band along with founding drummer Jack Irons before the album was recorded. After the tour for this album, Sherman was fired and Slovak rejoined the band. The album also features founding members Anthony Kiedis on vocals and Flea on bass, as well as Cliff Martinez on drums.

"Get Up and Jump" was the only single released from the album, but a music video was made for the song "True Men Don't Kill Coyotes." The album has been credited as the first release from the funk metal genre[4] and has also been labeled as "the little spark that ignited the rap rock revolution."[3]

Writing and recording[edit]

The band was often at odds with producer Andy Gill over the musical direction of the album. Anthony Kiedis was disappointed with the overall sound, thinking that it lacked the raw energy of the band's original 1983 demo tape.[6][7] In his 2004 autobiography Scar Tissue, Kiedis recalled, "One day, I got a glimpse of Gill's notebook, and next to the song 'Police Helicopter', he'd written 'Shit.' I was demolished that he had dismissed that as shit. Police Helicopter was a jewel in our crown. It embodied the spirit of who we were, which was this kinetic, stabbing, angular, shocking assault force of sound and energy. Reading his notes probably sealed the deal in our minds that 'Okay, now we're working with the enemy', It became very much him against us, especially Flea and me. It became a real battle to make the record."[7]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide1/5 stars[8]
The Village VoiceB–[9]

The album failed to chart on the Billboard 200, reaching No. 201 (meaning it "bubbled under" the main album chart for eight weeks in the autumn of 1984). The album received college airplay and MTV rotation, and built the band's fan base. The reviews that were published of the album were mixed, with the first issue of Spin magazine giving, according to Anthony Kiedis in his autobiography Scar Tissue, a positive review.[7] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic later wrote that "their first effort didn't quite gel into a cohesive album".[5] As of 2007, it had sold about 300,000 copies worldwide.[10] Kiedis and Flea have said over the years that they prefer the demo versions of most of the songs, which were recorded with the original lineup featuring Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons; however, the band acknowledged in various books that Jack Sherman's contributions to the band, particularly his knowledge of funk music and music theory, were instrumental in the band's development that were not present with Slovak.

Gwen Dickey, better known by her stage name, Rose Norwalt, provides backing vocals on "Mommy, Where's Daddy?" Dickey was the singer for the 1970s group Rose Royce. On live performances of the song, her lines are performed by Flea.

Track listing[edit]

1."True Men Don't Kill Coyotes"Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Cliff Martinez, Jack Sherman3:40
2."Baby Appeal"Kiedis, Flea, Hillel Slovak, Martinez, Sherman3:41
3."Buckle Down"Kiedis, Flea, Martinez, Sherman3:24
4."Get Up and Jump"Kiedis, Flea, Slovak, Jack Irons2:53
5."Why Don't You Love Me"Hank Williams3:27
6."Green Heaven"Kiedis, Flea, Slovak, Irons3:59
7."Mommy, Where's Daddy?"Kiedis, Flea, Martinez, Sherman3:31
8."Out in L.A."Kiedis, Flea, Slovak, Irons2:01
9."Police Helicopter"Kiedis, Flea, Slovak, Irons1:16
10."You Always Sing the Same" (listed as "You Always Sing" on some releases)Kiedis, Flea0:19
11."Grand Pappy Du Plenty" (instrumental)Kiedis, Flea, Martinez, Sherman, Andy Gill4:15
Total length:32:32
Bonus tracks on 2003 remastered CD version
12."Get Up and Jump" (Demo)Kiedis, Flea, Slovak, Irons2:37
13."Police Helicopter" (Demo)Kiedis, Flea, Slovak, Irons1:12
14."Out in L.A." (Demo)Kiedis, Flea, Slovak, Irons1:56
15."Green Heaven" (Demo)Kiedis, Flea, Slovak, Irons3:50
16."What It Is" (Demo, also known as "Nina's Song")Kiedis, Flea3:58
Total length:46:01


Red Hot Chili Peppers

2003 edition bonus tracks (tracks 12–16)[edit]

Additional musicians
Recording personnel
  • Gary Panter – cover art
  • Edward Colver – photography
  • Howard Rosenberg – photography
  • Henry Marquez – art direction

2003 remastered version personnel[edit]

  • Kevin Flaherty – producer for reissue
  • Ron McMaster – remastering
  • Kenny Nemes – project manager
  • Michelle Azzopardi – art direction
  • Kristine L. Barnard – design
  • John Dinser – photo imaging and additional design
  • Edward Colver – photography
  • Howard Rosenberg – photography
  • EMI Archives – photography


  1. ^ "CMJ New Music Report". January 5, 2004: 14. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ McMahon, Kevin (June 20, 2016). "Ranking: Every Red Hot Chili Peppers Album From Worst to Best: The Red Hot Chili Peppers (1984)". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Stafford, James (August 10, 2015). "The Story of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Self-Titled Debut". Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Haire, Chris (August 12, 2009). "Psychostick returns funk metal to its silly roots". Charleston City Paper. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c AllMusic Review
  6. ^ Reiff, Corbin (August 10, 2015). "How the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Debut Pointed to Big Things". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Kiedis, Anthony; Sloman, Larry (October 6, 2004). Scar Tissue. Hyperion. ISBN 1-4013-0101-0.
  8. ^ Kot, Greg (2004). "Red Hot Chili Peppers". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 681. ISBN 0743201698.
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (December 25, 1984). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  10. ^ Faris, Lynn (January 2007). "Not your Mother's Milk". Creative Loafing. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved October 9, 2007.