Notify your mama, papa and daughter: Blood Sugar Sex Magik is turning 30 years old.
Red Hot Chili Peppers released their breakout album on September 24, 1991. Spawning the hit singles in “Under the Bridge,” “Give It Away” and “Suck My Kiss,” Blood Sugar became one of the definitive albums of the ’90s alternative rock scene on its way to being certified seven-times Platinum by the RIAA.
Notably, Blood Sugar marked the second Chili Peppers album to feature guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith, who’d made their debut on 1989’s Mother’s Milk. Along with frontman Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea, they made up the band’s “classic” lineup.
“It changed a lot for [us],” Smith tells ABC Audio of Blood Sugar. “John and I had been in the band and we’d toured a bunch on Mother’s Milk and we had been in the group for awhile. We wrote all those songs, Anthony started to sing more, John was more involved in the songwriting.”
“To me, it was the first time the band actually sounded like what I thought we sounded like,” he adds.
Smith recalls feeling more focused during the Blood Sugar sessions, since the Peps recorded it themselves in a house, as opposed to a traditional recording studio.
“There were no other distractions,” he explains. “There were no other people walking around, studio secretaries or whatever. It was very insular, and we just dug right in and took advantage of that.”
Blood Sugar Sex Magik also marked RHCP’s first album with Rick Rubin in place of Mother’s Milk producer Michael Beinhorn, who often clashed with the band. Rubin then produced every Peppers album up until their most recent effort, 2016’s The Getaway.
“That was the beginning, obviously, of a long relationship with [Rubin],” Smith says.
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