September 12, 1995. Almost four years after the release of their breakthrough album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the Red Hot Chili Peppers take a hard left with One Hot Minute.
The irony of the title, as we know now, is that “one hot minute” is about how long new guitarist Dave Navarro spent in the band. Yes, he joined on guitar as John Frusciante‘s replacement in 1993 and wasn’t fired until 1998, and that seems like a long time, but having just one album and one big tour to his name makes Navarro’s tenure look shorter in hindsight.
So what about that one album? The knock on One Hot Minute for years has been that it’s one of the blots on RHCP’s permanent record. But, in going back to the album, I think history has been unkind not because it’s a bad record, but because of Navarro’s ugly ending with the band.
Let’s start with the lead single, “Warped.” It’s Exhibit A of “wonder what it would sound like if the guitarist from Jane’s Addiction joined Red Hot Chili Peppers?” The answer is: “it would sound rad as hell.”
I’ve always thought RHCP are hit-or-miss when it comes to their ballads. I’d put “My Friends” firmly in the “hit” category.
And “Aeroplane” finds Navarro borrowing a move or two from the Frusciante/Chilis playbook, riff-wise.
And those are just the singles. Go back to One Hot Minute and I think you’ll be surprised to find that it’s hotter than you remembered.