Mission Impossible – Heaviest Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs?

Heavy Red Hot Chili Peppers songs? Is that even possible?

One of the secret ingredients behind Red Hot Chili Peppers’ success is the fact that you can’t categorize them within a single genre when describing their music. They incorporated many different genres into their discography; they were funk, punk, alternative, rap, and rock. Essentially, they were many things. But were they heavy? That’s the question we are going to explore in this list.

But before we proceed, we need to define what ‘heavy’ means. ‘Heavy’ can encompass various elements such as heavy drums, bass, lyrics, guitars, or even vocals. It can also be a combination of these. However, in this specific case, our focus is on the use of heavily distorted guitars in Red Hot Chili Peppers’ music. Our task is to identify and present all the songs in their catalogue that can be labeled as heavy rock, hard rock, or even metal. It might sound like a mission impossible, and to be honest, in this case, it actually is. But that’s the whole point of this list, so let’s dig in!

There’s a possibility that we may have missed some songs, in which case, feel free to suggest them. And, of course, only official albums are under review—no extended versions or unreleased material

Once again, what we’re searching for are songs with heavy distorted guitar riffs, excluding solos, and with at least half of the song featuring intense rock riffing.

NOTE: The dialogues in this text are a product of fiction.

20.Reach Out (Return of the Dream Canteen 2022)

The latest two RHCP releases are anything but heavy, but there are some songs that can be squeezed onto this list. One of them is ‘Reach Out,’ which starts very slow and melancholic but soon progresses into some distorted riffage in the choruses. The same can be said for ‘Heavy Wing’ from ‘Unlimited Love.’ John Frusciante was obviously not on good terms with his overdrive and distortion pedals during these sessions.


19.These Are The Ways (Unlimited Love 2022)

The same can be said for this one. It starts very quiet and slow, but after around the 30-second mark, it progresses into a frantic, hard-rocking riffage that truly sets this song as one of the best from both releases. Somebody let John and the guys loose in this one, especially in that outro part. This is as heavy as RHCP gets nowadays. They should have tried it more, though.


18.This Ticonderoga (The Getaway 2016)

From the two albums of Josh Klinghoffer’s RHCP era, there is only this song that fits our crazy list. The guitars are a little bit on the fuzzier side of distortion, but anyway, we will take it.


17.Readymade (Stadium Arcadium 2006)

Stadium Arcadium was a grandiose album that gave us many RHCP hits and anthems, but in terms of heavy-sounding songs, there is not much to choose from—except we found one for this occasion. ‘Readymade’ comes from the second part of this gigantic double album, where John Frusciante fired some tasty hard-rocking riffs in a simultaneous game with Flea’s bass guitar.


16.Storm In A Teacup

Okay, okay, we know what we’ve said. Yet, there is one more from this double album that’s a bit different from the previous one. It starts as your average RHCP funky tune, up until the chorus where John goes into an engaged turbo distortion mode. It’s not a completely heavy tune, but that chorus persuaded us to put it on the list.

After a day of recording:

Yeah, it was nice to do some heavy riffs, man. Right, Tony?”

“Really? I thought you hated playing like that.”

Why would I hate playing heavier riffs?”

“Man, you didn’t want to do that for, like, two albums, or shit. And you said you hated it before.”

“Really….when?”

“Back then when you joined the band or something.”

“No man, I don’t remember ever saying that.”

“Really, you kidding me right?”

“No man, I am serious.”

“So you don’t remember that mansion, us living there for like a month or something and all that crap about being haunted?”

“Umm….Wait, there was a mansion?”

“Whatever, nevermind John….”


15.Coffee Shop (One Hot Minute 1995)

You probably already understand that we are going chronologically backward through RHCP’s catalog, right? Skipping ‘By The Way’ and ‘Californication’, rewinding 11 years, we are stepping into Dave Navarro’s territory. Dave was a different guitar player than John, which was something that most hardcore RHCP fans didn’t like back in the day. This song is maybe one of the answers why. The guitars in this one are heavy, like metal-heavy sounding, which was never a big RHCP thing.


14.One Hot Minute (One Hot Minute 1995)

Maybe this song is the pure example of what Dave Navarro really was back then. What do we have here is more than 6 minutes of heavy, slow, a bit psychedelic black-sabbathy riffage from the (then) former Jane’s Addiction guitarist.


13.Shallow By The Game (One Hot Minute 1995)

If you count the previous two songs, and maybe even add the album opener ‘Warped,’ that’s already more heavy riffing songs than they had on their next three albums. But there is a fourth one where Dave Navarro simply wanted to be – Dave Navarro.

After finishing some songs during One Hot Minute sessions:

“Hey, dudes, that was rad, man!”

“Yeah Dave, sure man, it was okay. Let’s wrap it up for today. I’ve got some errands to do.”

“Where are you going, Tony?”

“None of your business, Flea.”

“Is it that corner of La Cienega and whatever other street it is, again?”

“I said, it’s none of your fuckin’ business, man!”

“Hey, hey, guys, don’t fight. Chill out. Let me play something I have!”

“We’re finished for today, Dave. I’ve packed my bass, and wait, what the hell is that? Another one with distortion? No way!” “

Why not? It’s rad, man. It’s really heavy, and….”

“No way man. Anthony, tell him. We already have enough songs like that.”

“I don’t care, man. See ya!”

“Fuck, than. Whatever. Okay, Dave, do whatever you want. I am going home…”


12.Blood Sugar Sex Magik (Blood Sugar Sex Magik 1991)

There was lots of blood, sugar, sex, and magic on this 1991 legendary album, but on the other side, heavy riffs were almost nowhere to be found. There is only some parts from several different songs that barely fits our list. If you listen very carefully you will hear John’s guitar deep in the mix under Flea’s loud bass in ‘Suck My Kiss’ or in the chorus of ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’.

After one of the recording sessions – Houdini’s mansion LA 1991

“Hey, what the hell is this? Who added distortion to these songs? We said we don’t want that so my bass can be the loudest in the mix. John?”

“What, man? I don’t know what you’re talking about Flea.”

“Well, you added distortion to ‘Suck My’ and ‘Blood’.”

“No, I didn’t. I can’t stand that thing after what that guy made us do two years ago.”

“Well, somebody must have done it. Rick, was it you?”

“No.”

“Okay, hmm, John, man, don’t lie to me. Where have you been all day anyway, and where the heck is Anthony?”

“Mostly in the bathroom, dude, and Anthony never left his room today.”

“What about Chad? It was him, right? Where the hell is he, Rick?”

“He is at home, or at Rainbow Bar and Grill or something.”

“That’s it, Flea! I know who did it!!!”

“You do, John? Who was it then?”

“It’s the ghost, man! I told you guys this house is haunted. He talked to me in my room, man. And Chad doesn’t want to be here because of him. It’s gotta be that ghost, man.”

Yeah, right, John. Whatever. Just go back to your room, and Rick and I will think of something.”

“Umm, okay, man…”


11.Good Time Boys (Mother’s Milk 1989)

And now, after all this we’re finally delving into the realm of real heavy music, and of course, that brings us to the 1989 album ‘Mother’s Milk.’ This is likely what most of you anticipated seeing on this list before clicking on it. However, not all the songs on the album feature the heavy distorted guitar sounds we’re seeking, so we had to make some cuts.

This musical journey kicks off with ‘Good Time Boys,’ where we can hear some raging riffage by the then-new, young guitarist, John Frusciante.


10.Higher Ground (Mother’s Milk 1989)

‘Higher Ground’ served as the first single from this album and was, obviously, a cover song. It stands as a prime example of how the overall sound of this album differs from the rest of the RHCP catalogue. If your introduction to RHCP was during ‘Californication’ or ‘By The Way,’ for example, revisiting this song would likely be mind-blowing because it is as heavy as heavy can be and nothing like the songs from aforementioned albums.


9.Nobody Weird Like Me (Mother’s Milk 1989)

But then, just when you thought this was the heaviest RHCP could get, you come across this little gem. It’s a weird, frantic, highly energetic funk metal masterpiece. Yes, without a doubt, it’s a metal song. Weird, huh? Whether it is for you or not, or whether you like it or not, in our opinion, this heavy metal hurricane is one of the best RHCP deep cuts in their discography!


8.Knock Me Down (Mother’s MIlk 1989)

Common knowledge about ‘Mother’s Milk’ suggests that John Frusciante and the band disliked the direction their producer was taking, especially regarding the guitars. Heavy, thick-sounding, and layered guitars were not John’s preference, nor the band’s. They aimed for a slinkier, acid-sounding, funky style rather than the crunchy, big, heavy tone.

However, looking at it from this perspective, we must agree that in the end, we got this unusual album full of great little gems like ‘Knock Me Down,’ which can actually be considered a hit song too.


7.Punk Rock Classic (Mother’s Milk 1989)

Now, there is even weirder stuff on this record, and that is this almost Oi punk metal tune, with a little twist at the end.

Just a day of recording:

“Chad, man, I can’t stand this guy anymore.”

“Who, you mean the producer?”

“Yeah, I really don’t like what we are doing here. This is not my style. I don’t like to play like this.”

“I know, man, but you know what? I think it’s cool. I like it. And my friends from Rainbow would totally dig this. You are a great guitarist, man.”

“Thanks, man. Anyway, did you hear what I recorded at the end of this punk tune?”

“Yeah, bro, that was so awesome, man. I love them.”

(Flea enters the room): “What did you record, John? What was that?”

“That was Guns N’ Roses, man. You heard about them?”

“Are they like that acid jazz funk band with a guy that plays trumpet?”

“No, no, no, man. Chad, tell him.”

“Dude, bro, they are like the hottest band in Hollywood right now. The bad boys of LA, man. They are famous and stuff.”

“Never heard about them. Just don’t tell me they are one of those bands that dress up like that and wear all those hideous cringy things…”

“Well, they actually are, but that’s fine, man. Look at me, man. I am wearing bandanas, leather pants, and cowboy boots too.”

“Exactly, and we are going to need to talk about that.”

“Later, man. I am going to Rainbow now to meet some friends. See ya!”


6.Sexy Mexican Maid (Mother’s Milk 1989)

And here is another one that fits our list. Again, multilayered guitars, some of them heavy, some of them not, but that’s basically the whole ‘Mother’s Milk’ in a nutshell for you.


5.Fight Like A Brave (The Uplift Mofo Party Plan 1987)

Now, to the Hillel Slovak territory. On this 1987 album, RHCP started incorporating a bit more melody into their music compared to the previous two albums. Besides that, this was the album where they got to work with Michael Beinhorn, a producer who was responsible for ‘ruining’ the band’s next album with his heavy, crunchy guitars approach. On this one, there were not many songs like the ones from Mother’s Milk, but there were some seeds of heavy riffing planted here, as seen in the opening song ‘Fight Like A Brave.


4.Backwoods (The Uplift Mofo Party Plan 1987)

Backwoods is another one that fits our list. It definitely has those heavy guitars, although in comparison to Frusciante’s 1989 tone, Hillel was going for a bit lighter and maybe a more fuzzier sound. Overall, this song is, in our opinion, probably the best one on this album.


3.No Chump Love Sucker (The Uplift Mofo Party Plan 1987)

This tune is probably the heaviest of the three that we chose for this occasion. Buried deep down in the album, lurking from the shadows, you can clearly hear the style of producer Michael Beinhorn. Well, guys (RHCP), you should have ditched him after this song because he clearly showed you at least some of his intentions for the future.


2.Catholic School Girls Rule (Freaky Style 1985)

Freaky Styley is an album that is anything but heavy in terms of music, of course. It’s your humd-d bump, slam and dunk, acid funky psychedelic mash-up. It is basically – a freaky styley, two words that describe it the best. However, we found one song to put on this list. It’s not heavy by any means but more punk rock or even new wave-ish rock with just enough distortion that we need to include this tune on this list.


1.Buckle Down (Red Hot Chili Peppers 1984)

Just a month from the day of this article/list release, we can start celebrating the 40th anniversary of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ debut album. When Motley Crue and RATT ruled in LA, and Metallica was starting its journey, the unknown RHCP weren’t the ones you would go to look for distorted guitar riffs.

But anyway, we found one. It barely fits the list, but no matter what, we wanted to have at least one song from this legendary album here. It’s ancient history, okay, and maybe the guys didn’t have enough money to buy a proper guitar pedals to crank this tune a bit more up. Or is it just that Anthony took Jack Sherman’s (guitarist on this record) pedals and sold them for ‘the stuff’? We are never going to know…

Well, that was a long list, but we made it. We presented you the 20 heaviest RHCP songs. If you are still here and your head isn’t blown up, then you are the real deal. Anyway, we are Junkyard, and you are awesome. Thank you for sticking with us. Let us know what you think, share, and comment. Until the next one, see ya!

If interested, you can purchase Red Hot Chili Peppers music here.