'Californication' was released on this day 19 years ago.
Red Hot Chili Peppers released their seventh studio album 'Californication' on this day (June 8th) in 1999 via Warner Bros. Records, and there's a good reason why it remains one of the most outstanding musical releases of its generation. It was an important move in both the rock genre and the band's career in general.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
Most notably, the album saw the return of guitarist John Frusciante as a replacement for Dave Navarro. He had previously featured on the albums 'Mother's Milk' (1989) and 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' (1991), but his return meant a huge shift in the band's sound.
While previously known for more funk rock/punk songs, suddenly Red Hot Chili Peppers had transformed into a more mellow group, with heavy metal vibes and a psychedelic edge. Rick Rubin was producing the record, his third for the band after previous album 'One Hot Minute' and 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik'. It was a crazy move given that the band actually turned down David Bowie who originally wanted to produce the album for them!
Featuring singles the likes of the the titular 'Californication', 'Otherside' and 'Scar Tissue' which won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song, the album is their biggest commercial success, with more than 15 million copies being sold on a worldwide scale and 6 million domestically.
But it wasn't without its controversies. During their world tour in support of the record, they were invited to close their US run of dates with a performance at Woodstock '99 - the second attempt at bringing back the famous 1969 event. Unfortunately, that festival is now notorious for the levels of violence that erupted.
Red Hot Chili Peppers performed a cover of Jimi Hendrix's 'Fire' in honour of the legend's original Woodstock performance, but were later attacked and accused of encouraging the dangerous bonfires that were being built around the site.
It's quite a surprise that a similar situation didn't occur when they played a free show in Moscow's Red Square, which drew a crow of more than 200,000 and meant that the band needed a police escort to get them to the stage. What a crazy year!