One Hot Minute is the sixth studio album by American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, released on September 12, 1995 by Warner Bros. Records. The worldwide success of the band’s previous album Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991) caused guitarist John Frusciante to become uncomfortable with their status, eventually quitting mid-tour in 1992. Vocalist Anthony Kiedis, who had resumed addictions to cocaine and heroin in 1994 after being sober for more than five years, approached his lyricism with a reflective outlook on drugs and their harsh effects. It is the only studio album to feature Dave Navarro as the band’s lead guitarist, who had joined the band in 1993 after a series of short-term replacements for Frusciante. Drummer Chad Smith and founding bassist Flea round out the main band personnel. The album was produced by Rick Rubin, who also produced their prior album.
One Hot Minute was a commercial disappointment, despite producing three hit singles and reaching number four on the US Billboard 200. Although it sold over two million copies and was certified multi platinum, it nonetheless sold fewer than half as many copies as Blood Sugar Sex Magik and received much less critical acclaim. Navarro was ultimately fired from the band in 1998 due to his drug use.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers had released Blood Sugar Sex Magik in 1991. The album was an instant hit, selling over seven million copies in the United States, and turned the band into an international sensation Guitarist John Frusciante was having difficulty coping with the band’s newfound fame and started to dislike it. Frusciante often argued with his bandmates, and sabotaged performances. He began taking heroin and steadily increased his usage of the drug over time. Frusciante quit the band in 1992, during its Japanese leg of the tour. He returned to his home in California and became a recluse.
Stunned, the remaining Chili Peppers, who had no suitable replacement for Frusciante, hired Arik Marshall to play the remaining dates after being forced to reschedule. Upon returning to Hollywood, the band placed an ad in the L.A. Weekly for open guitar auditions, which Kiedis considered to be a waste of time. After several months of unsuccessfully looking for a suitable guitarist, drummer Chad Smith suggested Dave Navarro. He had always been the band’s first choice, but had been too busy following the 1991 breakup of Jane’s Addiction. Navarro eventually accepted the position after productive jam sessions.
Kiedis knew that the band’s sound would inevitably change when Navarro joined. In June 1994, the band entered The Sound Factory, a recording studio in Los Angeles, to record the album. The band completed a few basic tracks, when Kiedis began having difficulty singing. He had been through a dental procedure in which an addictive sedative, Valium, was used; this caused him to relapse, and he once again became dependent on drugs. Kiedis had slipped from five years of sobriety and began reusing narcotics he’d sworn never to use again. The band took a short break from recording to perform at Woodstock ’94, which was the first show Navarro played with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
One Hot Minute was released September 12, 1995. It was certified Gold just more than two months later on November 11; since then it has gone Double Platinum in the United States. The album peaked at number four on the Billboard Top 200. “My Friends” peaked at number one on the Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts. The song also peaked at number 29 on the UK Singles Chart, and “Aeroplane” at number 11. Several days following the album’s release, Kiedis continued to use drugs despite the numerous interviews he was scheduled to attend.
One Hot Minute was not as universally well received as Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and was ultimately considered to be a poor follow-up. It did however receive mixed to positive reviews from critics. Daina Darzin of Rolling Stone said “One Hot Minute dives into the emotionally deep end of drug addiction and loss”, and that the album “is a ferociously eclectic and imaginative disc that also presents the band members as more thoughtful, spiritual—even grown-up. After a 10 plus-year career, they’re realizing their potential at last.” David Browne of Entertainment Weekly said that “One Hot Minute wails and flails like a mosh-pit workout tape, but it also has moments of outright subtlety and maturity.” He goes on to praise Kiedis for “keeping his boorish tendencies under control.” Browne, however, criticizes the band for “attempts at cosmic philosophy which often trip up on hippie-dippie sentiments”, and some songs “fall back on tired frat-funk flop sweat.” “The Peppers work their own little patch with considerable expertise,” wrote Peter Kane in Q. “The incoming Navarro rarely fails to deliver the goods and upfront the taut ball of energy going by the name of Anthony Kiedis still makes for a suitably rubbery-lipped frontman, if not exactly a lovable one.” Q also included One Hot Minute in its ‘best of the year’ roundup: “A bulging, blistering blend of a skewed ballads and physically intimidating workouts that charge around like a bull on a promise.”
AllMusic’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that “following up Blood Sugar Sex Magik proved to be a difficult task for the Red Hot Chili Peppers”, and “Navarro’s metallic guitar shredding should have added some weight to the Chili Peppers’ punk-inflected heavy-guitar funk, but tends to make it plodding.” Erlewine went on to add that “by emphasizing the metal, the funk is gradually phased out of the blend, as is melody.”Robert Christgau gave the album a rating of “dud”.
“My Friends” was considered by Erlewine to be a blatant attempt to hold on to the mainstream audience gained by “Under the Bridge”, and that in contrast, “the melodies are weak and the lyrics are even more feeble.” The song also “tries to be a collective hug for all [of Kiedis’s] troubled pals.” Rolling Stone, on the other hand, said the song was “lovely”, and incorporated a “vaguely folky chorus, and sports the same sad wishfulness of ‘Under the Bridge’ and ‘Breaking the Girl’.” The article went on to praise “Warped” claiming it “mixes harrowing lyrics with a multi-toned, layered intro and a whirling dervish of noises and big-rock rhythms surfing through and over big, funky hooks. It’s like, well, a drug rush.” Rolling Stone went on to say that the title track was “funky and fun. It’s about love and sex. What the hell. Some things don’t have to change.” Entertainment Weekly said “some of these songs last a little too long and could have benefited from a trimming”, though they credited Kiedis for sounding “nearly spiritual” on “Falling into Grace”. (by wikipedia)
Flea (bass guitar, background vocals, lead vocals on 03. + 06.)
Anthony Kiedis (vocals)
Dave Navarro (guitar, background vocals)
Chad Smith (drums, percussion)
Keith “Tree” Barry (violin on 09.)
Lenny Castro (percussion on 03., 04., 08. – 10.)
Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa (chants on 11.)
John Lurie (harmonica on 10.)
Stephen Perkins (percussion on 01. + 07.)
Gabriel James Navarro (crying on 07.)
Jimmy Boyle – Louis Mathieu – Aimee Echo – Kristen Vigard The Aeroplane Kids
01. Warped 5.05
02. Aeroplane 4.45
03. Deep Kick 6.34
04. My Friends 4.03
05. Coffee Shop 3.09
06. Pea 1.47
07. One Big Mob 6.02
08. Walkabout 5.07
09. Tearjerker 4.20
10. One Hot Minute 6.24
11. Falling Into Grace 3.48
12. Shallow Be Thy Game 4.34
13. Transcending 5.47
All songs written by Flea – Anthony Kiedis – Dave Navarro – Chad Smith