RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS' 'MOTHER'S MILK' TURNS 25
Saturday (August 16th) marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Mother's Milk, the fourth studio album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The band had built a cult following with its first three albums, but almost looked like it was going to implode in 1988 when guitarist Hillel Slovak died of a drug overdose, drummer Jack Irons quit, and singer Anthony Kiedis went into rehab.
But the band regrouped with Detroit native Chad Smith on drums and Peppers fan John Frusciante on guitar to record Mother's Milk. The album yielded the band's first real hit singles -- "Knock Me Down" and a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" -- and paved the way for 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik, which made them into superstars.
Smith had just moved to Los Angeles in August 1988 and by December he had joined the band. He recalled how it felt at the time to become a member of the Peppers: "It was very exciting. I was so excited to be in the band and it was a new thing and new guys and making a record and Hollywood . . . you know, it was very exciting and fun and crazy and it was, really felt like the beginning of something exciting and fond memories. Really fond memories of making new friends, you know, musically and personally and we just had a fun time. It was fun, it went fast. It just went by really fast."
Mother's Milk reached Number 52 on the Billboard album chart -- the band's highest position at that stage -- and was the first Chili Peppers album to go gold for sales of more than half a million copies.
A 25th anniversary edition of the album is expected to be released sometime before the end of 2014. Bonus features may include a complete live show from the Mother's Milk tour and possibly some previously unreleased recordings.
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