Track Teardown of Red Hot Chilli Peper’s song Blood Sugar Sex Majik

 

 

Album Red Hot Chili Peppers ‎– Blood Sugar Sex Magik

Genre: Rock
Year: 1991
Notes: Album Sales: 13,000,000
First Release Date: September 1991The fifth studio album from Red Hot Chili Peppers and first release on Warner Bros. Records. It was their introduction into worldwide popularity and critical acclaim, and is also recognized as an influential and seminal component of the alternative rock explosion in the early 1990s.

“Blood Sugar Sex Magik” reached #3 in the Billboard Top 200 and produced four of their biggest hits:
“Give It Away”
“Under The Bridge”
“Suck My Kiss”
“Breaking The Girl”

 

Tracklist

The Power Of Equality

If You Have To ask

Breaking The Girl

Suck My Kiss

I Could Have Lied

Mellowship Slinky In B Major

The Righteous & the Wicked

Give it away

Blood Sugar Sex Magjik

Under the bridge

Naked in the rain

Apache Rose Peacock

The Greeting Song

My Lovely Man

Sir Psycho Sexy

They’re Red Hot

Background

Principal Members:

Anthony Kiedis – lead vocals, percussion on “Breaking the Girl”

John Frusciante – electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals, keyboard on “If You Have to Ask”, percussion on “Breaking the Girl”

Flea – bass, backing vocals, trumpet on “Apache Rose Peacock”, piano on “Mellowship Slinky in B Major”, percussion on “Breaking the Girl”

Chad Smith – drums, tambourine on “Funky Monks”, “Mellowship Slinky in B Major”, “If You Have to Ask”, “Sir Psycho Sexy” and “Give It Away”, marimba on “Sir Psycho Sexy”, percussion on “Breaking the Girl”

Produced by Rick Rubin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Rubin

RickRubinSept09

 

This song to me gives me the impression the girl is god. With the main character pulling and scratching at their faith/soul to justify their wrongs.  With the way Anthony conveys lyrics this main character does not have within themselves any way to stop or redeem their actions. Set on a path of confrontation with their soul. The way the music is set out gives me the impression of god/their soul knowing of this confrontation and telling the main character it going to happen.

 

Lyrics to

“Blood Sugar Sex Magik”

Blood sugar sucker fish
In my dish
How many pieces
Do you wish
Step into a heaven
Where I keep it on the soul side
Girl please me
Be my soul bride
Every women
Has a piece of aphrodite
Copulate to create
A state of sexual light
Kissing her virginity
My affinity
I mingle with the gods
I mingle with divinityBlood sugar baby
She’s magik
Sex magik sex magik

Blood sugar baby
She’s magik
Sex magik sex magik
Blood sugar crazy
she has it
sex magik sex magik
Blood sugar baby
She’s magik
Sex magik sex magik

Glorious euphoria
Is my must
Erotic shock
Is a function of lust
Temporarily blind
Dimensions to discover
In time
Each into the other
Uncontrollable notes
From her snowwhite throat
Fill a space
In which two bodies float
Operatic by voice
A fanatic by choice
Aromatic is the flower
She must be moist

Blood sugar baby
She’s magik
Sex magik sex magik
Blood sugar baby
She’s magik
Sex magik sex magik
Blood sugar crazy
she has it
sex magik sex magik
Blood sugar baby
She’s magik
Sex magik sex magik
Blood sugar baby
She’s magik
Sex magik sex magik
Blood sugar baby
She’s magik
Sex magik sex magik
Blood sugar crazy
she has it
sex magik sex magik
Blood sugar baby
She’s magik
Sex magik sex magik
Blood sugar my girl
She’s magik
Sex magik sex magik
Blood sugar baby
She’s magik
Sex magik sex magik
Blood sugar crazy
she has it
sex magik sex magik
Blood sugar baby
She’s magik
Sex magik sex magik

Arrangement

 

click track

 

The BPM of the song varies between 74 at the beginning up to 149 using tap tempo and a click track. 

 

Breakdown of Instruments

Starts at a slow tempo with clean drums and rhythm guitar. Next are clean vocals. There is no reverb on any instruments/vocals or effects. This is one of Rick Rubin’s trade mark production techniques.

Anthony Kiedis Vocals

anthony-kiedis-d518bb8794ba5da0c04f041bab80a74c-large-1452653

A very clean a spacious feel. Vocals slightly panned to the left and sound larger during the verse. On the chorus the vocals sit more in the middle and sound compressed. Anthony’s voice sounds more distant and compressed with less range in what I can hear. A very smart way of handling the change in volume from Anthony speaking to fully singing during the chorus.

Drums Chad Smith

Reverb.com giving a tribute to the Shure 57 noted that the Red Hot Chilli peppers used the Shure 57 on Chad’s drum kit for the recording of Blood Sugar Sex Magjik.
chad-smith-bssm-12

Quote taken from http://www.thechilisource.com

 

 

“I think once I got into the metal drum and the brass drums and the smaller sizes, found my sound. When we did Blood Sugar Sex Magik I used mainly this 5 Black Beauty. When you find a drum that sounds really good, it makes you play better. The snare is the drum you’re playing all the time. That’s the backbeat, that’ what people are dancing to, and that’s who the band hears. It’s what pushes the track.”

0006182_ludwig-lb417kt-14x65-inch-black-beauty-smooth-brass-shell-tube-lugs-snare-drum-hammered-black-chromeThe 5 inch black beauty.

 

Chad also noted for the recording of Blood Sugar Sex Magjik Rick Rubin liked to close mike the drums. This made sense seeing the documentary because they not in a recording studio. Canceling out room reverb and extraneous noises or bleed playing together.

 

 

Lead and rhythm guitar John Frusciante

51662701dc414095b0c5a74e7de550de

 

An exerpt taken from groundguitar.com explained how John used a 1960’s Fender Stratocaster for the recording of Blood Sugar Sex Magjik. His choice being a 62 or 63 sunburst which he used on tour.

The article went onto explain they had contradicted what he had said in a interview with Guitar Player  which he had stated he had used a 58 Stratocaster. However http://www.groundguitar.com had noted in the documentary Funky Monks none of the guitars he had been shown with where a 58 Stratocaster.

 

 

 

Flea Bass guitar

In an interview with Bass Player Flea had stated he had changed his style to a more  melodic/roots style keeping less notes than he usually would have to emphasize other instruments and cross over and block them out on the recording. this changed his signature technique to give a better outcome on the recordings.

Taken from Malandrone, Scott (October 1995). “Flea Interview”. Bass

Player https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6jCs07_01U

FleaOxygen06

“I was trying to play simply on Blood Sugar Sex Magik because I had been playing too much prior to that, so I thought, ‘I’ve really got to chill out and play half as many notes’. When you play less, it’s more exciting—there’s more room for everything. If I do play something busy, it stands out, instead of the bass being a constant onslaught of notes. Space is good.”

On a side issue how Flea perceives the creative process.

 

“Any instrument is just a vehicle to express who you are and your relationship to the world. No matter what level you’re doing it on, playing music is an opportunity to give something to the world.”

Leigh, Bill (June 2006). “A Rock Star & A Jazz Legend Find Common Ground in Music’s Beauty and Depth”Bass Player. Retrieved 2008-01-16.

 

Short video of Flea’s different styles of bass guitar showing what he had stated for the recording of Blood Sugar Sex Magjik.

This is a quote from Radio Swiss Jazz on how Flea came up with a more comfortable fit for Blood Sugar Sex Magjik.

“When we [the band] made Blood Sugar Sex Magik we spent a lot of time jamming every day, for hours and hours. I remember during that time Anthony went off and made a movie, and for a long time it was just me, John and Chad, and we’d just go in there and play. Me and John were hitting the bong and we just rocked and grooved forever. It was the first time we went in to make a record where there wasn’t this feeling of being sort of intimidated by what was going to happen.”

 

 

 

Bibliography

Lou Carlozo.  May 15, 2017. Gear History. Retrieved from https://reverb.com/au/news/gear-tribute-the-shure-sm57-from-rumours-to-the-white-house

 http://thechilisource.com/2006-june-modern-drummer-chad-smith/

 

https://www.groundguitar.com/john-frusciante-gear/

Malandrone, Scott (October 1995). “Flea Interview”. Bass Player.

“2002 Interview with Flea”. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/JznhtOIZ0TY

Leigh, Bill. June 2006. “A Rock Star & A Jazz Legend Find Common Ground in Music’s Beauty and Depth”Bass Player. Retrieved from http://www.bassplayer.com/article/flea-haden/jun-06/20636

Flea’s Quotes from Music Database

Retrieved from http://www.radioswissjazz.ch/en/music-database/musician/10015951194d486e7b87cd6c0516986adb6bd/biography

Kiedis, Sloman. 2004. Scar-Tissue. Retrieved from https://ww w.amazon.com/Scar-Tissue-Anthony-Kiedis/dp/1401307450

http://invisible-movement.net/press/1991-10-guitarplayer

 

Nonperiodical Web Document or Report

List as much of the following information as possible (you sometimes have to hunt around to find the information; don’t be lazy. If there is a page like http://www.somesite.com/somepage.htm, and somepage.htm doesn’t have the information you’re looking for, move up the URL to http://www.somesite.com/):

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved from http://Web address

To cite a YouTube video, the APA recommends following the above format.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: benschulzeblog

Audio student at SAE Brisbane

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