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Top 10 Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Formed in 1983 in Los Angeles, California, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the best-selling rock bands ever. They made a name for themselves with their funk and alternative rock sound, as well as their strong live performances. For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Red Hot Chili Pepper songs. Special thanks to our users MateusHonrado, Dan Martin, LokyPoky, JoeM99, Jacob Witterholt, YoniIsrael, Al Bebak, FreddieDouglas, Abdullah19, Jack Morris, anguscolwell11, Alex Guzman, chitown1371, Awesome One, Mattwoott and AjKarris88 for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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They dream of Californication. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Red Hot Chili Pepper songs.

For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs.

#10: “Soul to Squeeze”
Coneheads (1993)

Though some fans first heard this alt rock number as a B-side to two Blood Sugar Sex Magik singles, “Soul to Squeeze” only really made a splash after it appeared on the “Coneheads” movie soundtrack two years later. Surprisingly, the track became the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ second Modern Rock Tracks chart-topper and their second top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. With its identifiable melody and mellow sound, the ballad also became one of the band’s most well-known tunes.

#9: “By the Way”
By the Way (2002)

Wild, funky, melodic; those are just a few of the words we’d use to describe the title track from the Peppers’ eighth album. With its tender harmonies and alternative rock sound, “By the Way” soon became the band’s sixth number one on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and topped the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart as well. Thanks to its energy and awesome bass lines, the single is also a live staple.

#8: “Around the World”
Californication (1999)

Using a bluesy bass riff and shifting guitar line, this Californication single immediately grabs you in and holds you tight. Add some funk, rap and alternative rock, combined with a sweet chorus, and you’ve got a top twenty rock charts hit. But it’s Anthony Kiedis’ lyrical description of his global travels that really seals the deal and makes us believe “that life is beautiful around the world.”

#7: “Dani California”
Stadium Arcadium (2006)

Borrowing from his love life for inspiration, Kiedis penned this tale about a girl named “Dani California” and mixed in different elements from the women he’s dated. Though “Dani” has appeared in previous Peppers’ tracks, it’s in this single from Stadium Arcadium that she was given the most biographical treatment. With its groovy vibe and Jimi Hendrix-inspired solo, the track also earned the band another top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and two Grammys.

#6: “Can’t Stop”
By the Way (2002)

Though it does feature rapped verses similar to their older material, “Can’t Stop” still incorporates elements of the layered sound the band cultivated later in their career. The result is a single that contains reggae-influenced guitar parts, funky bass lines and a lively melody. In addition to topping the Modern Rock Tracks Chart, the By the Way tune is also often included in the Peppers’ live sets.

#5: “Otherside”
Californication (1999)

Beginning with a soft and almost-melancholy riff, “Otherside” is a moody and dark offering from Californication. Appropriately so, considering its subject matter: tackling addiction and the killer toll it can take on people, the 4-minute single is sung from the point of view of former Peppers’ member Hillel Slovak, who died of a drug overdose in 1988. Another live staple, the alternative rocker hit the Hot 100 top twenty and topped the Modern Rock Tracks chart.

#4: “Give It Away”
Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)

Since it was their first chart-topper ever, hitting the top spot of the Modern Rock Tracks chart in 1991, “Give It Away” is considered the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ breakthrough single. As the lead single from Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the funky, rap and alternative rock number helped the band earn worldwide recognition and even nabbed the ninth spot on the UK charts. With an overall theme touching upon altruism and Kiedis’ unique vocal style that just makes the chorus stick in your head, it’s not surprising it’s one of the band’s most performed songs.

#3: “Scar Tissue”
Californication (1999)

Following the darker, commercially disappointing One Hot Minute, the Peppers found themselves back on top of the rock charts with Californication. And this was thanks, in no small part, to that album’s first single: with its smooth riff, slide guitar solos and carefree beat, “Scar Tissue” made history when it topped the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart for 16 straight weeks. In addition to becoming a Hot 100 top 10 smash, the alt rock tune also won the band a Grammy.

#2: “Californication”
Californication (1999)

This song may be about The Golden State, but instead of praising California, it actually speaks of the negative side of Hollywood and the entertainment biz. As such, the title cut from the band’s seventh effort is a haunting alt rock number filled with pop culture references. Driven by a simple but memorable guitar and bass riff, “Californication” was another rock chart-topper that’s found an almost-permanent place at the Peppers’ concerts.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Suck My Kiss” Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)
- “Higher Ground” Mother’s Milk (1989)
- “Breaking the Girl” Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)
- “Snow ((Hey Oh!))” Stadium Arcadium (2006)
- “Wet Sand” Stadium Arcadium (2006)

#1: “Under the Bridge”
Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)

“Give It Away” may have been their breakthrough, but this Blood Sugar Sex Magik follow-up is what truly brought the Red Hot Chili Peppers sound to the masses. With Kiedis’ emotional vocals and lyrics that reflect universal themes like loneliness, “Under the Bridge” achieved crossover success, earned much radio airplay and peaked at number 2 on the Hot 100. But it’s the fact it could “take us to the place we love” and still does so today that the track’s become such a formative part of alternative rock.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers song? For more entertaining top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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