ARTIST: Red Hot Chili Peppers
TITLE: Freaky Styley
YEAR RELEASED: 1985
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Jungle Man, Hollywood (Africa)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Catholic School Girls Rule, If You Want Me to Stay
LINEUP: Flea, Anthony Kiedis, Hillel Slovak, Cliff Martinez
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second album from the punk-funksters is somewhat an improvement of their first, at least in terms of sound.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Changing guitarists (back to the original Slovak in place of replacement Jack Sherman), and changing producers (George Clinton did the honors), the second RHCP album sounds better, as Clinton can at least mix their funk-punk vision properly.
The issue, this time, is songs. Many are puerile junior-high level sex jokes that were funny when you were a teenager, but are cringeworthy now. Their cover of Sly Stone’s “If You Want Me to Stay” is nice, but it’s almost a copy from the original. Same with “Hollywood (Africa)”, which is just “Africa” by the Meters with new lyrics.
The only originals that shine are the vamp “Freaky Styley” (it has a great groove) and “Yertle the Turtle”. Towards the end of the album they have a couple of absurdly short pieces that really could have been left off for the extended version of the title track, where Slovak burns the studio with his guitar.
They had the sound, now they just needed the songs.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Even though Slovak plays on the record, most all of the original songs list Sherman as a co-writer.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, some remixes and demos.
GRADE: B-: Good grade for the sound, but more care should have been given to the songs.