The Uplift Mofo Party Plan

1987 studio album by Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Uplift Mofo Party Plan is the third studio album by Red Hot Chili Peppers. Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American rock band. The album was released by Manhattan Records on September 29, 1987. The Uplift Mofo Party Plan is the band's only album that has the founding members on every song. These people are singer Anthony Kiedis, bass guitar player Flea, guitar player Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons. This is the last Red Hot Chili Peppers album with Slovak on it. This is because he died from a drug overdose in 1988.[2] The album had one single. It is named "Fight Like a Brave". In 1992, "Behind the Sun" was released as a single as well. This was because it was on What Hits!?, a greatest hits album.

The Uplift Mofo Party Plan
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 29, 1987 (1987-09-29)
RecordedMay 1987
StudioCapitol (Hollywood), Eldorado (Hollywood)
LabelEMI Manhattan
ProducerMichael Beinhorn
Singles from The Uplift Mofo Party Plan
  1. "Fight Like a Brave"
    Released: September 29, 1987

The album was much more successful than the band's first two albums. It was the band's first album to go on the Billboard 200 music chart.[3] The Uplift Mofo Party Plan was certified gold by the RIAA. The band went on tour to make the album more popular. Slovak died after the tour. Because of this, Irons left the band.[4]

Background change

Red Hot Chili Peppers joined EMI in 1983. After the band did this, Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons left the band. They did this so they could focus on their other band, What Is This?. The other members of the Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis and Flea, got new members to join. They hired Jack Sherman and Cliff Martinez. The band made an album in 1984 named The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Kiedis and Flea did not like how the album sounded.[5] They replaced Sherman with Slovak, because Slovak left What Is This? a few weeks earlier.[6] Freaky Styley (1985) was the band's first album with Slovak on it. In early 1986, the band started working on their next album. EMI gave the Chili Peppers $5,000 to make a demo tape. The band worked with Keith Levene, one of the original members of the Clash, to make the album.[7] Levene and Slovak saved $2,000 dollars from the money to spend on drugs. They did not tell this to the rest of the band. This made the other members mad. Kiedis and Flea fired Martinez. After this, they hired Jack Irons again.[8]

Kiedis and Slovak were addicted to heroin. Their addictions got worse as the band was making The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. Kiedis was not helping the band make much music because of his addiction.[9] He was asked to leave the band to go to a treatment place. While he was there, the band won the LA Weekly Band of the Year Award. Because of this, Kiedis decided to stop using heroin. He visited his mother in Michigan, and she took him to another treatment place owned by the Salvation Army.[10] He lived with his mother after being treated for 20 days. It was the first time he was not using drugs since he was 11 years old.[11] After he was done, Kiedis felt much better. He wrote the lyrics to "Fight Like a Brave" while on an airplane going back to Los Angeles.[12] He joined the band again to record the album.

Recording change

Anthony Kiedis (left) and Flea (right) playing music in 1989

While Kiedis was getting treated, the band wanted to get a new producer. Michael Beinhorn was looking for work at EMI after he had produced other music. None of it was very successful. A man from EMI talked to Beinhorn, and asked him to work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.[13] Beinhorn liked the band's music and how they acted. He wanted to meet the band. They told him to meet them at a club in New Orleans named Tipitina's.[13] Beinhorn decided to work with the band. Kiedis talked to Beinhorn about how the album was going to be made. Kiedis wanted to record the album in ten days, and write the songs during this time.[14]

The album was recorded in Capitol Studios Studio B in Hollywood.[15] Kiedis was having withdrawal while making the album, and did not make as much music as he did before. After not doing drugs for fifty days, he decided to take drugs again because he made new music. This made him addicted to drugs again. Making the album was difficult, because Kiedis left many times to find drugs. Beinhorn said that he "really thought the record wasn't gonna get made."[16] Kiedis felt bad whenever he was not recording music with the band, so he tried to write music and find drugs at the same time. The band was not happy that he was using drugs and did not show up to make music. However, they were impressed with how much music he wrote.[17]

The band had fun recording the album. They were inspired by Jack Irons being in the band again.[17] Beinhorn wanted the band to do different things with the music on the album. Although the band wanted to make the same type of music they already made, they later thought Beinhorn was helping them make better music. Slovak helped Kiedis record his singing on the album. In between recording songs, Slovak ran around and said "This is the most beautiful thing we've ever done."[18] During a jam session, Slovak made a guitar riff that sounded different from the band's music. Slovak almost stopped using the riff because it was very different from the music the band had already made. However, Beinhorn helped him make it into a full song. Every member of the band started making music for it. The song became one of the album's singles. It was named "Behind the Sun".[19]

Music change

The way Hillel Slovak acted while using drugs inspired the song "Skinny Sweaty Man". He also inspired "No Chump Love Sucker".

While the album was being made, Beinhorn told Kiedis to rap less, and sing more. At the time, Kiedis did not like his singing voice. He also thought the new style was too cliché. On The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, Slovak played music that was different from funk, such as reggae and extreme metal.[19] Slovak used a talk box on the song "Funky Crime".[20] He sang into a tube to use the talk box. This let him make different sounds while playing the guitar. Flea used a different style of playing the bass guitar on the album. He would slap the strings to make different sounds. This was something he did on many of the band's other albums. The album has a cover version of "Subterranean Homesick Blues" by Bob Dylan. It is in a Red Hot Chili Peppers style.

Many of the lyrics on the album were about the band members, sex, and life in Los Angeles. Many of the lyrics were inspired by Slovak, Kiedis, Flea and Irons being in the band again. They were happy that they could make music together again.[21] Kiedis was also inspired by his own life when writing music. While the band was making Freaky Styley, Kiedis and Slovak used cocaine a lot. When Slovak was high, he would wear brightly colored clothes and dance in a weird way. This inspired the song "Skinny Sweaty Man".[22] The song "No Chump Love Sucker" was also inspired by Slovak. While the album was being made, Slovak's girlfriend left him. She started dating someone who had "more money and more drugs".[23] The band made the song about this.

"Funky Crime" was inspired by a conversation between the band and George Clinton. Clinton was the producer for Freaky Styley. Kiedis said that the song was a description of the conversation. It is about how music is "color-blind" but it separated by the media based on what it thinks about musicians.[24] Kiedis wrote "Me and My Friends" while driving home from San Francisco with his friend Joe Walters.[24] "Backwoods" is about the history of rock and roll.[24] Kiedis said that "Love Trilogy" is one of the band's favorite songs. It is about loving things that are not perfect.[19]

Release change

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [25]
Los Angeles Times    [26]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [27]

EMI did not want to release the album unless the band changed the name of the song "Party on your Pussy". The band renamed the song to "Special Secret Song Inside".[28] The Uplift Mofo Party Plan was released on September 29, 1987. It got to number 148 on the Billboard 200. This was much more successful than the band's other albums.[29] It was the band's first album on the Billboard 200. The album has been certified gold in the United States. The band made a music video for the song "Fight Like a Brave". This was the album's main single. It did not go on any Billboard charts.[30] "Behind the Sun" was released as a single in 1992. It was released for a compilation album named What Hits!?. It got to number 7 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.[31]

The album also helped Red Hot Chili Peppers get more fans in Los Angeles. One of these fans was John Frusciante.[32] He later joined the band to play the guitar after Slovak died.[33] Frusciante's way of playing the guitar was inspired by Slovak.[34]

Concert tour and Slovak's death change

The band went on a long concert tour for the album. They went to many different countries for it. The band noticed that there were more people at their concerts. Kiedis said that the fans had more energy as well.[35] Flea said that "We were in love with those songs and how much fun we were having playing them."[35]

The band was happy that they had more fans. However, Kiedis and Slovak were still addicted to drugs. Both of them stopped using heroin before the tour. They helped each other not use the drug.[5][36] During the tour, both of them had drug withdrawal. Slovak had much worse symptoms than Kiedis. He was worse at playing the guitar because of his withdrawal. At one concert, Slovak had a mental breakdown and did not play the guitar.[37] The band played the concert without Slovak. They did not have anyone playing the guitar. Slovak got better, but the band did not want it to happen again. They hired DeWayne McKnight to play guitar at a few concerts.[38] After a few days playing with McKnight, the band wanted to let Slovak play again. He played with the band at many concerts in Europe. Kiedis tried to get a counselor for Slovak to help him. However, Slovak did not think his addiction was bad enough to need treatment.[39]

When the band came back to Los Angeles, Slovak stayed away from the other members of the band. When he was not getting support from his friends, Slovak had trouble avoiding drugs.[5][40] A few weeks after the band got to Los Angeles, they tried to find Slovak. They could not find him for many days. Slovak was found dead by police in his apartment on June 27, 1988.[5][41] He died because of a heroin overdose.[5] Irons left the band because of Slovak's death. He said he did not want to be in a group his friends were dying in. Kiedis and Flea did not know if they should keep making music. They decided to make more music to continue what Slovak "helped build".[42] The two hired John Frusciante. Frusciante was a fan of the Chili Peppers, and liked how Slovak played the guitar. The group also needed a new drummer, because Irons left. They hired Chad Smith.

Track listing change

All songs written and composed by Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Hillel Slovak, and Jack Irons[25] except "Subterranean Homesick Blues". This is a song written by Bob Dylan

No. Title Length
1. "Fight Like a Brave"   3:53
2. "Funky Crime"   3:00
3. "Me and My Friends"   3:09
4. "Backwoods"   3:08
5. "Skinny Sweaty Man"   1:16
6. "Behind the Sun"   4:40
7. "Subterranean Homesick Blues"   2:34
8. "Party on Your Pussy" (Title censored on original release listing as "Special Secret Song Inside") 3:16
9. "No Chump Love Sucker"   2:42
10. "Walkin' on Down the Road"   3:49
11. "Love Trilogy"   2:42
12. "Organic Anti-Beat Box Band"   4:10
Total length:

Credits change

Certifications change

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[43] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References change

  1. Birchmeier, Jason. "Freaky Styley – Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  2. "Hillel Slovak; Guitarist in Flamboyant Rock Band". Los Angeles Times. June 30, 1988. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  3. "Red Hot Chili Peppers Albums Charting". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved September 12, 2007.
  4. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 224
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 (2002) "Behind the Music: Red Hot Chili Peppers episode". VH1.
  6. "Red Hot Chili Peppers Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 22, 2007.
  7. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 187
  8. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 188
  9. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 191
  10. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 193
  11. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004, p. 198
  12. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 200
  13. 13.0 13.1 Mullen, 2010. p. 161
  14. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 201
  15. Keller, Daniel (July 2011). "Michael Beinhorn: Realizing It". Tape Op. Tape Op. p. 28.
  16. Mullen, 2010. p. 164
  17. 17.0 17.1 Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 205
  18. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 206
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 204
  20. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 112
  21. Mullen, 2010. p. 161
  22. Slovak, James; Slovak, Hillel (August 1999). Behind the Sun: The Diary and Art of Hillel Slovak. Slim Skinny Publications, Incorporated. ISBN 978-0-9673956-0-9.
  23. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. pp. 203–204
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 203
  25. 25.0 25.1 Meredith, Bill. "The Uplift Mofo Party Plan Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  26. Strauss, Duncan (January 17, 1988). "Peppers: Hit-and-Miss". The Los Angeles Times. Eddy Hartenstein. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  27. Kot, Greg (2004). "Red Hot Chili Peppers". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 681. ISBN 0743201698.
  28. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 203
  29. "Red Hot Chili Peppers Albums Charting". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved September 12, 2007.
  30. "Chart History – "Fight Like a Brave" – Red Hot Chili Peppers". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  31. "Chart History – "Behind the Sun" – Red Hot Chili Peppers". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  32. Mullen, 2010. p. 108
  33. Nelson, Artie (November 23, 1994). "Space Cadet". Raw Magazine, Issue #163.
  34. Apter, 2004, p. 181.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Mullen, 2010. p. 165
  36. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 208
  37. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 216
  38. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 219
  39. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 221
  40. Page, Scarlet (July 2004). "Red Hot Chili Peppers: The LA Punks Who Defied Death, Grunge And A Burning Crack Den". Mojo. Bauer Media Group.
  41. "Hillel Slovak; Guitarist in Flamboyant Rock Band". Los Angeles Times. June 30, 1988. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  42. Kiedis, Sloman, 2004. p. 224
  43. "American album certifications – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Uplift Mofo Party Plan". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 3, 2021.

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