Wednesday, July 7, 2010

33 - "Savior," Red Hot Chili Peppers

With a track off their amazing 1999 "Californication" album, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are back on the list of my Top 50 iTunes songs with "Savior."

This is one of my favorite RHCP songs. It just stands out from a lot of their other songs. One reason is the drums. In a lot of earlier RHCP songs, the bass usually sticks out. On later albums, the guitar usually takes center stage. This is one of the few tracks where Chad Smith pounding the drums is really driving the song.

Chad Smith is a lot like Ringo Starr from The Beatles. Ringo & Chad are both great drummers, but their bands aren't about the drumming. There are only a few songs in the Beatles catalogue where the drums are featured prominently, and the Beatles only have one song that features a drum solo. That's the same with the Chili Peppers. On a song like "Savior," you can see his skill, but he's usually in the background as the other instruments take over.

Then, of course, even more interesting than the drumming - what is this song about? One of my favorite things about this band is that they can write some weird lyrics that seemingly don't mean anything, but then you listen and it all comes together.

I've read speculation that this song is about anybody from Jesus, Hillel Slovak (former guitarist), John Frusciante (former guitarist), or Anthony Keidis' dad. It definitely appears to be a song about somebody Anthony Keidis looked up to who has turned out to not be what he thought he was. From reading Keidis' autobiography "Scar Tissue," you learn that he's had issues with all of those people I just mentioned.

RHCP are the second band to "3-peat" on the list, following Stone Temple Pilots. They'll be the first to "4-peat," as they're back at number 31. After that, we don't see RHCP again until number 17.

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