When it comes to Red Hot Chili Peppers, you either love them or hate them. For some, the band are geniuses who have found a way to seamlessly fuse funk, punk, rock, and hip-hop in unique ways. For others, they are just another jock-rock band. Both viewpoints are valid. However, it’s impossible to undermine the influence and impact the band have had on pop culture and music as a whole. And while they have had more member turnover rates than a fast-food restaurant throughout their nearly 40-year career, the band's identity and presence always feel relevant and recognizable regardless of era. 

Red Hot Chili Peppers are undoubtedly the sum of four distinct and crucial characters, including their most consistent lineup of vocalist Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith (who is a doppelganger of actor/comedian Will Ferrell). Most recognizable are Flea's intricate and commanding basslines and the simple imagery and lyricism of Kiedis, who is in many ways more of a poet than a bonafide vocal powerhouse. When these two elements are combined with the locked-in grooves of Smith and the vibrant guitar brush strokes of Frusciante, you get the signature Chili Peppers sound, perfect for a trippy California day spent soaking up the sun. 

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And while the band's music is often laid back, playful, and mellow, there’s still an underlying darkness and serious self-reflective narrative that creeps in due to their early years spent navigating addiction, trauma, and untimely deaths. In fact, things were so bleak for the band in the '80s and into the mid-'90s, it wouldn't have been wrong to assume that the band would never make it 40 years. Thirteen records, countless platinum certifications and sold-out world tours later, Red Hot Chili Peppers beat the odds and are now spending their time celebrating the victories and holding on to the same creative spark that brought them together in the first place. 

Every Red Hot Chili Peppers album ranked

Here we ranked Red Hot Chili Peppers' 13 studio albums, from worst to best.