Red Hot Chili Peppers have delivered some phenomenal music videos over their 30-year career. The band has pushed visual boundaries, enlisted award winning directors, and even allowed themselves to be animated all in the name of art. And though there are few continuous themes that run from video to video, one thing is evident when looking at their catalogue: this band sure loves being shirtless.
Noisecreep is saluting the band's always intriguing and continually entertaining visual style. So scroll down, turn the volume up and rock out with our picks for the 10 Best Red Hot Chili Peppers Videos.
"Hump De Bump"Directed by: Chris Rock
They may be a West Coast band, but that doesn't mean Red Hot Chili Peppers can't throw an East Coast style block party. In 'Hump De Bump,' Anthony Kiedis sports a bright gold grill, but the inclusion of Craig Robinson and Chris Rock (who also directed) helps 'Hump De Bump' sneak onto our 10 Best Red Hot Chili Peppers Videos list.
'Monarchy of Roses'Directed by: Marc Klasfeld
Red Hot Chili comics? Almost! ‘Monarchy of Roses’ sees the Chili Peppers stepping out of their normal world and into the realm of graphic novels. The look was inspired by Raymond Pettibon, an artist who crafted album artwork for Black Flag and is best known for creating the band’s iconic four bar logo. ‘Monarchy of Roses’ is a sleek and stylish turn for the Chili Peppers, proving they can continue to reinvent their visual aesthetic even after all this time.
'Breaking the Girl'Directed by: Stephane Sednaui
If voting for this list was based on hairstyle alone, perhaps ‘Breaking the Girl’ would be ranked higher. After all, Anthony Kiedis’ Princess Leia look definitely raised a few eyebrows when this clip came out back in 1992. Hairdo aside, this video still warrants attention because of its use of rich and vibrant colors, something the Chili Peppers hadn’t really utilized up until this point in their career. It also, shockingly, features the band completely clothed at all times.
'Californication'Directed by: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
In the summer of 2000, gamers all over the world were eagerly anticipating the release of Playstation 2. Red Hot Chili Peppers jumped headfirst into the hype with their video for ‘Californication.’ Reminiscent of the 'Grand Theft Auto' video games, the viewer is given a third person perspective of each digital band member as they fight sharks, battle hunters in the wilderness and skate down bridge suspension wires. Though the graphics may look tame by today’s standard, they were quite impressive at the time. Each band member was recreated to the finest detail, and, of course, their digital characters are just as shirtless as their real life counterparts.
'By the Way'Directed by: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
This was the Red Hot Chili Peppers' foray into the world of action flicks. Anthony Kiedis is kidnapped by an obsessed cabbie as they race through the streets of Los Angeles. He attempts to contact his bandmates for help, but they initially laugh off his cries for help as a joke. When Flea finally realizes that Anthony is serious, he jumps into hero mode. A high speed car chase follows, with Kiedis making a daring leap to safety just in the nick of time. It’s a high octane, entertaining clip, well worthy of inclusion in our list of the top 10 Red Hot Chili Peppers Music Videos.
'Look Around' Directed by: Robert Hales
In the video for ‘Look Around,’ each band member is quarantined to a room that reflects their personality. The result gives fans insight into each musician’s psyche, while also allowing the Red Hot Chili Peppers to show a side of themselves not often seen by the public. Props in the rooms came from each band member's own possessions, while Anthony Kiedis also gave a little screen time to his son, Everly. For fans wanting extra control, there’s also an interactive version of the video which allows the viewer to take control of the camera's focus.
'Under the Bridge'Directed by: Gus Van Sant
For what would become arguably their most popular song, Red Hot Chili Peppers tabbed award winning director Gus Van Sant to take the lead. Originally, Van Sant had planned to shoot the video entirely on a soundstage. However, Anthony Kiedis was adamant that scenes shot on the streets of Los Angeles be included to help capture the raw emotion of the song. The result is an intriguing cross section of real and perceived life. ‘Under the Bridge’ would go on to win two MTV Video Music Awards, including Breakthrough Video in 1992.
'Soul to Squeeze'Directed by: Kevin Kerslake
Quick, name the album that first featured the song ‘Soul to Squeeze.’ If you said the soundtrack to 'Coneheads,' you clearly know your Red Hot Chili Peppers trivia. Despite being tied to a fairly forgettable film, the song warranted a strong video concept. Shot in black and white, the clip sees the Chili Peppers as part of a traveling circus. Elephants, contortionists, and, yes, even a conehead make an appearance. The late Chris Farley also has a cameo. It’s a dark, yet somehow endearing video, making it an easy inclusion in our list of the 10 Best Red Hot Chili Peppers music videos.
'Give it Away'Directed by: Stephane Sednaoui
Desperate to find a look that was different than most MTV clips, Red Hot Chili Peppers enlisted French fashion photographer Stephane Sednaoui for the video to 'Give it Away.' The goal was to create a video that focused on the band performing, but did so in a unique and artistic way. The band was painted in silver, then shot in black and white. This gave a sheen and texture not seen in most clips at the time. Throw in a desert setting and liberal use of wide-angle lenses, and you’ve got one of the most memorable videos to come out of the early '90s.
'Dani California'Directed by: Tony Kaye
With tongues planted firmly in cheek, Red Hot Chili Peppers take viewers through the history of rock in their video for ‘Dani California.’ This concept could easily have come across cheesy, but the execution was done at such a high level that fans can’t help but be impressed. Elvis, the Beatles, Prince, David Bowie, and Nirvana are just some of the artists whose visual aesthetics get used in the clip. Though they were obviously having fun, the Chili Peppers also made a statement with this video; after a long and illustrious career, they had rightfully earned a place among rocks hallowed elite. It’s a statement we agree with, which is why ‘Dani California’ is our choice for the No. 1 Red Hot Chili Peppers music video.